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Buy sustainable furniture - 10 tips you should consider

Möbel nachhaltig kaufen - So geht's!

How does a sustainable furniture purchase work? Sustainability in action can help conserve resources and protect the environment. This also and especially applies to the purchase of furniture. Because: While high-quality furniture can accompany us for decades, tables, sofas and cabinets from the cheap price segment often end up in the bulky waste after a few years. And pieces of furniture made of tropical wood contribute to the Deforestation of the rainforests at.

However, there is another way: If you consume furniture in a resource-saving way and want to get away from Disposable society does a lot for the environment and not least for your own quality of life. In this article, I'll tell you what you need to know if you want to buy furniture sustainably.

Here in advance already a short Table of contents for you:

  1. Quality
  2. Flexibility
  3. Upcycling
  4. Second Hand
  5. Production on site
  6. Retail on site
  7. Material
  8. Seal
  9. Pollutant free products
  10. Manufacturing conditions

10 Tips - What to look for when buying sustainable furniture?

I like to build large pieces of furniture like tables myself - but I don't always have the skills, materials and time to do it. Here I would like to give you 10 tips to help you buy more sustainable furniture in the future. Let's go!

Tip No.1: Pay attention to quality

In the past, the purchase of furniture was a matter that had to be well thought out - after all, furniture was expensive and could tear a big hole in the household budget. Today, in almost every major city there are discount furniture stores that offer sofas, wardrobes and beds at bargain prices. Every consumer should be aware that these cannot be long-lasting quality goods. Often the furniture does not even survive a move and has to be discarded prematurely - at the expense of the environment.

If you also value sustainability when buying furniture, so in case of doubt you should dig a little deeper into your pocket and spend your money on a high-quality and, accordingly, durable piece of furniture.

Tip: By the way, by buying durable things can be save money through sustainability. Contrary to the general misconception that sustainability is ALWAYS more expensive.

Tip No. 2: Stay flexible

It's quite clear that individual living requirements can always change. It is therefore all the more important to remain flexible - for example with the help of modular furniturethat you can always adapt to your living situation.

Shelving systems that can be supplemented with additional elements as neededThey ensure, for example, that you can always create new space for your growing book collection or transform a large shelf into two smaller ones in a few simple steps. There is then no need to buy a completely new shelf - and buying furniture couldn't be more sustainable!

Tip No. 3: Upcycling: Make new from old!

Upcycling table from wood and metal

With a little creativity and craftsmanship, you can make old Spruce up furniture and give them a second life. An old shelf no longer fits into your interior in terms of color? Then grab sandpaper and a paint bucket and give the piece of furniture a new coat of sustainable natural paint. You can even change the function and, for example, hang drawers on the wall as shelves.

If you don't enjoy crafting and want to get rid of an old piece of furniture in any case, don't just throw it in the trash, but put a Advertisement in the newspaper and with eBay Classifieds - or give away the good piece to a creative hobbyist.

Tip No. 4: Buy secondhand furniture

You have a piece of furniture that is past its prime and don't see any chance for upcycling? Then you don't necessarily have to go to a furniture store or order a new piece of furniture online. Instead, try your luck at the flea market, where you can always find unique treasures at unbeatable prices.

Finds from the flea market or from the Secondhand store also have another advantage: they are often unique pieces that - unlike mass-produced goods - are not found in every second living room.

Tip: Look gladly also in the contribution over sustainable online shopping to learn more about it!

Tip #5: Support local craftsmen

It is always advisable to support local craftsmen, because craft businesses are important employers. Also the Transport distances are very shortYou can get a piece of furniture from a carpenter in your city or region. Here you get furniture of first-class quality, which is also characterized by a long life.

You can have shelves, tables and cabinets made to measure and always get a unique piece that fits perfectly into your home. Of course, such a piece of furniture is more expensive than a product from the furniture discounter -... However, the higher purchase price pays offbecause you only buy once and not, as is often the case with cheap offers, several times within a few years.

Tip No. 6: Give preference to local retailers

Online shopping is convenient and in many cases cheaper than shopping locally. However, if a sustainable furniture purchase is important to you, you should always check if you can get the piece of furniture you want from a local retailer.

It pays to ask, and many retailers will even meet you with the price if you give them preference over the Internet. Last but not least, the transport distances are usually much shorter, so you can buy with a clear conscience.

Tip No. 7: It all depends on the materials!

Buy desk wood sustainable

If you want to buy sustainable furniture, always pay attention to the materials used. Prefer natural materials like local woods, because Wood is a renewable raw material and 100 percent biodegradable. Solid wood can also be easily sanded and re-oiled, which further increases its lifespan. Bamboo has a long transport route, but the plant has many other advantages to offer:

  • Quickly renewable raw material: grows up to one meter per day
  • Carbon storage: Binds more carbon dioxide than other trees
  • Robustness: no pesticides required during cultivation)
  • Biodegradable: Material comes without plastic

So here you have to decide individually which aspects are particularly important to you when buying sustainable furniture and whether bamboo furniture is an option for you or not.

Tip No. 8: Pay attention to seals

Especially with wooden furniture you should make sure that certified wood was used. The seal of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) is only awarded to wood suppliers who manage their forests in an environmentally friendly, economically sensible and socially beneficial way. In addition to the FSC seal, many ecologically minded suppliers also provide further insightful information in the respective product descriptions. For example, the sustainable furniture store ekomia.de for example, about the use of natural furniture oil, a 100% recycled packing and last but not least the CO2 compensation the short transport routes of its products.

However, you should always be suspicious of labels you are not familiar with and always question who awards the seal and what criteria apply.

Tip #9: Buy furniture free of harmful substances

Sustainable furniture should always be free of harmful substances. This refers both to pollutants that during production as well as to those that are not used by the material released in the course of timet be.

Therefore, prefer pieces of furniture that are compatible with the Blue Angel and it is best to look out for the additional note "climate-neutral production".

The Blue Angel is the environmental label of the German federal government. It was created in 1978 and since then guarantees high standards for the protection of nature and our health.

Tip #10: Place of manufacture and manufacturing conditions

A sustainable furniture purchase not only contributes to nature conservation, but also secures workers involved in the manufacturing process, good working conditions and fair wages.

It's best to choose furniture made from regional raw materials that have also been processed in the area. This way, the transport routes are as short as possible and at the same time you can be sure that the workers work under safe conditions and are adequately paid.

Tip: Alternatively, you can also log in to the DIY furniture blog inspiration - and, for example, create a Build dining table yourself from old oak planks.

Buying furniture sustainably is not difficult!

So even when buying furniture, you can make a valuable contribution in the fight against the biggest Environmental problems of our time by avoiding cheap discount goods and instead opting for products that have been produced in compliance with strict environmental protection requirements. But you will also benefit from this. After all, you get high-quality and durable furniture that you can enjoy for many years.

Can you think of any other tips for buying eco-friendly, sustainable furniture? Then feel free to write me a comment!

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: You want more tips? Then be sure to check out my post about sustainable living on!

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate links. If you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with CareElite.de, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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