How to buy furniture and home décor online that minimises the impact on the environment?

How to buy furniture and home décor online that minimises the impact on the environment?

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We all are daydreaming about redoing our home or building our new home in the perfect magazine cover style. But while shopping furniture online for our home, the environmental impact, and importance of buying eco-friendly furniture is often overlooked. Traditional home décor items and furniture like sofas, beds, side tables, other furnishings are major polluters of our homes.

Additionally, studies conducted by renowned organisations suggest that the indoor air quality is often 2-5 times more polluted compared to outdoor. Hence, it is very important to choose eco-friendly furniture while buying furniture online. Don’t know how to choose the right one? We got you covered! Continue reading to know how to buy furniture and home décor online that minimises the impact on environment.

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  • What are the features that you should look for while buying eco-friendly furniture online?
  • Look for the following certifications to choose your eco-friendly furniture and home décor items online.

What are the features that you should look for while buying eco-friendly furniture online?

There is a rapid growth in eco-friendly, sustainable furniture business. But, are all the sustainable furniture really eco-friendly? Do they really minimise their impact on the environment? Since we understand there are a lot questions that crosses your mind while buying home décor and furniture online, here’s your answers. While choosing eco-friendly furniture and home décor items online, first thing that you have to look for is the material used and then the other factors. The following points are to be considered while buying furniture online to ensure that your choices of product impact the environment the least:

  • Woods or other materials that come from renewable sources
  • Minimal chemicals that can pollute the environment
  • Local material and/or manufacturing can save a lot on transportation.

Eco-friendly furniture pieces are created in such a way that ultimately benefits the environment. This indicates that if the wood is used to manufacture any furniture, it is actually sourced from suppliers who use sustainable means to grow and harvest their wood. Additionally, any substances or materials that are used do not cause pollution or harm the planet earth. Furthermore, resources used are kept at a minimum and this includes keeping delivery mileage low.

The term ‘eco-friendly furniture’ basically describes pieces that are produced from recycled material. Pieces made up of recycled materials are the ultimate environment-friendly combination of recreating something exciting and new from unused and discarded items. This keeps garbage out of the landfills and lowers the need for certain resources used to create furniture from scratch. Wood cladding, railway sleepers, and floorboards are ideal materials which will be recycled to form eco-friendly furniture.

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Look for the following certifications to choose your eco-friendly furniture and home décor items online

FEMB: It is a pan-European certification scheme. It is designed to measure the ecological as well as social impacts of furniture products in the built environment. There are four primary categories, i.e. materials, energy and atmosphere, ecosystem and human health, and social responsibility, through which the points are earned. These points determine the level of certification which is again graded from levels 1 through 3, with 3 being the highest level of performance recognised.

BIFMA’s LEVEL: This certification proves that manufacturers have demonstrated their products, and followed the company policies. This certification is also a proof that the manufacturing facilities have met stringent third-party sustainability requirements. Based on the points acquired, companies can earn one of three levels of certification which  include silver, gold and platinum. The categories under which the points are earned are: environmental impacts, health and wellness impacts, and social impacts. It is a multi-attribute standard available in India to deliver open means of evaluating impacts on social and environmental aspects.  

LEED: Famously stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. This rating system is available in India and is globally recognised as a sign of sustainability achievement and leadership.

GREENGUARD: This certification is a part of UL Environment (Underwriters Laboratories’ business unit). This helps manufacturers produce materials with low chemical emissions and thus improve the quality of indoor air where products are used. There is also a subset, the GREENGUARD GOLD, which includes products that emit even lower levels of chemicals, especially formaldehyde. This is to make sure that the indoor air quality is maintained within proper limits because the kids are mostly affected by this. This certification is available in India as well.

MAS Certified Green: MAS is an emissions testing lab that specialises in helping manufacturers enter the green market by making sure their products are emitting low VOCs. This certification works towards minimising health concerns from emissions inside schools, residential complexes, and office buildings. Vigorous testing and investigation are a requirement MAS cannot do without. It makes sure the furnishings have been designed to produce lower VOCs.

Cradle to Cradle: This certification makes sure that products are assessed for social and environmental performance through these five major sustainability categories. These are: material health, material reuse, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. As per achievement the levels assigned are basic, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum.

FSC Chain-of-Custody: This certification traces the pathway of products from forests through supply chain and also helps in verifying that the FSC-certified material is kept separate from non-certified material throughout the chain. Made available in India, this certification also helps in ensuring that customers buy products from responsibly managed sources, starting from harvesters to retailers. 

Green Seal: This certification uses a life-cycle-based approach and takes into consideration performance, health, and sustainability criteria. This certification includes 27 standards to make sure the products and services by a manufacturer settle well in the green marketplace.

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