Of the 7.5 billion virgin forests that once covered the Earth, nearly half have been cut down for human consumption, with devastating effects, such as global warming, and threatening indigenous people and native species. And 40 million additional acres disappear to clear-cutting and unsustainable logging practices each year. But wood products and furniture have been prized for centuries for their beauty, durability, and availability. So, how can you furnish your home with the beauty of wood furniture while being eco-friendly? Mindful foresting management and sustainable wood sources are the answer, as well as consumer consciousness. Here are 5 furniture brands with beautiful sustainable wood products that don’t contribute to deforestation:
1. Atlantic Furniture
Old rubber trees that are at the end of their latex production cycle would normally fall and burn, but Atlantic Furniture reclaims these densely grained hardwoods for its furniture manufacturing, and replaces each tree with a new seedling.
2. Vermont Wood Studios
While many furniture companies outsource their furniture manufacturing to other countries like China and India, Vermont Wood Studios prides itself as being a true American furniture company, as well as a green, sustainable furniture source. Vermont Woods Studios is “a founding member of the Sustainable Furniture Council, an industry group working to promote forest stewardship and environmental preservation particularly in the world’s rapidly disappearing rain forests.” Additionally, for each order, Vermont Woods Studios plants a tree as part of The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees Initiative.
3. Manchester Wood
Another American furniture company, Manchester Wood only uses hardwoods grown in sustainably managed forests in the Northeast by suppliers that meet strict State and National standards developed by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
4. Greenington Fine Bamboo Furniture
Asian cultures have long used bamboo in their furniture, but in recent years, bamboo has become a popular wood product for its practicality, cost effectiveness, and its sustainability. Bamboo is actually a grass, and grows very quickly, 24 – 48 inches a day! Additionally, bamboo have a high yield, and are stronger than most hardwoods. Bamboo shoots will die and decay after 5 to 8 years, so they need to be harvested often, but their roots will remain healthy and continue producing new shoots, even after the mature shoots have died or been used. With it’s wide root system, bamboo crops prevent soil erosion and the plants contribute more oxygen and utilize more carbon dioxide than trees, which makes bamboo demand even more environmentally sound. Greenington Fine Bamboo Furniture produces beautiful bamboo products and is a member in good standing of the Sustainable Furnishings Council.
5. EcoChic Lifestyles
Looking for reclaimed wood furniture? EcoChic Lifestyles creates rustic and eclectic hand built furniture from marine-grade wood reclaimed from fishing boats. Each unique piece retains a hint of it’s former color and life and is a eco-friendly art piece in and of itself!
Image source: Jonas Merian/Flickr