Shopping for “green” home décor
In addition to designing sustainable houses, living sustainability at home is vital for health and the environment. It is always a good time to make your shopping habits more eco-friendly. Some home decor shopping tips for eco-friendly consumers would be to verify that a certain wood is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) through the presence of the “tick tree” logo, an NGO that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests, to buy second-hand items, to chose thermal curtains, to buy low-VOC paint, to avoid carpet, to choose the right candles, to add plants to your home, and to look for products made out of oil or water, of bamboo or of recycled material.
Luckily, eco-friendly can very well be beautiful. Seattle-based stores such as EcoBalanza, Tree and Friendly Foam Shop provide shoppers with both green and good design.
EcoBalanza, a Seattle-based manufacturer of luxury furniture, has been using only 100 percent non-toxic materials (FSC certified wood, hemp, jute, GOTS-certified merino wool, certified organic cotton, organic latex) for over ten years. CEO Aimee Robinson claims that each piece is manufactured in house and by hand and that they maintain a long-lasting and direct relationship with farmers, craftspeople and material processors. Robinson is committed to preserving the environment and ensuring the health and safety of the community. In fact, the red couch in the above picture above is made with 8-way hand tied coil springs, FSC-Certified Wood, Natural Latex Foam cushions, Organic wool and 0 percent VOC finishes and adhesives. As for the fabric, the customer has the option between wool, hemp, organic cotton, linen, alpaca, ramie; vegetable tanned and dyed leather; and recycled polyester, with all being certified and natural.
At the beginning of this year, Tree debuted on Hong Kong’s Growth Enterprise Market stock exchange, raising HK$60M, or roughly $7.7M, in an initial public offering of stock to fund further expansion in Hong Kong. Tree is about eco-wood furniture. Tree uses solid teak, reclaimed teak, European white oak as well as American walnut. They sell sofas that are not only beautiful, but that are also crafted from FSC-certified wood, chemical-free EcoWool, natural jute and hemp, low-VOC stains, and beautiful organic fabrics.
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In addition to supplying sustainable furniture, Bellevue-based Tree offers personalised consultation as well a custom-made pieces as per clients’ requirements. Founder Nicole Wakley, who previously worked as a lawyer and appeared on The Legal 500, is not only passionate about eco-wood furniture, but she also believes in giving back to the earth. In fact, through various partnerships with organisations and charities, Tree has planted 77,000 trees to date.
Friendly Foam Shop
A family-owned business, Friendly Foam Shop sells foams that are free from both CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers). Furthermore, since the products are manufactured in North America, they do not require the chemicals and insecticides that would be needed if they were shipped from other countries. The owners, husband-and-wife team Dean and Chris make sure that the different foams offered, open-cell, latex, closed-cell, rebond, and scrap, all meet performance criteria.
In Seattle, there is a huge environmental awareness among residents, unlike most other cities. They separate waste so as to facilitate recycling and composting, avoid meat, buy organic and local foods, and use public transit whenever possible. A step further would be to go beyond the basics and think “Green” with regards to home decor. The City surely has an eco-friendly shop for every piece of furniture you are looking for!