Green Furniture: Eco-Friendly Furniture for Your Home

By green furniture we do not mean colored green, but eco-friendly furniture that has been manufactured with minimum environmental impact. This might seem to be a paradox, since it takes many years for trees to grow, and only a few seconds to cut them down. However, there is yet no alternative to wood for high quality home furniture, and there is unlikely to be for many years yet.Assuming that felling trees has to be accepted, there are furniture manufacturing companies that try to do so intelligently and in a sustainable manner. ‘Sustainable’ means in a way that will not eventually result in there being no trees left, but by growing new trees to replace those used.The destruction of the rain forests in South America and many parts of Asia is not the way to go about this. This planet Earth needs oxygen to survive, and its main source of oxygen is plant life – predominantly trees. By destroying large forests, we are reducing the availability of oxygen and helping to destroy the natural O2-CO2 balance. This could kill us all!Eco-Friendly Furniture ManufacturersThere are a several furniture manufacturers in the USA that use only wood from sustainable forests, many of them within the USA itself. We make no apologies for mentioning them by name here because it is such firms that are helping to maintain the balance of atmospheric gases essential for animal and plant life. There is a fine balance between the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere.Animal life requires oxygen and plant life requires carbon dioxide. Between the two, we live in harmony. This has nothing to do with global warming or climate change – these are other issues. They likely have the same root causes, but we breathe in oxygen, and breathe out carbon dioxide as a waste product. Plant life does the opposite. That is why large populations of people and forests of trees coexist in a fine balance.That balance is now under threat, yet people still worry about global warming and climate change and remain unaware of this other issue. Simple Amish, based in Illinois, is one furniture manufacturing company that uses wood from local sustainable forests. Stickley Furniture is another, and The Custom Shoppe is yet another. In fact, many American furniture manufacturing companies use sustainable wood.Wood Sources and Recovery TimeMost wood used commercially is logged from large forests – it’s the only way for it to be economical. It can take 30 years to grow an oak tree for it to be suitable for logging. That means that the trees being cut down now were seeded at least in 1983, and likely earlier. Forests must be replanted once they have been cut, yet this is not happening in Brazil, Indonesia, Borneo and all the other Asian and African sources of mahogany, teak and walnut.It is in the USA. Simply Amish craftsmen and women plant a tree for every one they cut down. Many other American firms ensure that the forestry is being replenished at the same rate as it is being harvested. Much of the American furniture you buy in the shops is eco-friendly furniture; green furniture that is not threatening the survival of future generations.By using wood grown within 200 miles of where it used, Amish and Ammonite cabinetmakers are not only helping to conserve our national forests, and manufacture green furniture, but are keeping shipping costs down.Some, such as the Amish, wrap each piece of furniture in blankets to ship to the distribution center. They do not use wood shavings, polystyrene of bubble wrap. They use hand tools to cut down on power usage. They use horses and carts for deliveries rather than gas-guzzling trucks. They use windmills for lighting power.Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all industries were so ecologically aware and responsible? Why not reward them with our custom? It’s not as if the furniture they manufacture is poor quality – on the contrary. Hand-made furniture using traditional carpentry jointing methods is very strong. It lasts because there are no screws or nails to corrode away, and no glue to be weakened by moisture.Buying eco-friendly furniture is not compromising on quality as other ‘green’ items might be. In fact, you are likely upgrading your furniture when you buy a hand-crafted table, bench, chair or cabinet. Your joints will be solid, your drawers with run smoothly and true and your chairs will be rock solid.It’s your choice. The more people that purchase eco-friendly furniture, green furniture that is environmentally friendly and sensibly, in other words, genuine American furniture, the better for all of us. That’s all.

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