You spend a lot of time planning and tending to your garden. Moving plants, pruning, weeding—the list of cares and responsibilities associated with your green space can be lengthy, not to mention repetitive. But the brilliance of a new shoot coming through the dirt makes the process worthwhile, doesn’t it?
Yes, the power of life bursting through the ground is enough to keep you constantly improving the space you’ve worked so hard to create. And with all of the time and effort put into the garden, wouldn’t it be beneficial to make it a truly comfortable place to be?
Adding furniture to your garden is a great way to increase the enjoyment you get from the living plants surrounding you. And with so much green in the space, it makes sense to choose furniture that is “green,” as well. Here are a few tips for picking out the perfect eco-friendly furniture for your garden.
Invest in your community by purchasing your pieces at a locally owned store or ask a friend who is talented in building to help you out. Since I live in Pennsylvania, our family has purchased a number of our most-loved pieces from a local Amish store. This way, you’ll know exactly where the parts are from, allowing you to have quality furniture that you can trust for your green space.
Look for recycled materials
Many eco-friendly furniture options are made from things like recycled plastic cartons or other landfill waste. From these plastic jug shards, companies are making an incredibly durable furniture option that’s earth-friendly yet weather-resistant.
Choose furniture that is multifunctional
Just as in a small space in a house, optimizing the limited space available to you can be done by carefully selecting pieces that can be used in multiple ways. Choosing these multifunctional pieces means you’ll need less furniture, which means you’ll be spending less money and using fewer resources.
Recycled metals are excellent for garden spaces since they can withstand the elements. New technology means you don’t have to worry about the metal rusting and you can be sure you’ll have the pieces for many years to come.
If your budget is limited but you’d like to have a way to incorporate eco-friendly furniture into your garden, try shopping around for used and vintage pieces. Yard sales are great places for scoring used metal furniture that can be easily spruced up with low-VOC paint.
Bamboo is a tall grass plant that’s known for its strength and quick growth. Bamboo furniture is economical as well as socially responsible as it replenishes itself so rapidly there doesn’t have to be a concern for using what’s currently available.
Cob and Adobe
Cob and adobe may not be your first considerations as materials for furniture, but you might be pleasantly surprised by how useful that could be in exactly that aspect.
Adobe is a natural combination of materials used in construction and design. It is made from sand, clay, water, and some kind of natural, fibrous organic material. When dried, it is extremely durable and will last a lifetime.
Cob is similar to adobe in principle, but uses different materials. It is made with a combination of subsoil, water, fibrous organic material, and sometimes lime, depending on availability.
Both of these options are eco-friendly and sustainable. If you ever feel the need to get rid of it, it’s completely biodegradable because it’s made of entirely natural material.
These combinations are so durable and reliable that houses were built from them, and some of these houses and cities are still standing to this day. That’s impressive when you consider weather patterns, various changing climates, wind, natural wear from use, and a plethora of other factors.
Cob and adobe would be great materials to make chairs, sofa frames, tables, and more. If you’re willing to get a little dirty and give the cob or adobe ample time to dry properly, you can make your own furniture easily.
Don’t worry about being stuck with natural, base colors either – you can always grab some environmentally-safe paint and add splashes of color to your creations. It’s a great way to make sure you get the furniture you want and need, so keep cob and adobe in mind for your next DIY furniture project!
Some Eco-Friendly Brands to Check Out
VivaTerra was founded and inspired by a dedication to working in harmony with nature. They express an undeniable passion for blending global inspirations with modernized, eco-conscious designs.
They offer a variety of outdoor furniture, as well as an impressive array of home decor and indoor furniture! No matter what room or space you need to furnish in or around your home or office, they’re sure to have something that will fit your needs.
One of their fantastic products, for example, is the Valencia Eucalyptus Chair. These are made from durable, fine-grain eucalyptus that is ethically, sustainably sourced. The chairs themselves are made in the same country as the Eucalyptus is harvested, which minimizes transport of the materials around to be handled at different facilities.
VivaTerra sources from and supports artisan communities in more than 20 countries worldwide. They seek out fair-trade partners and use sustainable means of production. This includes sources that primarily use recycled or reclaimed wood, recycled glass, and more.
Sabai Design is another popular, eco-friendly company for your furnishing needs. The mission at Sabai Design is to make beautiful, affordable furniture that doesn’t cost us precious natural resources to produce. Their products are modular and customizable using sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing.
