8

Your best bet is already-made second hand furniture, both on environmental grounds and cost. I've been building my own furniture using basic DIY skills for quite a long time and it is rarely cheaper than Ikea-level new stuff. That's mostly because I can't bring myself to build with MDF or other cardboard-like materials, though. Your first choice should ...


6

For carpeting and carpet cushions, you can look for products that meet the requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute's Green Label Plus program.


5

The overall environmental impact of furniture is largely determined by three factors: Material source; Transport distance from source to consumer; Product lifespan. A sustainable furniture product is therefore made from sustainable materials (certified wood), locally produced and long-lasting. If you have any businesses in your area that make high-quality ...


5

Short answer: Since the flammability requirements in the state of California are changing, you probably can shop for a new couch which does not have flame-retardant chemicals come next summer. Although the label TB-117-2013 on the product menas that it meets the new requirements, but it does not guarantee that the product is free of flame-retardant chemicals....


4

The key thing is: what can you buy second hand at your destination. Not just "what is available", but "what are you actually willing to buy second hand" and "what about the other people involved". It's all very well saying "I will buy a second hand couch" but if your mother disowns you for throwing out the couch she gave you, or your partner refuses to buy ...


3

I have been building bed frames, tables, chairs, wine racks, and many other different things out of old pallets. I look for companies that are giving them away and collect as many as I can store. I figure out what I want to build and the design I want and start taking them apart for some projects while others I'll leave whole or cut like I need. The ...


2

On first thought I was tempted to say yes, because you are creating a longer-living carbon sink for part of the wood (compared to letting the tree die naturally). But on second consideration: Look at the amount of material that gets discarded when making wooden objects. I estimate that's easily 70% of the tree: 30% in the construction phase alone, plus ...


2

We had student tenants for a while. They made their furniture of stacked wine-crates and palettes (the things fork-lift trucks handle). It looked very classy and they said it was comfortable. The sofa was some garden-furniture mattresses on top of crates, and so on. For a table they lifted the kitchen door off its hinges and set it on two trestles. In fact ...


1

This is not an answer, but rather my attempt at a road map of what you need to know to answer your question. Much depends on externalities. Wood is an awfully cheap resource. You plant trees, and mostly ignore the land for 20 to 80 years depending on what you want. (Not quite true: It is usually worth your while to thin about 1/4 of the way through. ...


1

This brochure from greensciencepolicy.org provides the following guidance: Foam-Free Furniture: Polyester-, down-, or wool filled furniture is unlikely to contain added flame retardants. Furniture without filling (e.g. wood, wicker) is also a good option. Flame-Retardant-Free Furniture: More flame retardantfree options should become available to consumers ...


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