A Guide to Eco-Friendly Garden Furniture Materials
If you're envisioning a tranquil outdoor oasis, the last thing you want to think about is your furniture's impact on the environment. But let's face it—your outdoor furniture does have an environmental footprint. So why not go planet-friendly and choose furniture materials that minimize that impact over time?
From sustainable wood to recycled plastic, there are plenty of eco-friendly options available for your outdoor space. In this article, we'll cover some of the most popular planet-friendly garden furniture materials and how to choose the right one for your space. We'll also talk about how each material impacts—and benefits—the environment. Ready to learn more? Let's jump in and take a closer look at the best planet-friendly garden furniture materials.
Eco-Friendly Wood Options for Garden Furniture
Looking to add a bit of natural style to your outdoor space? Wood furniture is, without a doubt, the classic go-to for garden furniture, and thanks to modern techniques, there are plenty of eco-friendly options available.
* FSC Certified Wood: The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has been working since the 1990s to promote environmental standards from forestry through production and all the way to point-of-sale. They offer certification for timber that is produced in accordance with their sustainable practices—ideal for those looking for wood garden furniture.
* Reclaimed Wood: Reclaimed wood is timber that has been recycled from other sources—such as old buildings or crates—and is an excellent resource for those who want a rustic look in their outdoor space but are also concerned about the environment.
* Bamboo: Also known as ‘green wood’, bamboo is a tree-like plant that grows in tropical and subtropical climates around the world and has become a popular choice of material for eco-friendly furniture. It grows quickly so can be harvested without causing damage to forests, it’s lightweight yet strong, and it’s resistant to moisture damage so ideal for use outdoors.
Can bamboo furniture be left outside?
Yes, it can be. Bamboo furniture is a great outside furnitre option, but you will need to take care of it and keep it well maintained.
Check out some wooden garden furniture options here
Natural Rattan and Wicker: Sustainable All-Weather Favorites
Natural rattan and wicker are two of the most sustainable and planet-friendly materials you can use in your outdoor space. Rattan is a tropical vine that's harvested and woven into furniture frames, while wicker is a woven material made of willow, reed, or both.
Can natural rattan be left outside?
Rattan is not waterproof and will not last for a long time if left in direct sunlight Natural rattan is best for indoor use, but it can be used outdoors if brought inside or covered during wet weather.
Can you leave natural wicker furniture outside?
Natural wicker is not intended to be used outdoors natural wicker needs protection from the sun, moisture, mold, and mildew. Natural wicker is a great choice for your conservatory but If you want to use natural wicker furniture outside, it has to be resin wicker
The sustainability factor comes from their renewable nature; both rattan and wicker come from quickly renewing plants that don't disrupt ecosystems when harvested. Additionally, natural rattan is biodegradable when disposed of after its long life-span has come to an end.
In comparison to metal or plastic furniture which have harmful environmental impacts due to their production and disposal, natural rattan and wicker make an excellent choice for eco-friendly garden furniture that won't harm the planet but you will need to bring them inside when it rains.
Bamboo: A Renewable and Stylish Choice
When it comes to sustainable garden furniture, few materials can compare to bamboo. Not only is it one of the most renewable resources used for garden furniture, but it’s also incredibly stylish and can add a special touch to your outdoor spaces.
Bamboo grows quickly and easily, making it an ideal choice for sustainable furniture since the material is not being taken away from natural habitats. Additionally, bamboo requires less water and fertilizer than other plants while still being extremely resilient. This makes it great for outdoor furniture as it can handle exposure to rain and sun without showing wear or fading.
Not only is bamboo strong and durable, but also highly versatile - modern garden furniture made from bamboo can be painted in any color or even covered with colorful cushions to give your garden a unique look! Plus, the material is lightweight enough to be moved around when necessary.
Finally, bamboo is naturally hypoallergenic, so those with allergies won’t need to worry about sneezing fits when sitting on this type of garden furniture!
