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Sustainable Patio Furniture

Create a posh patio that's green, too, by purchasing wooden furniture made from sustainable resources.

By Krissa Smith, Assistant Web Editor, Urban Farm magazine

Sustainably made patio furniture

Buy wooden patio furniture containing the Forest Stewardship Council logo to assure it was produced using wood from sustainably managed forests.

Your choice of chaise lounge could do more than fancy up your deck. Ensure your outdoor furniture also protects tropical forests by looking for the Forest Stewardship Council logo, which means the wood is traceable to a sustainably managed forest. 

Due to the global demand for tropical-wood products, forests in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil and similar climates are being depleted, endangering bird species that depend on those forests.

 America is the world’s largest single importer of wooden furniture, with garden furniture representing one-fifth of the wooden-furniture market — thus, the furniture purchase you make this summer could impact the rest of the world.

“Because Americans buy more wood and paper than any other country in the world, we can play a major role in helping to protect forest ecosystems and the wildlife and people who depend on them,” says Corey Brinkema, president of FSC-US.

The National Wildlife Federation catalogs retailers selling FSC-certified garden furniture with its Garden Furniture Scorecard. It’s the most rigorous system for distinguishing wood products in the market. This year, the list of retailers includes Cost Plus World Market, Crate and Barrel, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Pottery Barn. These companies scored four stars or better, meaning more than 70 percent of their tropical-wood garden furniture comes from responsible sources; retailers who scored less than four stars have demonstrated a plan to improve.

Buying an FSC product assures that the source of wood has gone through an annual audit of rigorous environmental and social standards performed by an independent company. In addition, FSC products reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save energy at all steps of production. 


Give us your opinion on Sustainable Patio Furniture.
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Sustainability must refer to more than just what materials are used. It must also refer to the length of time you can use something before it needs to be replaced. I've got some very old patio furniture made of metal that has served me very well and is over 50 years old. That's very sustainable. It's not too stylish, and it's won't win any awards for that, but it will last forever with just a modicum of maintenance. If we look at all the new ways we consume products, sustainability cannot apply to products that won't stand the tests of time. If this year's style is out of fashion next year, we will actually consume more by buying the newest or the next simply because it's newer. We must alter out mindset.
Bruce, Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 1/25/2011 7:57:12 AM
good article
Kristin, upper sandusky, OH
Posted: 11/19/2010 9:57:27 PM

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