Going green is often a matter a choosing the right materials for the job. You soon realize that you shouldn’t always go with what is cheaper, but what is more sustainable. Three materials are often used; wood, plastic, and metal. Out of the three which one is a greener choice? Well it depends on what part of being green you are most concerned with. Here is a breakdown of the benefits and disadvantages of each material choice and the uses for each.
When it comes to health you have to surround yourself with items that give off as little fumes as possible. Many furniture company’s use varnishes, paints, glues, and dye their fabrics with harmful odor producing chemicals that pollute the air you breathe in your home. Solid wood furniture with no varnish, or ones with low VOC’s are the best choice for your health. Bamboo is making a huge breakthrough in home furnishing, flooring, and even bedding. Surrounding yourself with the wood is home nature intended it anyway. Think of how fresh the air is when you are outdoors on a hike and apply it to being in your home. Unfinished metals are also better than plastics for your health. as long as there are no toxic finishes on them.
Durability is key in the products you buy when you want to go green. You want the items to last a long time to avoid having to replace them. Plastic is a good option for this but remember that what you pay for is usually what you get. Cheap plastic, no matter what recycled materials they may be made from, will still not last as long as well produced heavier plastic items. And for items like patio furniture care is just as important. Items weathered and sun baked become brittle over time. The better choice for items you want to last a lifetime are metal items. Metal can be made from recycled items as well, and will stand the test of time.
When considering where your new green items came from you often think of the factory it was made in. Look beyond the factory to the raw materials it is made from. Is your new table manufacturer getting its wood from a certified and responsible wood sourcing company? If not then the green items you think you are buying, may not be green at all. Remember the green movement is a money making scam for certain companies. They will tell you anything just to get your money. Plastics may seem like a green alternative in green shopping especially when they are made from recycled soda bottles, and bags. Just make sure you know the full story behind the plastic products you buy. They may not be made in the greenest of ways, thus doing more harm than good. Petroleum based plastics are not green at all, where as recycled plastics are. Metal items are easily recycled and many items in your life made of aluminum and steel are probably constructed in a green manner.
When it is all said and done the green material you choose to use depends on the length of time it will last you. You want pieces that will stand the test of time and that you will want to pass down to the next generation. You often have to pay more for quality items no matter if they are made out of wood, plastic, or metal, but these items if purchased smart will make you life and the lives of everyone else a little greener.