5 questions to ask about your eco-friendly furniture


by WFAA Project Green


Posted on February 5, 2010 at 4:29 PM

Associated Press


The Sustainable Furniture Council suggests asking these questions the next time you buy furniture:

1. Where does the wood come from?

Look for wood legally harvested from responsibly managed forests.

2. Is the wood certified by a third party?

Some groups monitor standards for environmental sensitivity. Examples include the Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

3. Is the manufacturer working to reduce energy use?

Look for companies that are working to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

4. Where was this furniture made?

You know about reducing "carbon miles" for your food. Consider it for your furniture, as well. Seek out products made close to home, using raw materials from within 500 miles.

5. Were any high Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) finishes used on this product?

VOC's are harmful pollutants from certain types of wood finishes such as varnishes and lacquers that are released during the manufacturing process and into your home. Water-based finishes are the best choice for low or no VOCs.