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Design, Environment, FURNITURE, Sustainability, Uncategorized

01/09/2020

Creating a Sustainable Future with Furniture

The earths climate is forever shifting and we are in a race to change for the better. Rapidly looking to reevaluate our habits, our buildings, their interiors, and consumption of energy AND we need to do this AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.

Sustainability, the buzz word of the last decade, But what is it? What does it mean for our generation and future generations to come.

Definition of Sustainability:-

sustainability and furniture

 

Sustainability is the ability of a resource to be maintained at a certain rate or level. It is the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources and enabling the planet to maintain an ecological balance.

In other words it means to not use “something” at a faster rate than it can be replenished.

But, with all that said and done, what does this mean when applied to furniture?

Firstly, that means reevaluating our furniture, to create a sustainable future.

Throw away society

We currently reside in a “throw away” society. Where people want things quickly and cheaply. This is usually at the expense of quality, materials, its impact on the environment and its effect upon people physically. Have you heard of sick building syndrome? No? well it is a thing. So, what is it you ask? Well let me explain.

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)

“The term sick building syndrome has been around since the 1970s. A number of theories exist as to why it started at that moment in time. These include the energy crisis of the early 1970s that ultimately resulted in buildings being sealed up to prevent energy loss. This combination, of the resulting decreased turnover of fresh air within buildings to save money, plus the increased use of chemicals in carpets and paints, poor lighting. increased use of computers and even increased stress in the workplace” all may have contributed to individuals developing illnesses when residing in these buildings for long period of time, To read more see . emedicinehealth

How is this related to furniture?

Common chemical contaminants inside a building are predominantly in paint, adhesives, carpeting, cleaning agents, and upholstered furniture. These chemicals can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). So, when exposed to these chemicals for long periods of time they can cause an array of illnesses and physical issues. For example.

Irritation of the respiratory tract,  headaches / dizziness, nausea, visual disorders, fatigue, damage to internal organs, the central nervous system and cancer.

What is a Sustainable piece of Furniture?

Sustainable furniture

A sustainable and eco friendly piece of furniture, must be produced and distributed in a way that will protect the environment.

Production must:-

Reduce Carbon emissions

Reduce waste stream pollutants

Minimize un-recyclable content

Minimize primary materials from unsustainable sources.

Materials Used

These are recycled and/or repurposed materials. Additionally, it can be made with a product that is renewable. Think Bamboo! Bamboo is a plant that is easily grown and can quickly be replenished. So, that can also make the item sustainable. Finishes / varnishes that do not give off gas and are low in VOC emissions, additionally contribute to its safety for everyday use

Transportation

Additionally how the furniture transported is also vital to it’s sustainable eligibility. Any source of transportation will increase its carbon footprint. Therefore, the most energy-efficient way to obtain furniture is to buy an item that is locally produced and which has been constructed using only locally-sourced materials. This will reduce the carbon footprint.

Multifunctional

This basically means how useful is it for the consumer and can it be used for a variety of functions.

The item should take up less space and effectively fulfill the purpose that it is designed to address. So, for example a sofa bed. It is  multi purposeful, multifunctional and space saving item of furniture. Two for the price of one, fabulous.

Durability also matters. Because a well-made piece of furniture will have a longer functional lifespan. Which means it will not be adding to a land fill any time soon, hopefully.

But, where to now?

We must look to reevaluating our furniture to create a sustainable future for the planet.

It is a beautiful movement in design, these pieces are made with love, are expertly crafted, well thought out and are a gorgeous, healthier, eco friendly addition to any well designed space.

As like all these subjects we talk about, it is in depth and that is where Hlevel can guide you to make better choices for you and your home.

There are also  many great resources on line to help you make a eco friendly, economical and sustainable purchase.

https://sustainablefurnishings.org/