The importance of making Sustainable Furniture Choices in the preservation of the Environment and our Natural Resources

The mass production of furniture is characterized by products that are cheaply made with a limited lifetime. This creates a continual cycle of waste that propagates problems like deforestation, landfill waste, and climate change.

In the past 10 years, almost 400 million acres of tropical forests has been cleared due to deforestation, equivalent to four times the land of California, being the biggest drivers paper and furniture production. This is an unsustainable practice as it destroys the habitats of animals and plants, while increasing landfills, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Cruise ship companies, hotels, restaurants and other commercial entities are challenged with making sustainable choices that are as environmentally friendly as possible. Part of this involves considering how furniture choices impact the environment, and what needs to be done to lessen the consequences.

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Investing in durable furniture that will last and reupholstering are the most sustainable choices you can make, as it reduces significantly the required resources and waste. To illustrate the impact of these choices, one organization found that refinishing the furniture in 100 hotel rooms produced just 1.25 tons of carbon dioxide, compared to 125.33 tons when replacing all the furniture. These numbers will vary depending on the type and quantity of furniture your business is renovating, but having durable furniture that is worth reupholstering will prove incredibly more environmentally friendly regardless of your industry. Reupholstering requires using fewer natural resources, since you’re not creating anything from scratch, and also contributes less to landfill waste.

Recycling hotel furniture and mattresses is opening waste saving opportunities for the industry. Hotel mattresses are replaced every six years. Now, instead of sending thousands of mattresses annually to landfill, some hotel chains have developed a new environmental policy and partnered with bed manufacturers, whom developed a machine to shred and separate mattress materials. Metal hinges and springs are recycled back into steel products, foam is reused in carpet underlay and textiles are recycled into insulation products or briquettes for industrial heating.

Refurbishments efforts in hospitality, restaurants and cruise ship venues generates huge amounts of bulky waste, which should encourage them to reflect on what is being done to make our planet a more sustainable and livable place. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Reupholster are key words in guiding these entities in making more responsible and sustainable choices to lessen the impact in the environment.