The first step is learning what to look for with respect to environmentally friendly kitchen tables, chairs and bar stools. What’s the best way to go? Reuse furniture that other people have tired of. Some great pieces can be found at thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales, auctions, classified ads and sometimes even curbside. It’s like the old saying, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
Sometimes, however, those great treasures need a bit of work. Refurbishing old kitchen furniture can be fun and eco-friendly, too. You can restore old pieces back to their original beauty or make a whole new look from something old. Either way, you’ll probably save money, keep beautiful things out of landfills, and not order excessive manufacturing on your behalf.
Whether you’re buying new or refinishing old, you must beware the content of the furniture finishes. Many pieces and especially their stains and finishes contain formaldehyde or other harmful chemicals that can outgas VOCs into your home, contributing to poor indoor air quality. Look for items that specifically say they are low- or no-VOC.
If reusing isn’t your cup of tea for kitchen furniture, try buying items that are made of recycled content. It’s amazing how innovation can take our trash and turn it into something unique, beautiful and durable.
Manufacturers and designers have come up with some unfathomable (for the rest of us) ideas about what furniture can be made from. Recycled plastic milk jugs and soda bottles are being made into plastic furniture. Cork, which has become a very popular green material, now comprises thousands of table tops. Even old wooden furniture can be broken down and made into new tables, chairs and stools.
If it’s all new to you, look into eco-friendly wooden furniture. One of the most in-vogue choices for wood today is responsibly harvested teak. Teak is very durable, makes beautiful indoor and outdoor furniture and has a dark, rich, warm color. Bon appetit!
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