A metal bookshelf is sturdy, stylish, and most importantly, green. Photo Credit: bbaunach
While trying to reduce our
carbon footprint on the planet, homeowners are quick to realize that every
choice we make, from the cars we drive to the groceries we buy, has some sort
of ramification to the status of Earth.
Inside the home, we tend to
look at our flooring, appliances, HVAC systems, and plumbing fixtures to see if
they can be more environmentally friendly. But what about our furnishings, like
bookcases? They, too, have more eco-friendly options available today.
There are several things that
can make a bookcase or shelving unit more or less green, from the materials
they’re made from to the longevity of the unit.
When looking for a new bookcase, design and
attractiveness are as important as size and durability. Eco-friendly bookcases are made from
more sustainable materials like bamboo, stainless steel, and glass. While all
of these materials are considered green by today’s standards, they are also
very durable, meaning that your new unit will hold up to your family’s daily
use for as long as you own the unit.
Another key feature of a good eco-friendly bookcase is
transformability. Even the most
beloved piece of furniture in any home is likely to have an expiration date as
far as its usefulness goes. The most green of home furnishings are those that
are easily transformed into another use. Several manufacturers are now making
modular bookcases, making it easy to convert
the unit into something taller, smaller, or differently shaped. Modular units
are also much easier to move
from room to room or from house to house because you can deconstruct and
reconstruct them fairly easily.
A major concern of home furnishings today is
outgassing - the emittance of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the home
from certain materials. Some of the
materials widely known for outgassing are stains and varnishes. Eco-friendly
bookcases that require a finish will have only water-based stains on them -
friendlier to the earth, no harsh fumes, and low VOC.
Slightly reminiscent to the
1950s and 60s, the eco-friendly bookcases of the twenty-first century are very
sleek and simple in design. In fact, they’re so stylish you may not want to cover
them up with your books.
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