Furniture relies heavily on tropical hardwood like teak and rosewood.Indiscriminate cutting of these trees has led to the destruction of precious tropical forests which have been a rich resource for fibres,rubber,medicinal plants and edible fruits all of which take years to grow. Present day foams like polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride used in sofas and mattresses are toxic and fire and health hazards.So are fibre glass and plastics used in today’s furniture.Here are some of the useful tips to have eco-friendly furniture.
Avoid crowding your house.Keep furniture to the minimum.Choose furniture wisely and take good care of it.
Buy second hand furniture or renovate old pieces instead of getting new ones made.
If you are going for new furniture ,choose wood from fast growing trees like white cedar and pine.Avoid tropical hardwood like teak and rosewood.
Prepare your own furniture polish with 3 parts vegetable oil and 1part vinegar or 2 parts oil with 1 part lemon juice.You can also apply a mixture of equal quantities of turpentine and linseed oil.
Opt for natural materials like rubber,cotton,coir or wood.
Use wood alternatives made from unconventional and waste material: Particle boards made from twigs,branches and forest wastes left over from the manufacture of furniture. Medium density fibre made from processing cotton shrubs.Gypsum board is supposed to be the only substitute to wood which does not contain any agro-based product.The basic raw material is calcium sulphate.
To facilitate the use of natural,rather than synthetic materials,efforts must be made to plant trees in place of those cut down.It is also important to reduce demand/consumption as much as possible.