As people become more aware of the environmental impact of their everyday choices, it is becoming more important to purchase home furniture that not only reflects their personal style, but is also part of caring for the planet.
Most people want to live in beautiful homes that don’t harm the beauty of the world around us.
With this growing awareness, there are more considerations for home furniture shoppers to consider beyond style, quality, color, size, and the myriad other factors as they look for that perfect item for their home.
Where to begin?
When looking for eco-friendly furniture, buyers should consider the following factors:
Source Materials: how low is the impact of the materials used. Are they renewable, recyclable, nontoxic?
Method of Production: how much pollution does the processing of the source materials create? What is the carbon footprint of the manufacturing?
Ethical Work Practices: how does the company treat its workers? Are working conditions humane and free of child labor? Are workers paid fair wages?
Transportation of Item: how far does the product have to travel to reach its end destination? What methods are used to get it there?
- Life of the Item: is it built to last? The more durable, the less it will need to be replaced. Once at the end of its life, are the materials reusable, recyclable, and/or biodegradable?
- Certifications: have the company and its products been reviewed and certified as sustainable by independent, third-party organizations?
So how does Greenington measure up to these standards as a company?
Being headquartered in the eco-conscious Pacific Northwest, our company ethic is centered on caring for and protecting the environment from start to finish. We think about this with every decision and product we make.
Source of Materials
The materials used in creating an item is an important first thing to consider. The overharvesting of hardwoods has been a contributing factor to the quickly escalating rate of climate change. Other sources, such as metals and plastics, are also more taxing on the environment as they are not renewable or biodegradable.
A responsible item will have materials from sources that have the least impact on the environment as possible.
All of Greenington’s furniture is made of Moso bamboo, which is:
- a firm grass species that matures in 3 to 5 years (highly renewable).
- a rapid regenerator, growing faster than any other plant on the planet (highly productive).
- an endless resource where the harvesting does not harm the mother plant (extremely sustainable).
- a CO2 neutral species in regards to carbon dioxide absorption and oxygen production (zero carbon footprint).
- not one of the bamboos that is a food source or habitat for wild pandas (or, as we like to say, panda approved).
Method of Manufacturing
The process furniture makers use to harvest their source materials, transport their raw materials to their factory, the methods and machinery they use to make their furniture, and how they handle any waste product created in the process are all important aspects of the overall environmental impact of an item.
The closer the manufacturing is to the source of the material the better to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the product. The amount of the source material used in production the more responsible and sustainable the product.
In the manufacturing of our furniture, Greenington products are:
- made from bamboo that is hand harvested by local farmers in a way that leaves the mother root intact (reducing impact on the bamboo forest and emissions of machinery used).
- crafted near the source (reducing the impact of transport from source to factory).
- hand finished in a Greenington partner factory (ensuring we have complete control on all production processes for best environmental approaches).
- tested for emissions from the adhesives used to bond the bamboo (proudly found to have zero detectable amount of emissions).
- zero waste (we use the entirety of the bamboo harvested, providing the pieces we can’t use and the sawdust byproduct to other factories near ours for other products and applications).
Ethical Work Practices
While the materials and process used to create eco-friendly furniture is of key concern, the conditions in which workers making the furniture exist must not be ignored. Humane and fair work practices are part of the larger impact products and companies have on our global community.
Each hand-finished Greenington piece is made:
- from Moso bamboo that are select harvested and managed by local farmers who we ensure earn fair trade pricing.
- in our factory where we ensure a fair wage for all as well as a safe working environment and conditions.
- with zero child labor.
- with fully audited labor practices from Buena Veritas that meet the most stringent requirements around healthy and safe work environments.
Transportation of Item
As with all items we purchase, considering the impact of the transportation it requires to get it from its source to our homes is an important part of the equation in living responsibly. For all manufactured items, like furniture, there is some transportation involved.
Greenington Fine Bamboo furniture is no exception. With our source material grown in China (where it is native), there is shipping involved in bringing our finished fine furniture to stores and homes in North America.
To reduce the overall impact transportation has on the environmental benefits of our furniture, Greenington:
- manufactures our products close to the source, which reduces transportation emissions and impact in the early stages of production.
- coordinates and consolidates shipping of our items from China by containers (the most environmental way to send items long distances) to the US, ensuring the most environmentally responsible distribution possible.
Life of the Item
The durability and longevity of products is an important part of their sustainability. If a piece is not durable it requires replacement or repair more frequently, adding to both more manufacturing impact of additional items and waste management of those no longer in use.
Greenington products outlive most others through:
- high quality and timeless design (ensuring that a product you buy today will still be one you love decades from now)
- durable materials (using one of the densest and firmest fibers grown on the planet, which means it will live longer than most items made from other materials)
- minimal care required (making it easy to keep beautiful for the life of your time with it)
Validation of the claims of being an eco-friendly and sustainable through third party certifications is the final step in ensuring that a furniture company’s product and processes live up to global standards.
Greenington Fine Bamboo is a long-term member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, a leader in the global sustainable furniture movement.
Greenington has achieved ISO 14001 Environment Management.
Our factories are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Additionally, by using Greenington products, architects/builders can earn credits toward LEED Certification.
Greenington prides itself on being one of the world’s leading eco-friendly furniture makers, which it has been from the beginning. As shown above, in every area of sustainability, Greenington meets or exceeds expectations of environmental responsibility. It’s the heart of who we are and what we do.
When furniture buyers choose Greenington they can feel confident they are making a choice that doesn’t just enhance the beauty of their home, but also that of the planet.
Moso bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on earth. Although giant bamboo is formally not a wood but a grass, it has excellent hardwood like characteristics. Bamboo products can offer in your project!
This company makes flooring and other home exterior products.
Learn more about Moso Bamboo.