Living Room Furniture Options That Are Environmentally-Friendly

As of October 2017, the United States Green Building Council reported there were more than 370,000 green homes in the United States. Although green homes made up just five percent of all homes in 2005, the percentage significantly rose to 23% of all American residences in 2017. We’ve come a long way in going green in a short time.

However, there is much more that we can do to make our home more environmentally friendly. While green activists focus on issues such as solar energy and recycled plastic, we have an often overlooked additional opportunity to make our homes green. It is called living room furniture options that are environmentally-friendly. We are not talking about specific types of furniture, but how we can use living room furniture to enhance the environment.

Use What You Got

Sustainability is an eco-friendly term that is frequently misunderstood. In easy to understand terms, sustainability is minimizing the use of natural resources. No other living room strategy has more of a positive impact on sustainability that using other types of materials to design and construct new pieces of furniture. Here are some living room furniture sustainability ideas:

  • Use large jars to design lampshades
  • Build shelves with thick, sturdy cardboard
  • Construct a chair out of books

The last idea offers a two for one benefit, as you use less wood for making a chair and you do not need wood to create a bookshelf. You have a large number of resources available online to help you come up with living room furniture sustainability ideas.

When Old is New

Purchasing new furniture can not only be expensive, it also produces a larger carbon footprint than if you decide to go with used furniture. The stigma of owning so-called hand me down furniture quickly fades when guests to your home understand you are making an eco-friendly statement for your living room furniture options. Here are a few sources of old furniture that you can turn into new living room furniture:

  • Parents
  • Friends
  • Siblings
  • Professional peers

When anyone you know chooses to downsize into a smaller home, the chances are good he or she does not need to move all of the current furniture to the new home. This means you not only might find a bargain; you might also benefit from receiving an older piece of furniture for free. There are also shops and boutiques offering used furniture at affordable prices.

Make Your Own Furniture

Anyone that has a background in woodworking-even a novice-can harness to together a piece of furniture from the oak, pine, cedar, or mahogany wood sitting unused nearby in a woods or a forest. Large furniture manufacturers waste a lot of resources because of the massive amount of materials the companies process to construct new furniture.

If your woodworking skills are not up to par, picking up a few tips online and/or from a couple of woodworking books should be enough information to help you get the ball rolling on an environmentally-friendly living room furniture design project.

Go Green with Coatings and Adhesives

It is not just the materials used to create furniture that determines the level of eco friendliness. You also have to consider the coatings and adhesives used to roll out the finished product.

The key is to avoid leeching harmful chemicals into the environment, which is the primary objective of an exterior coating service that finishes both walls and furniture. Moreover, an exterior coating service will make sure you do not have to repeatedly coat the same pieces of furniture.

Feng Shui the Living Room

Implementing the mindfulness philosophy of Feng Shui can change the energy flow of a room from overly hyperactive to a soothing ambiance that puts everyone at ease.

So, how does Feng Shui create furniture options that are environmentally-friendly? The answer is by using the same principle of mindfulness to create a less busy looking and feeling room.

Less is More

At the heart of Feng Shui and eco-friendly living room furniture options is the concept of clutter free. Many Feng Shui experts recommend addressing clutter in the mind, as well as clutter in the nearby living environment.

There is not a chance of achieving Feng Shui in a living room cluttered with unnecessary pieces of furniture. Use the term streamline or whatever term works best for you, but remember that a clutter free living room is an effective way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Let There Be Light!

Poor lighting is the biggest obstacle to achieving Feng Shui in the living room. Installing overhead and task lighting can turn a once stale looking living room into a vibrant place to entertain guests. A bright artificial lighting system can also make fewer of pieces of furniture shine.

With fewer pieces of furniture, you have addressed the important issue of depleting finite natural resources. In addition to artificial light sources, you can really make a room hum Feng Shui by opening up the shades and inviting the sun in for an extended stay. Sunlight produces an airy, welcoming ambiance in a room that requires fewer pieces of furniture to come together aesthetically.

Balance of Colors and Shapes

The more is not the merrier for living room furniture mantra comes into play when discussing the importance of establishing Feng Shui. By focusing on achieving design balance in colors and shapes, you quickly realize that a few pieces of furniture are no longer a good fit for the highest traffic area of your home.

For example, adding several pieces of blue furniture contrasts poorly with the look of all pink walls. Achieving the highest level of Feng Shui involves balancing the colors and shapes of every piece of living room furniture. The furniture that does not work for Feng Shui balance can be donated to an organization that gives furniture away to people that need it most.

One more thing about using living room furniture options that are environmentally friendly. Wood is not the only material that requires sustainability monitoring. You also have to consider the environmental impact of using furniture that is manufactured by processing precious metals.

About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at salman@ecomena.org or salman@bioenergyconsult.com
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