The number of people concerned about sustainability is rising rapidly. Last year, 45% of consumers said that they specifically sought out brands that were focused on sustainability.
However, it can be difficult to be a sustainable consumer. You have to know what to look for when making purchases. Sometimes, you need to get creative as a green consumer. This includes looking for furniture online.
Buying Furniture Online to Lower Your Carbon Footprint
If you are concerned about the state of our global environment and lowering your carbon footprint, you are probably very cautious in how you choose your retail stores and brands. As you research the most environmentally conscious furniture options, you’re likely looking for some critical features like durability, natural materials, eco-friendly manufacturing processes, and reduced landfill waste and emissions.
But if you do only a cursory search, you will see that, like most other industries, many of the most environmentally friendly options also tend to be the most expensive. The furniture options with the least impact on the environment typically include:
- Bamboo (renewable crop about every three years)
- Rattan (technically a grass, rattan is highly durable and renews annually)
- Hemp (renewable about every nine months when in controlled environments)
- Engineered wood (not technically renewable, but makes use of and reduces lumber waste)
Engineered wood furniture is the most affordable of these options, but if you want genuinely sustainable furniture, you need to stick with the other options. If you’re working with a small budget, that can be a big problem and severely limit your choices for the ideal furniture situation and purchase. You can alleviate some of that issue by shopping online to ease the overall costs of the furniture, allowing you to invest in more sustainable options.
Shopping online can expand your options while reducing the impact of your furniture purchase on the environment. While it is true that some companies are more eco-friendly than others, shopping online, in general, can help you reduce the impact of your furniture purchase on the environment. Here are just a few examples of this surprising trend.
Direct product shipment decreases time in transit. By ordering your product online and having it shipped directly to you instead of going through a local supply chain, much of the time in transit is eliminated. That means far fewer emissions from getting that product from the manufacturer to your door. Meanwhile, most online furniture stores also offer free delivery to your door, which saves you a bundle over the white glove delivery service provided by your local furniture retailers. You can apply that savings to getting more eco-friendly furniture options.
Online furniture stores have more options that are both eco-friendly and budget-friendly. Ironically, in almost any industry, eco-friendly options are priced higher than products that deplete or pollute the environment. It is like charging more for a salad than a burger – just nonsensical. Yet it is an indisputable fact that sustainable materials like bamboo and rattan wicker can get very pricey, and many people feel they can’t afford to be eco-friendly.
If you don’t have a high budget for interior design, you may be tempted to go with cheaper furniture of synthetic manufacture, but keep in mind it will probably need to be replaced in only a year or two. Not only is that worse for the environment, but it will also cost you more money in the long run because you will have to replace your furniture much more frequently.
Think about how much money you would have saved in the last decade if you had spent a little more initially on a higher quality product? A large purchase like furniture should be thought of in the same way.
Thankfully you do have some other options, and online furniture stores are one. Because online furniture stores offer lower prices and frequent sale events, you should be able to find natural and sustainable furnishings for your home at a price that you can afford. You can also take those funds not used for delivery charges and apply them to your furniture purchase, increasing your budget.
Don’t rule out heirloom-quality furniture
Are you trying to buy eco-friendly furniture? There are a variety of things that you have to consider.
It is easy to consider “sustainable furniture” as only being made from readily renewable materials like bamboo or rattan. But solid wood heirloom-quality furniture that lasts for more than a lifetime can also be considered sustainable because it reduces energy usage, waste, and deforestation. Of course, you will pay dearly for heirloom bedroom sets, but it is an investment that will save you, your children, etc., in the long run and reduce the impact of the furniture purchase on the environment.