Sabai Design uses fabrics made from natural fibers and recycled water bottles. They also use certiPUR-US certified foam and FSC-certified wood. Recycled fiber pillows are also utilized in their designs and products, so you can be sure that no matter what you purchase, it’s sourced well and is not harming the planet.
Primarily, their website offers sectionals and throw pillows. These can be used outdoors in a sunroom or attached greenhouse, on a covered patio or in any indoor space.
Sabai is so committed to its products, being eco-friendly and maintaining sustainability that they will buy back your furniture when you’re ready for something new. Their buyback price is 20% of your cost to purchase within three years of that purchase. They then find it a new home after refreshing it and repairing any damages or blemishes. Your furniture will not end up in the landfill with their Closed Loop Promise.
EcoBalanza is a boutique designer and crafter of ethical and sustainable, organic, luxury-upholstered furniture. It is safe for your home, business, or office and is kind to the environment. They’re so good at what they do and how they do it, that they have received recognition through USDA Organic, Greenguard, and the Global Organic Textile Standard, among others!
They offer a wide variety of styles, designs, and color options for their sofas, sectionals, and loungers. These can transform your home or office space as well as your outdoor area, with proper care and precautions.
None of these pieces are commercially-manufactured, so you can be sure that even the manufacturing process is strict and maintains eco-friendly practices throughout, from design table to finished product. They’re so certain of their practices and their guarantee to be eco-conscious, that you can visit their workshop to observe for yourself what goes into making your furniture!
All of the furniture made by EcoBalanza is organic and toxin-free. Whether you just want to be environmentally-conscious or have chemical sensitivities, EcoBalanza has you covered.
They are obsessed with their materials and the quality of the materials. Each material they use has a purpose and contributes uniquely to the comfort and durability of your sofa. They’re so serious about their dedication at EcoBalanza that they hand-stitch long-fibered Merino wool into their latex seat cushions.
They only work with ethical suppliers of their materials that share their vision and need to preserve the environment. EcoBalanza has very particular, stringent standards for its suppliers to meet, so not only must the materials be ethically-sourced, but the operations surrounding the handling of those materials must also be socially and eco-conscious as well.
Another company you might want to look into is Orvis. While they don’t specialize in only sustainable products, most of their products are eco-friendly at least.
Orvis offers a lot in the way of outdoor furniture, and their customer service representatives can be reached easily from their chat system right on the website. They are polite, punctual, and extremely helpful. If you ask for eco-friendly and sustainable products, they will happily link you directly to what you’re looking for.
One such product is the Polywood Adirondack Chair and Side Table. After speaking with customer service, they made sure that they looked and confirmed that it was not only eco-friendly but that it also met sustainability standards.
Many of Orvis’ products are not only eco-friendly, but are also functional and safe for you and your pets to be on or around. Their prices are reasonable and they always have a lot of coupon offers and sales.
Additionally, they commit a portion of their pre-tax profits to protecting nature. This is accomplished by supporting organizations that align with their mission statement to protect, admire, and live in nature. They also support local communities, offer courses in survival skills, and utilize customer matching grants for environmental projects and the organizations backing them to make the most meaningful impact.
If none of these companies suit your needs, tastes, or available budget, there are still other options! While they may not be made of sustainable materials, you can be ecologically-conscious by going to resale racks or stores for furniture. Many states have strict sanitation standards for the resale of furniture, especially in instances like beds and couches.
Alternatively, you can use resale websites or sources like the Facebook marketplace to find people selling or rehoming old pieces of furniture or even full sets. The stores, websites, and personal sales advertisements are great ways to save money. It helps keep perfectly good furniture out of the landfill, which is just as eco-friendly as buying ethically-sourced furniture.
Choosing outdoor furniture for your garden doesn’t have to be just another check mark on your to-do list. Many of these ideas and options can be found by casually perusing other retailers when you’re out doing other things, giving you plenty of time and space to carefully carve away enough research time so you’re selecting furniture that’s eco-friendly and responsible.
[ background=”#0e2d08″ color=”#a68914″]Ali Lawrence is a kombucha tea-sipping writer who focuses on healthy and sustainable living via her family blog Homey Improvements. She was born and raised in Alaska and dabbles in PR, Pilates, and is a princess for hire for kid’s parties.[/]