The world is plummeting towards a devastating situation where trees are being rampantly cut down, pollution is on the rise and global warming is leading to rising sea levels and floods. In a quest to arrest this situation various alternatives are being tried out especially in areas where the earth’s green cover can be preserved.
Two products that deserve special mention is manufacturing paper and furniture – both require huge consumption of wood though in the latter case new materials are being tried out. While nothing much can be done for paper, switching to recycled timber furniture where fresh wood is not required will go a long way to save the already fragile environment of the earth.
Here are a few benefits of recycled furniture.
- Using recycled furniture lessens the need for fresh raw material -wood- thereby saving trees from being removed for this purpose. This has a cascading effect in various ways. It reduces pollution, global warming, and green house effect. Reduction in green cover causes acid rain and loss of rain forests has an adverse effect on plant and animal life.
- When people dispose old furniture, not everything goes to the junk yard. Expert carpenters buy them and turn them into new designs and creations. With polish and a shine, it is often difficult to distinguish recycled furniture from spanking new ones. Hence both the sellers and buyers get benefit from it – sellers because they get some return from their old furniture and buyers because they get good recycled furniture at affordable prices.
- Apart from having a direct impact on the environment, recycled furniture helps to save precious energy resources. Recycled furniture needs minimum of processing when compared to manufacturing new furniture. Heavy electricity consumption for sawing logs into desired shapes for making furniture can be reduced to a great extent. Further, since recycled furniture is already processed wood, manufacturing them is a much faster process.
- Green is the uniform colour of the world today what with an increasing awareness of the common person to preserve earth’s precious resources and green cover. With Government and civil society focussing on “green” credentials and offering sops for delivering best sustainability practices, the demand for recycled furniture is on the increase. This type of furniture drastically helps to lessen carbon emissions, reduces landfill waste and lowers consumption of new resources which in the case of furniture is mostly wood.
While the attention of the world is generally on lumber furniture there is another side to recycled furniture and that is plastic furniture. Plastic, a non-biodegradable product is almost the singular most responsible material for choking up landfills and drains and gutters around the world. In fact this is one reason why many Governments have banned the use of plastic bottles and bags. When plastic recycled furniture is used half of this waste is brought back into circulation, reducing the negative impact on the environment.
What then are the benefits of recycled plastic furniture?
- Recycled plastic furniture is very tough, durable and weather proof. Hence it is perfect for outdoor and street furniture and will last longer than conventional timber furniture.
- Plastic recycled furniture is eco friendly and helps preserve natural resources. It also sends a message that you are concerned about preserving the earth’s eco-system.
- Recycled plastic furniture is weatherproof and can withstand extreme fluctuations in climate. It is not affected by rain, snow and even high temperatures. Most importantly it is not affected by termites as in wood furniture and rust as in metals.
- Recycled furniture can be created and moulded into a large variety of designs, patterns and colours. Classic designs are available that look like wood and wrought iron furniture. Hence, these can blend seamlessly into both indoor and outdoor settings.
- Recycled plastic furniture is extremely sturdy and safe and unlike timber furniture, there is no fear of cracking or slitting after years of constant use.
These are some of the benefits of using recycled furniture. But undoubtedly the most crucial of them is to ensure that the earth becomes eco friendly and is preserved well for generations to come.
Real wood furniture has a class of its own and an old world charm that is hard to resist. Wood is also durable and furniture that is centuries old can often be found in old homes and castles. Wood is also resistant to scratches and gouges and its natural beauty lasts for ages.
There are many types of wood that can be used for furniture making. It is also available in a wide range of specific colours, hardness and grain and hence you can have wood furniture tailor made to your specifications. If you are thinking of having customised wood furniture for your home or office, you should know the varieties of wood available for this purpose and the inherent qualities of each of them.
The most used types of wood used in furniture making are maple, pine, cedar, oak and cherry wood.
Maple is a hard wood and hence ideal for most types of furniture. Bedroom furniture, large cabinets and dining tables are made of maple as it is known for its sturdiness, strength and durability. The unique swirly grain of maple makes it stand out from other hard wood choices for furniture. It is also moisture resistant and hence not prone to warping or distortions over time. Maple is commonly found in light hues but is very receptive to stains and paint.
Pine is the least expensive of wood that is used in furniture making. It also has a pale colour in its natural state and hence pine lumber furniture has to be given an extra coat of primer before it is painted. It is also very soft and is therefore not suitable for all types of furniture. It is perfectly suited for designs that have a lot of intricate carvings and patterns because it is easy to chisel soft pine wood. Pine furniture can be easily moved from place to place because it is very light. Being soft has its disadvantages too as it is more prone to dings and scratches than other hard wood varieties. If you are taking up trimming trees in your backward pine should give you no problems because of its soft properties.
Cedar is a comparatively soft wood and thus easy for crafting specific types of utilities. Furniture for outdoor spaces and decks are best made with cedar since it is extremely durable and resistant to rot and harsh weather fluctuations. Cedar has warm hues of red and brown and can easily take stains and paint.
Oak is usually the first choice of both furniture makers and buyers as it has a reputation for strength and beauty that has come down through the ages. It is a higher priced option for furniture because of its popularity and durability. Real oak wood furniture has a tint that depends on the type of wood harvested and ranges from pink, reddish to green. It can take stain and paint quite easily. Oak also has an open wood grain and thus effortlessly matches with other furniture in a room.
Cherry wood is a typical hard wood. It is very durable and can resist rot and decay as well as stand up to scratches and dents for years. It is best for indoor furniture pieces. However, because of its density, strength and hardness cedar wood furniture is difficult to work on and manufacture. As its name suggests, cherry wood comes in red hues with highly visible grain.
The parameters for choosing the right furniture for home or office depend solely on the requirements of the buyer. However, there are certain aspects that need to be looked into if the right furniture is chosen. Since the variables for domestic and commercial furniture are totally different, it will be relevant to look into each of them individually.
Domestic Furniture – Aesthetics play a big role in deciding home furniture, especially living room furniture. An element of symmetry and form with the shape of the room is required, as is the colour of the upholstery to match the interiors of the room. Comfort is an overriding point when deciding on furniture for the home. Specially padded rocking chairs and couches are some examples of enhancing the comfort factor.
Bedroom furniture too should be purchased in line with the style and form of those in other rooms. However, you can choose to see all rooms in isolation. Have polished and gleaming wood furniture for your living room while opting for grandstand wrought iron bedposts and closets with full length mirrors.
Dining tables are usually the heavy stuff with large comfortable chairs to enjoy a meal at ease. Glass tops add a touch of elegance to the room and can also absorb the heat from cooking utensils. Other home furniture includes that in your study and the children’s rooms. You can either choose to buy from a brick and mortar or online store or have it especially customised for you.
Office furniture – Unlike residential furniture, that for offices is more of functionality than being relaxed. Aesthetics and beauty does matter of course but that is usually restricted to reception areas and offices of senior executives where there is a lot of client interaction. Other than that the focus is on furniture that is ergonomically designed so that staff can be relaxed even after sitting long hours at work stations
Office furniture also includes file cabinets, storage boxes and cabinets, security safes and for financial institutions, strongroom doors and vaults. The focus here is always on specific requirements, safety and security.
Choose furniture with care. It is not only a matter of how they look or to what extent it impresses others, rather it is what and how you feel when you flop down on it. Your comfort level is what matters in the final analysis.