As parents, we work hard to create the healthiest possible environments for our families. We make thoughtful choices when creating our homes, and try to balance beauty, practicality, and comfort. Unfortunately, we don’t often consider that these very choices may be producing a toxic environment within our home. Until all furniture and decor companies commit to using non-toxic resources, here are 10 ways you can find eco-friendly and non-toxic furniture and decor for your home.
1. Buy wood furniture with the FSC logo.
If furniture is FSC certified, this means that your furniture has not contributed to deforestation and that wood workers have not been exploited.
FSC sets high standards that ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable way.
2. Reinvent old furniture and decor.
These are excellent resources for redesigning used furnishings:
– Salvage yards
3. Buy wood furniture labeled as secondary species.
PlanetGreen.com describes the benefits of secondary species wood:
4. Extend the life of someone else’s furniture.
These woods–such as sweetgum, madrone, and California oak–are often readily available but are not as well known; in many cases, they’re of equal or better quality than their more popular brethren. These so-called “secondary species” are named so because they’re often harvested so that other species, such as mahogany, can regenerate naturally. By purchasing products made with secondary species, you take pressure off of overused species of wood and help encourage more complex, diverse forest ecosystems instead of monocultural timber plantations.
Craigslist and Freecycle are always good resources for finding free or very inexpensive furniture and home decor. Look for ideas on how to upgrade furniture at ReadyMade Magazine or at Green Your Decor.
5. Find brand new and affordable eco-friendly home decor.
Support work at home moms and style your home with inexpensive yet natural purchases from Etsy. Also, nature found in your own backyard can make beautiful decor. How about adding a driftwood rack or tree art to your home? Check out Healthy Child Healthy World’s checklist for what to look for when buying new furniture.
If you’re not in a position to add anything new to your home at this time, don’t forget that there are many easy steps to creating a healthier and non-toxic home that involve no time and money at all!
What are your suggestions for finding eco-friendly and non-toxic furniture and home decor?