Environmentally-Friendly Furniture

Check out these tips for keeping your furniture environmentally-friendly by recycling, reclaiming and refinishing.
By: Caren Baginski
GH08-living-room3

GH08-living-room3

If you're in the market for new furniture, first ask yourself if anything in your home can be repurposed or if you might find what you're looking for at a local flea market, thrift store or antique shop. You'll save on fuel costs for shipping and help your community. If those options won't work, here are some tips for buying as green as you can:

1. Hunt for Furniture Online. Free, local classified ads for everything from sofas to dining tables, both new and old, are available online at websites such as Craigslist.org.

2. Choose Renewable Resources. Eco-friendly furniture materials to look for include:

  • Bamboo
  • Cork
  • Beechwood
  • Reclaimed lumber and recycled wood scraps
  • Recycled products from plastics and paper
  • Sustainable fibers such as hemp, wool and jute
  • Bent plywood and molded ply
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Stainless steel
  • Kirei Board (made from reclaimed sorghum-stalk fibers)
  • Coconut palm trees

3. Use Earth-Friendly Finishes. Skip the toxins that accompany that new-paint smell. The smell comes from volatile organic compounds emitted not just by paints and lacquers but also by paint strippers, cleaning supplies, building materials and furnishings, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Instead, look for nontoxic paints and stains made with such natural materials as seed oils, citrus-peel extracts, milk protein, lime and clay.

(Jenny Jedeikin was a contributor to this story.)

Keep Reading

Next Up

Earth Day Challenge

Make Earth Day fun: See how many points you can accumulate throughout the day, then total the score and find your shade of green.

Eco-Friendly Decorating Ideas

Smart, simple ways to make your decorating healthier for you and the environment.

How to Buy and Recycle an Evergreen Christmas Tree

For many of us, a natural tree trimmed with decorations is what Christmas is all about. Caring for a cut tree properly will prolong its fresh scent and vibrant color. Also important is knowing how to recycle the tree after the holidays.

Designer Confession: I Love Shopping at Big-Box Stores

Don't mind me, I'll just be over here browsing the dollar bins.

Flea Market Flair

Follow these tips, and with a little persistence you can find some real treasures at your local flea market.

Easy Chair Covers

Try these tips for dressing up dining room chairs for parties or just for kicks.

Fold-Away Desk Made From a Salvaged Door

An old door is repurposed into a space-saving, desk that folds up against a wall.

Horticultural Oil

Master gardener Paul James discusses the different types of horticultural oils.

How to Compost With Worms

Check out these tips for creating your own army of little gardeners.

Worm Cocoons

Earthworms can be beneficial in gardening; ordering their eggs can help you create an earthworm population in your yard.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.