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What eco-friendly materials are best for furnishing your home?

We all buy furniture with the hope that it will last a long time, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. Whether you opted for the cheaper option and it has worn out, or it simply doesn’t fit your style anymore, not all furniture stays with you forever. Finding new furniture can be tricky, particularly for those who are eco-conscious and want toreduce their waste. A great starting point is secondhand shops or websites, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for there, we’ve put together a list of the most eco-friendly materials to opt for in your new furniture.

Bamboo

Bamboo is one of the most versatile eco-friendly materials – it can be used in the majority of furniture and is extremely renewable. It can grow up to 3 feet every day, which is significantly faster than its wooden counterparts. To top it off, bamboo even absorbs carbon dioxide and produces more oxygen than a typical tree. It’s especially a good choice for outdoor furniture, owing to its resistance to water and insects. A good quality bamboo garden set should last a long time if properly cared for, so it’s definitely worth the investment.

Wool

Wool can easily be recycled and as sheep produce a new fleece every year, it’s also very renewable – making it a brilliant choice for your home. Some may think wool is not super eco-friendly owing to the treatment of the sheep, but provided it’s ethically sourced, it can actually be better for the environment than most alternatives. Wool is perfect for heavy, shaggy rugs or decorative throw blankets and even helps to dampen noise in your home.

Wood

Although wood is not often looked at as a particularly eco-friendly material due to the current deforestation issues across the planet, it can be if you opt for sustainably grown or reclaimed wood. There’s also usually a big difference in the longevity of sustainable wood versus cheaply produced, unsustainable wood. Solid wood furniture is extremely hard-wearing and will last for years, minimising the trees cut down compared to buying cheaper furniture multiple times. Even if you start to grow tired of your wooden furniture, wood is so versatile that it can be revamped in many ways. You can easily revarnish it or paint it, making it look like a totally new piece of furniture.

Glass

Glass can be great for the environment due to its endless recycling capabilities, both within your home and after it’s been disposed of. If you have glass jars or containers, they can often be reused for something else around the house. Glass can be infinitely recycled but the initial production can be taxing on the environment, so try to opt for recycled glass wherever possible. There are many other ways to minimise your environmental impact while buying furniture, including repurposing existing pieces. If you inherited a piece of furniture but it just really doesn’t fit in with your home, try doing some research to see if you could repurpose it before you resort to getting rid of it. If it’s really not going to work, then try to opt for the materials listed above for any new furniture. They are some of the most versatile eco-friendly materials, so you should be able to use them in multiple elements of your home.

Author bio

Molly Evans started her own interior design business in 2010, now specialising in eco friendly design. She primarily uses furnishings made from recycled or sustainable long-lasting materials, keeping her clients and the planet happy.