Sustainable or eco-friendly furniture is more than hype. It’s using items like recycled wood, used textiles, or old plastics to make usable and beautiful furniture. By reusing and recycling building materials, you can ease the need for manufacturing new items. Also, you are helping the environment by keeping these materials from ending up in landfills.
Using eco-friendly material also means you’re utilizing sustainable items. Wood from lumber is sustainable but it takes a long, long time to grow trees where lumber is harvested. Furniture makers now resort to using bamboo, a type of grass that grows fast to make different furniture pieces. Here are some examples of eco-friendly furniture you can use at home or at your office.
Wicker is one of the most popular eco-friendly furniture. It’s very popular because it’s very versatile and you can paint it or stain it according to your style and furniture needs. Wicker is made from plants like rattan, willow, bamboo, and reed however, some furniture makers are already using synthetic wicker.
Furniture made from wicker is very sturdy and can resist constant use. However, you should consider sealing wicker furniture especially when you want to use it outdoors. This will allow wicker to retain its shape and to resist pests and mold.
Bamboo shelves and storage systems
Bamboo is another eco-friendly material that’s easy to purchase almost anywhere. Aside from using bamboo to make furniture, it is also used to make durable and lovely flooring, fencing, and other household items.
Bamboo shelves are very durable, will never warp or bend. You can paint over bamboo or stain the wood to preserve its natural beauty. Bamboo cabinets and shelves may be heavier than other types of wood but will surely last longer.
Tables and chairs made from recycled plastics
Plastic bottles, containers, toys, and electronics often end up in landfills and will degrade the longest. But furniture makers are now using old and used plastics to make different furniture pieces. They clean these plastics, grind them into small bits, mold them and turn them into fully functional furniture.
With recycled plastic, you can make chairs, tables, desks, bed frames, cabinets, and sofas. Recycled plastic is very durable and can withstand wear and tear. You can also find plastics in different colors, shapes, and sizes and are often more affordable than other types of furniture.
Metal bed frames made from junk metal
Metals like steel and aluminum may be repurposed and turned into different furniture pieces. Junk metal is readily available in landfills, junk shops, and even in your backyard. So instead of just letting metal rust, turn these into usable pieces of furniture.
Furniture makers have found a way to turn old metal into new furniture by melting metal or by bending or welding them. Old metal gates are repurposed to make lovely bedframes. You’ll find recycled metal furniture like chairs, tables, lamps, and desks out of junk metal as well.
Glass tabletop and glass panels made from old glass doors
As long as there are no cracks or pits, glass doors or glass panels may be recycled to make tables and desks. These panels are washed, polished, and cut to fit the tabletop shape. Also, glass can be melted and made into different items like glass partitions, countertops, and other decorative items.
Thatch panel bed frame and canopy
Thatch panels are common roofing material for huts and tiki bars. But you can also use this eco-friendly material to make your indoor space look and feel more tropical. So instead of using fabric for your bed frame or bed canopy, you can use thatch panels.
Thatch panels should be installed in layers to provide ample coverage. And because it’s very easy to use thatch panels and are readily available, you can replace this anytime.
Pallet shelves, drawers, and storage systems
Pallet wood is another building material that’s readily available almost everywhere. In some cities, pallet wood is given away for free such as those in grocery stores, markets, and in large-chain supermarkets.
This wood is reusable and furniture makers have found so many ways to recycle pallet wood. These are mostly used to make simple shelves and drawers. Pallet wood can be cut to size, finished, and painted according to your style and color. You can also count on versatile pallet wood to hold well and to retain its shape so it’s a good material to make chairs, tables, stools, bars, and ladders.
If you have spare pallet wood at home, you can repurpose these to make your own eco-friendly furniture pieces. Just make sure that the wood is free from dirt, mold, pests, and rot. Always inspect pallet wood closely especially when you plan to use these to make load-bearing furniture. And before painting on pallet wood, make sure to sand the surface well. Use fine-grit sandpaper or steel wool to remove rough surfaces and edges. Wood pallets are known for their rough surfaces which can cause cuts and splinters if not removed properly.
One of the most unlikely materials to make eco-friendly furniture is cardboard. Yes, this is the average cardboard used to make boxes and light storage containers. The trick is to connect cardboard pieces to make durable furniture like seats, stools, ottomans, and shelves.
These cardboard pieces are held together by strong glue which makes the cardboard strong and resistant to pressure. You can paint over cardboard or stain it to make lovely furniture and home decorative items. Cardboard furniture is lightweight easy to recycle and very sustainable.
There is a lot more eco-friendly furniture made from sustainable materials. Old fabrics may be used to make cushions for chairs, sofas, and beds. Thick recycled fabric can also be used as an upholstery material for old couches and armchairs. You will also find a use for old paper as these can be recycled to make blinds, drapes, lampshades, and many more.
By supporting eco-friendly furniture makers or making your own recycled furniture are simple ways to help save the environment.