Adeela Hameed

Protect the Forest Resource

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Rethink Your Furniture

Nowadays buying furniture is tantamount to buying disposables. Nobody wants to keep it forever. Everyone tries to introduce new trends and changes now and then, thus diminishing the subtlety and exquisiteness of the bought furniture. This ‘use-and-throw’ habit is harming nature and exploiting the biosphere’s resources beyond its carrying capacity. So, now more than ever, environment friendly alternatives are must.

Eco-friendly furniture is furniture with the least negative impact on environment. It constitutes furniture built from recycled wood, reused from family heirlooms, material utilized from thrift stores and garage sales to build unique home decor, as well as furniture with the least carbon emissions during transport. Eco-friendly furniture does not mean using discredited furnishing or not catering to your taste to protect the environment. It, however, entails using raw materials in a way that minimal impact is borne by natural resources. Hence, making sure these reserves would suffice the next generations comfortably.

Wicker furniture, sofas made from bamboo, reused metal, old wooden decorative pieces, etc. are some imminent examples in eco-friendly furniture. But recycling used items is still one of the best ways to ensure you are efficiently following the natural way of life.

Furniture is said to be ethical when it follows proper supply chain and work modules. It means that during the course of manufacture, from assembling raw materials to the final finish, work standards follow a definitive moral sense. Daily wages, working conditions, age specifications, labour-superior relationships, everything that is included during construction, should follow certain rules. Buying ethical and eco-friendly furniture helps solve many humanitarian and ecological problems. Keeping in mind all standards and certifications while buying furniture will go a long way in helping people live more sustainably.

Some of these important certifications are:

  1. Cradle to Cradle: Through this certification, it is made sure that products are assessed for social and environmental performance across five major sustainability categories. These are: material health, material reuse, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. The levels assigned as per achievement are basic, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum.
  2. FEMB: It is a pan-European certification scheme. It is designed to deliver a transparent means of assessing and communicating ecological as well as social impacts of furniture products in the built environment. Points earned under each of the four categories, i.e. materials, energy and atmosphere, human and ecosystem health, and social responsibility, determine level of certification, levels 1 through 3, with 3 being the highest level of performance recognized.
  3. BIFMA’s LEVEL: This certification is the evidence business enterprises provide about their durable products and sound company policies. It also proves that their manufacturing facilities have met stringent third-party sustainability requirements. Based on points acquired, companies can earn one of three levels of certification. These include silver, gold and platinum in the categories: environmental impacts, health and wellness impacts, and social impacts. It is a multi-attribute standard developed to deliver open means of evaluating impacts on social and environmental aspects.
  4. GREENGUARD: This certification is a part of UL Environment (Underwriters Laboratories’ business unit). This helps manufacturers produce, at the same time help buyers identify, indoor products as well as materials with low chemical emissions. Such that the quality of indoor air where products are used is improved. A subset, the GREENGUARD GOLD, includes products that emit even lower levels of chemicals, especially formaldehyde. This is to make sure that indoor air quality, which affects kids the most, is maintained within proper limits.

It is always better to introduce the concept of minimalistic living in our daily life. Therefore, investing in eco-friendly and ethical furniture, for the benefit of this planet, should be our aim.

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