Most of the time after a long day of activities, we like to plop ourselves onto our couch. A couch is generally softer and more comfortable to relax in, than say, an office or kitchen chair. What part about the plopping dictates the most comfortable seat? I vote for the active spring of a seat, the bounce back, and shock absorption that all plopping needs to exist.
Living a healthy life includes keeping my home clean. It is just as important as using non-petroleum materials in my furniture, and they are all parts of my everyday environment. Toxic cleaners and dust contribute to allergies, hormone imbalances, and we can reduce exposure to fuming with a few small changes. Here’s a few habits I have cultivated in my weekly home cleaning duties.
I always thought furniture restoration as the ideal way to avoid the chemicals and the low quality of mass manufactured furniture. Traditional upholstery and restoration are generally reserved for antiques and better quality furniture by rebuilding all elements from the frame up. With green upholstery in the mix, the goal is to remove all toxins and recreate a piece using completely biodegradable and non-petroleum based materials.
Before any major purchase like a couch, most of us do a little research online. All major retailers with a brick and mortar store offer most of their products online. In each couch’s product description, we can easily check the price, the exact dimensions, available colors, and the type of materials used.
In the case of furniture quality, the construction of the frame is just as important as the materials used. All these details together reveal whether that cool couch is safe for you and sustainable for the planet.
A perspective placing the environment as a top priority in purchasing new furniture, always considers referring to the earth for the best solutions. We help ourselves by helping the planet, that one planet that supports all of mankind’s existence, by using only natural materials. It perpetuates the proactive cycle of sustainability in how we grow the materials from the earth, and ultimately returning the expended material to biodegrade back into the earth. Ideally, ‘we leave only footprints’.
The rampant use of flame retardants (FRs) in couch foam have been curbed by the revision of TB117-2013 which no longer requires the use of flame retardants. Although this change is in the positive direction of better protecting our health, the bioaccumalative and dangerous nature of FRs still exist.
While we manage old flame retardants and understand the implications of new replacement chemicals, we presently can explore safer couch foam options.
We count on our furniture like we do our good friends. Good friends and furniture should be genuine, reliable, and enhance our lives. By middle age I’ve removed all my toxic friends and still learning that true beauty is from within. But in the case of furniture, how can we tell if it’s as beautiful inside, as it is on the outside?
Did you know the polyester fabric covering your couch and the foam cushioning in your seat, are made from the same oil and gas used to make plastic water bottles and food packaging? Our love for plastic and reliance on a finite resource like petroleum are now outweighed by the irreversible health and environmental costs.
I have such a difficult time trying to explain Custom Service because it’s different for everyone. Essentially, I submit samples of wood, stain finishes, and swatches of fabric for my client’s approval before proceeding any project—even a technical drawing if it’s a new custom frame. Each approval is an accumulation of many considerations, and a step closer to actualizing a client’s vision.
Most of us are still learning about the significance of green upholstery and how it fits into our daily lives. We’re familiar with organic foods and why recycling is important, and can easily quantify by our wallets or belief systems, if either is a worthwhile choice. Similarly, furniture is a part of everyday life but we rarely question whether the materials used are safe for us and the planet.