Happy Earth Day! As interior designers we’ve been given the opportunity to play our part in helping the environment. The furnishings, materials, and finishes that we source have far-reaching impacts on the health of the local and global environment as well as the health of our clients. Here are three small choices you can make that will have a very large impact in conserving our planet’s resources.
1. Opt for FSC certified or reclaimed wood flooring, cabinets, and furniture. Forests create oxygen, protect biodiversity, filter pollutants, and help mitigate global warming. The Forest Stewardship Council is an international agency that tracks and certifies sustainably harvested wood. By purchasing FSC certified wood, you are supporting responsible forestry practices that help protect forest ecosystems.
2. Invest in quality furniture. Avoid poorly constructed furniture and invest a little more in pieces that will stay with you for many years. You’ll prevent adding to our rapidly growing landfills, and will also avoid using additional resources to replace your original purchase. Don’t have a big budget? Consider vintage! Sometimes all it takes is a new fabric or wood stain to give a piece new life, for a fraction of the cost of new items. The Alameda Antiques Faire and vintage shops such as Past Perfect are fantastic places to start your search.
3. Shop local. Ask showrooms where their furniture is made and consider the fossil fuels required to bring a large item from overseas. There are so many quality furniture companies that still manufacture right here in the United States, such as Plantation, A. Rudin, and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams to name a few.