Purchasing furniture for your home or new office is a huge commitment – you’re buying something that will, hopefully, last for many years. A lot of people are concerned about our environment, and look for eco-friendly ways of furnishing their home or office. They want environmentally friendly for a number of reasons, two include reducing sensitivities to allergens, and to make a difference in the health of our planet.

Here are some tips when selecting eco-friendly furniture.

First and foremost is the option of recycling – eliminate the over-population of our landfills by finding existing quality-made furniture that can be eco-friendly with some minor changes. Some places to check for older furniture would be estate auctions, moving sales, and community resources like Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill and Salvation Army.

Next, look at how the furniture was built. Sustainable wood would be an important consideration because trees are harvested according to established standards that promote regrowth of our forests. Also, solid wood furniture means real wood, something that will last for generations. Manufactured wood products recycle some raw materials, but be aware of how these are made and what is included.

Other recycled products for making furniture include plastic and metal. Usually, recycling materials use less energy to produce a final product than if raw materials were used. If you’re considering recycled furniture, look at how it can be reused. Some manufacturers design the furniture to be dis-assembled so that the components can easily be reused in other pieces of furniture.

Upholstery fabric can also be eco-friendly. Look for organic or natural fibers as a first option, but consult with an upholstery expert to determine how long it will last. Long-term savings would be lost if you select a fabric that isn’t durable enough to withstand years of use and needed to reupholster frequently.

If you have questions about eco-friendly furniture, talk with someone who has been in the furniture business a long time and has seen the manufacturing trends change. And, talk to a furniture upholstery specialist who recycles on a daily basis for some more tips on eco-friendly furniture.