Plastic Furniture? No, thanks

Plastic Furniture? No, thanks

Plastic has creeped into almost all areas of life.  In the furniture industry, its prevalence is hard to ignore.  Plastic furniture can be found in schools, hospitals, homes and any number of other locations around the world.  Cheap to produce and easy to manipulate, it has become a veritable staple in today’s world.  While it may be inexpensive to produce and easy to buy, it is not kind to the environment.  This having been said, there are many forging ahead to create a better more sustainable way of life,  The prolification of plastic in the furniture industry is not a new trend, but we hope it will be one that soon passes away.  What are the disadvantages of plastic furniture?  What are safer, healthier, and greener alternatives in furniture?  Let’s take a look.

Plastic is derived from petroleum.  While petroleum is a natural resource, it is in limited supply.  It takes thousands of years for petroleum to form.  For this reason, world officials worry about the current rate of use and the decreasing available supply.  Although from a natural source, plastic is far from being an earth-friendly material.  Being toxic and non-biodegradable, researchers are finding that it is  nearly impossible to get rid of.  Rather than decompose, it merely breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces.  A source of pollution in its creation and all the way to it removal, plastic is not a green way to make or buy furniture.  There are however products and materials that are available that can be cost effective and good for the environment.  Here are some choices that are smart, functional and beautiful.

Green furniture or furniture that is sustainable is a wonderful way to beautify your home and help keep our planet healthy.  Sustainable furniture is created using materials that are organic, non-toxic, reclaimed or recycled.  It involves processes that are generally locally sourced and materials that are responsibly harvested.  For example, some companies have access to recycled wood, , recycled metals and other materials. Italian design studio Ricrea uses factory floor-waste from the production of insoles to create the colorful and funky Latex Roll Pouf. Using these resources saves from having to throw them into a landfill and that translates into a greener way of doing things.  When making sustainable furniture, replanting trees and forests is a way to keep the earths cycles in check. This makes for a healthy planet now, but also ensures that future generations will have what they need too.  Forests and trees are the earths natural filters.  Replenishing the air with oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide makes our trees valuable and necessary for life.  Responsible manufacturer’s recognize this and put into use practical and responsible practices. When we sell a One C Dining Chair, Swedish design studio Johan Berhin has a system in place for which a birch tree is planted locally. Strange as it might sounds, the majority of trees in Sweden s a quality birch tree in Sweden are grown for the paper industry. The furniture industry lacks quality birch for wooden furniture.

Buying furniture that is green or sustainable can be cost effective in that this type of furniture is built to last.  Far from needing to be replaced every few years, you will have something of true value.  Next time you are looking for furniture, remember that there are many options.  Choose to be kind to the environment and ultimately yourself.  You will be glad you did!

Images credits: Mandy Barker – Johan Berhin Studios