Choosing eco-friendly furniture for the home
This post forms part of our ‘Garage to Granny Flat with GECA’ series – check out the introduction here!
Finally, with the interior fitout of Emma and Andrew’s apartment complete, it was time to start moving in. The couple had very little in the way of already-accumulated furniture between them, which meant a lengthy list of items that they still needed to buy, make, or otherwise obtain for free. Despite a preference for investing in high-quality items that would last decades, it simply wasn’t feasible– which meant some compromises and “a lot of trips to IKEA”.
With a limited budget and a desire to make more sustainable purchasing decisions wherever possible, a lot of furniture items were DIY projects or purchased second hand. When the couple did need to purchase something new, they looked for products boasting solid sustainability credentials (such as GECA certification) wherever possible.
The key was to source pieces that all worked together visually while making the best use of the limited space in the apartment. A second hand couch was refreshed in seconds just by using a cream-coloured throw as a cover and colourful cushions on top. A TV bench was fashioned from painting an old wooden coffee table with leftover paint and putting an offcut from the kitchen benches (made from FSC certified Acacia timber) on top. The same paint was used to quickly freshen up some old timber shelving as well.
“Reusing existing pieces was fantastic, not just for reducing waste, but for our budget as well,” said Andrew, who did the majority of the apartment’s DIY projects himself. “It does take some extra effort, but it’s worth it when you can look around your home and think, ‘I did that!’”
Clever space-saving solutions for the dining area included two newer items. A set of stackable dining chairs with GECA certification from Zenith Interiors, and a folding dining table that can transform from a slim side table to seating up to six people, help keep the living space uncluttered but fully functional. “Most of the time, we have the chairs stacked to one side and only half of the table folded out, since it’s just the two of us,” said Emma.
When buying new products, looking for the GECA ecolabel demonstrates that a product meets GECA’s strict environmental, health and social standards. The manufacture, use and disposal of furniture products can have a negative environmental impact caused by anything from the choice of raw materials used, to coatings, textiles, and adhesives. GECA certification ensures that furniture has been manufactured responsibly with minimal impacts on the environment and health.
Click here for part 7 – the final result!