Check out some bamboo garden furniture Options here.
Recycled Plastic and Metal: Repurposed for Outdoor Living
Recycled plastic and metal are becoming popular materials for outdoor living. Not only are they lightweight, but they have been used in the past to reduce waste by repurposing or re-manufacturing pre-owned items. Using recycled materials for outdoor furniture reduces the amount of energy needed to create new furniture, and also helps reduce global warming by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
Recycled plastic furniture is typically made from polypropylene, which is a type of plastic derived from post-consumer material such as milk containers, laundry detergent containers and food containers. It is highly durable, UV resistant and can withstand extreme temperatures. Metal furniture often uses recycled aluminum or steel, making it a great option for those looking for a more weighty piece that still has a modern feel.
Both materials are low-maintenance and can be easily wiped down with mild soap and water - perfect features for garden furniture that will be exposed to the weather! So if you're looking to add style and sustainability to your outdoor space, recycled plastic or metal furniture could be a great choice.
Get some Outdoor Living inspriration here
Choosing Sustainable Upholstery and Cushions for Your Garden Furniture
Upholstery and cushions on outdoor furniture account for a lot of waste and use materials that are not always renewable. When choosing these items, look for fabrics that contain organic fibers like cotton, wool, and hemp. These materials can be produced in eco-friendly ways and have fewer negative impacts on the environment.
You can also opt for synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon, which are made from petroleum-based materials. However, if you choose to go the synthetic route, look for products with filling made from recycled materials such as plastic bottles or other post-consumer waste. This way you know your purchase is helping to reduce landfill waste.
Look for cushions that are tightly stuffed so they will last longer and consider buying a cushion cover made from recyled materials. Lastly, be sure to shop around for upholstery fabric that is free of PVCs or other potentially harmful chemicals.
5 of the Best Eco-Friendly Options for High-Quality Garden Furniture
When you're searching for high-quality garden furniture that's good for the environment, there are five materials that stand out for their sustainability. Here are the five planet-friendly furniture options you should consider:
1. Bamboo – This lightweight, yet sturdy material is a great choice if you're looking for a strong and durable material that's also eco-friendly. Bamboo is fast growing and requires minimal resources to harvest and manufacture, making it a reliable and sustainable material perfect for outdoor furniture.
2. Natural Rattan – Rattan is another sustainable garden furniture option as it comes from rattan palms found in the rainforest. It's more durable than bamboo due to its tightly woven construction, meaning it can withstand different weather conditions.
3. Recycled Plastic – Plastic is one of the most popular materials used to create garden furniture due to its durability and low maintenance requirements. However, not all plastic ends up in landfills - recycled plastic offers an eco-friendly alternative which has been made from recovered plastics from the ocean or from post-consumer waste.
4. Wood – If you prefer classic garden furniture styles crafted with wood, then opt for FSC certified products which support responsible forestry practices such as reforestation and proper use of resources or buy from a company like Emmy Jane that plant trees for every item you purchase. Teak is super hard, durable and strong, making it a great material for outdoor furniture that lasts the test of time.
5. Metal – Metal is one of the most durable materials available when it comes to sustainable garden furniture styles and can last up to 20 years or more with regular maintenance and proper care. Try to opt for galvanized steel or powder coated aluminum which are both corrosion free.Because no solvents are used, powder coating is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional paints. Unlike other finishes, powder coatings don't contain heavy metals.
Sustainable outdoor furniture for your garden doesn’t have to be boring. Whether you want a classic rocking chair or a modern outdoor sofa, it’s possible to find pieces that are both beautiful and good for the planet. Consider the materials that make up the furniture – sustainable wood, recycled plastic, natural fibers, and powder-coated steel are all good options. Be prepared to pay a bit more for these eco-friendly pieces, but the investment will pay off in the long-term. Plus, you’ll be doing your part to help protect the environment. With the right combination of sustainable furniture and planet-friendly practices, you can have a garden you can be proud of for years to come.