How does a sustainable furniture purchase work? Sustainability in action can help to conserve resources and protect the environment. This also applies in particular to the purchase of furniture. After all, 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 bin after a few years. And furniture made from tropical wood contributes to Deforestation of the rainforests at.
However, there is another way: those who consume furniture in a resource-conserving way and Disposable society is doing 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 sustainable furniture.
Here in advance already a short Table of contents for you:
- Second Hand
- Production on site
- Retail on site
- Pollutant free products
- Manufacturing conditions
10 tips - What should you look out 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 or time to do so. That's why I'd like to give you 10 tips to help you buy even more sustainable furniture in the future. Let's go!
Tip no.1: Pay attention to quality
In the past, buying furniture was something that had to be carefully considered - after all, furniture was expensive and could tear a big hole in the household budget. Today, there are furniture discounters in almost every major city offering sofas, wardrobes and beds at bargain prices. Every consumer should be aware that these are not long-lasting quality goods. The furniture often 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 correspondingly durable piece of furniture.
Tip: By the way, the purchase of durable items can save money through sustainability. Contrary to the general misconception that sustainability is ALWAYS more expensive.
Tip No. 2: Stay flexible
One thing is clear: individual living requirements can change again and again. 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 if requiredFor example, they ensure that you can always create new space for your growing book collection or transform a large shelf into two smaller ones in just 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!
With a little creativity and craftsmanship, you can make old Spruce up furniture and give it a second life. Does an old shelf no longer match the color of your interior? Then grab some 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 hang drawers on the wall as shelves, for example.
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 bin, but use a Advertisement in the newspaper and with eBay Classifieds - or give it away to a creative hobbyist.
Tip no. 4: Buy second-hand furniture
Do you have a piece of furniture that has had its best years and don't see any chance of upcycling it? Even then, you don't necessarily have to go to a furniture store or order a new piece of furniture online. Try your luck at the flea market instead, as 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: See also the article about sustainable online shopping to find out more!
Tip no. 5: Support local tradespeople
It is always advisable to support local tradespeople, as craft businesses are important employers. The Transport distances are very shortwhen you order a piece of furniture from a carpenter in your city or region. Here you will receive furniture of first-class quality, which is also characterized by a long service life.
You can have shelves, tables and cabinets made to measure and always receive a unique piece that fits perfectly into your home. Of course, such a piece of furniture is more expensive than a product from a furniture discounter - but However, the higher purchase price pays for itselfbecause 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 buying furniture sustainably is important to you, you should always check whether you can get your desired piece of furniture from a local retailer.
It's worth asking, and many retailers will even match the price if you give them preference over the internet. Last but not least, transportation distances are generally much shorter, so you can buy with a clear conscience.
Tip No. 7: It all depends on the materials!
If you want to buy sustainable furniture, always pay attention to the materials used. Give preference to natural materials such as native woods, because Wood is a renewable raw material and 100 percent biodegradable. Solid wood can also be easily sanded and re-oiled if necessary, which further increases its lifespan. Although bamboo has a long transportation route, 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
You therefore have to decide individually which aspects are particularly important to you when buying sustainable furniture and whether or not bamboo furniture is an option for you.
Tip No. 8: Pay attention to seals
With wooden furniture in particular, you should make sure that certified wood was used. The seal of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) is only awarded to timber 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 other useful information in their product descriptions. For example, the sustainable furniture store ekomia.de for example, on 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 no. 9: Buy pollutant-free furniture
Sustainable furniture should always be free of harmful substances. This refers both to harmful substances that during production as well as to those that are not used by the material released in the course of timet be.
Prefer furniture that is compatible with the Blue Angel and pay attention to the "climate-neutral production" label.
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
Buying sustainable furniture not only contributes to nature conservation, but also protects workers involved in the manufacturing process, good working conditions and fair wages.
It is best to choose furniture made from regional raw materials that have also been processed in the surrounding area. This way, the transportation routes are as short as possible and you can also be sure that the workers work under safe conditions and are paid a fair wage.
Buying furniture sustainably is not difficult!
So even when buying furniture, you can make a valuable contribution to 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 regulations. But you also benefit from this yourself. After all, you get high-quality, durable furniture that you can enjoy for many years to come.
Can you think of any other tips for buying eco-friendly, sustainable furniture? Then please write me a comment!
PS: Want even more tips? Then be sure to check out my article about sustainable living on!