How Green Is Your House?

 The environment is rarely out of the headlines these days, with global warming being linked to the terrible summer weather, rising food prices and the increasing cost of going overseas on holiday. The term “carbon footprint” has passed into everyday usage, and an increasing number of us are thinking about the impact our purchases have on the environment, both in a local and international sense.


One of the big buzzwords currently is sustainability, which means limiting the impact on the environment and natural resources as much as possible. Sustainability is all about choosing to use resources which can be easily replaced. When considering buying a new set of bedroom furniture, for example, a more sustainable choice would be a pine chest of drawers rather than one made of teak or mahogany, as pine is a wood which grows quickly and is not part of a complex ecosystem such as a tropical rain forest. All good furniture retailers should be well aware of the issues surrounding sustainability and will be able to tell you exactly what items are made of, and where the wood comes from.


We are living in a truly global economy and now have access to goods produced anywhere in the world. Our parents’ generation grew up in a time where it was impossible to get fresh strawberries in February or daffodils in October, but these goods are now flown in all year. One of the main contributors to the effects of global warming is aircraft and road pollution, and if you are buying a pine chest of drawers which has been made in the UK or imported from a close neighbour such as Norway, the impact on the environment will be far less than one which has been made in the tropics and brought to the UK by air or sea.


Of course, the best way to ensure that your items have as little effect as possible on the environment is to buy second hand furniture where possible. Second hand isn’t to everyone’s taste though, but next best is using reclaimed timber. Wood which has previously been used for cladding or larger items of furniture can be reclaimed, stripped of all nails and varnish, and made into something completely different. The main advantage in this apart from the environmental concerns is that the wood appears old, and may fit better with the look of a period property than a brand new item of furniture.


We have become a throwaway society in many different ways and this is even the case with furniture and accessories. We change furniture with far more regularity than previous generations, and buy cheap items which do not last. Buying a quality item which will last several decades may be more expensive initially, but if it does not require replacing it will be well worth the initial investment. Many furniture stores and brands will offer the possibility of taking finance for more expensive items which allows you to spread the cost.

Find your new pine chest of drawers at National Furniture - the furniture shop with the country's best prices!

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