Choosing Sustainable Garden Furniture
Gorgeous garden furniture is on the ‘to-buy’ list of many this summer. Choosing sustainable furniture allows you to purchase the perfect outdoor set guilt-free. Material selection is key. Your furniture needs to be durable, non-toxic and able to withstand both high and low temperatures.
Wood is one of the best materials for outdoor furniture. It will suit almost any style of garden and can be used for decking, seats, benches etc. Opt for furniture made from reclaimed woods. Some brands commit to planting trees with every purchase of their furniture. Selecting hardwood will guarantee durability compared to softwood. Oak or Teak can last 2 or 3 decades with the right care. It can be left outside in all seasons and comes in a variety of shades. Softwood, such as Pine or Cedar, is a cheaper option and can last decades if looked after carefully. It would need to be treated and either covered or brought indoors in bad weather.
Bamboo or rattan furniture are both eco-friendly and a great choice for outdoor furniture. The downside is they are both susceptible to mould and rot in damp weather so use sealant before leaving outside. Choose a shady spot and either cover or bring inside if it rains.
Stainless steel furniture is another option. An extremely strong material which will require very little maintenance. Stainless steel furniture is rust and wind-resistant. It is easy to clean and is 100% recyclable. According to the British Stainless Steel Association, 60% of all new stainless steel comes from recycled material. Steel is recycled to make more steel and this process can be repeated indefinitely!
Just like stainless steel, aluminium can be recycled again and again – making it one of the most eco-friendly metals on the planet. Strong, lightweight and an attractive colour, it is ideal for garden furniture. One thing to note is that it can become extremely hot in direct sun so perhaps opt for a set with seat cushions!
Recycled plastics are the final material worth mentioning. They represent the ultimate low maintenance material as they are durable, water resistant, won’t rot or peel or crack. To clean, simply use soap and water.
Choose carefully and you can have furniture which looks fantastic, is comfortable to use and leaves you feeling smug you’ve helped the planet too – triple win.