The shift is on for creating home environments that are more eco-friendly and therefore safer for our families as well as the Earth. When buying furniture for adults we tend to think of how it was produced, the materials that created it, and how it was shipped to get to our home. The same thought process should be considered when buying green furniture for your kid’s rooms. After all, kids are harder on their furniture than adults, and many times their furniture will have to last longer in the house than adult furniture. If you’re considering buying green furniture for your kid’s rooms, see these helpful tips.
- Protect the Earth’s resources: When considering kid’s furniture, look to the materials it was constructed with first. While much hardwood furniture is beautiful it also is using valuable hardwood trees that can cause deforestation. Instead, look for furniture that has been made from sustainable harvested forests and tree farm wood. These trees have been grown with the end goal in mind, and therefore protect more endangered tree species. Many furniture manufacturers carry lines of eco-friendly and sustainable wood kid’s furniture, check with your favorite store before you purchase.
- Choose furniture that is toxin free: Let’s face it, kids are hard on furniture, from biting on corners to other things we won’t mention, their furniture needs to be safe and toxin free. Choose furniture that has been finished with eco-friendly, VOC-free paints and coatings. Check with furniture manufacturers to see the process they use to paint and seal their furniture. Look for vegetable based sealants, or non-toxic, low-VOC products. If you get furniture from a relative that is handed down, visit your home improvement or paint store for eco-friendly options to paint over the existing finish.
- Reclaimed and Repurposed materials: In the last few years, designers and furniture manufacturer’s in the like I have made a conscious effort to use materials which are given a second life from other uses. Whether they are from old buildings that have been torn down, old furniture, or wood that has slight defects, such as dents and scrapes. Search for furniture options that utilize reclaimed and repurposed materials. From wood, to fabrics that utilize old denim jeans for their coverings, you will be surprised how many materials can have more than nine lives! Choose these options for kid’s playroom chairs, desks, and beds.
- Choose organic for textiles: When looking at textiles for your kid’s room, consider using organic and naturally dyed materials whenever possible. From your kid’s window coverings, soft covered furniture pieces, area rugs, and throw pillows on the bed, organic is less harmful than fibers that could be contaminated from pesticides when grown. Consider this when choosing cotton, wool, bamboo, and tencel when selecting furniture and textiles. Most manufacturers will list the types of materials used when producing their textiles, if not, be leery!
Protecting our environment and our kids, after all they are the next generation – is a responsibility for every human walking the Earth. When choosing furniture for your children, consider these helpful tips as well as try to purchase locally. While it’s often a designer look you want from overseas, remember there are local artisans worldwide. The cost to ship your item, the fuel it takes to get your furniture to you, etc… can be wasteful for your pocket and use valuable resources. Globally as a planet, lets do our best to make sure our children have safe, comfortable and environmentally friendly furniture to play, sleep and grown on.
Freshome readers do you have any tips for purchasing eco-friendly furniture for your kids?