Gary Morrison

eco friendly furniture

Eco-Friendly Furniture Trends In 2019

When it comes to creating a sustainable home, furniture plays a critical role. They take the biggest part of the house, and that’s they are the most targeted. For those planning to decorate their homes without neglecting the environment, there many fancy and inspiring eco-friendly furniture trends to pick.

If you are wondering which are the top eco-friendly furniture trends in 2019, we’ve got you covered. We have rounded up some of the best trends that you can choose from.

Here are six of the best eco-friendly furniture trends in 2019.

1. Occasional Chairs

Chair are back into the market thanks to the campaign to keep the environment safe and clean. Among the many varieties available, occasional chairs are among the eco-friendly furniture trends in 2019. But they have come with a few changes in design. They are designed to add a fine touch to your interior and exterior aesthetics.

Occasional chairs work great for the dining room, foyer, living room, and bedroom. You can also pull them to your breakfast table or desk. If you want to enjoy some time on the deck or patios, this ergonomic furniture would be a perfect option. That is how versatile occasional chairs can be.

2. Sofa Bed

The sofa bed is another eco-furniture trend that has gained popularity due to its versatility in use. It is one of the furniture that can be used for sitting and sleeping. It is a chair and a bed at the same time. However, don’t confuse the typical sofa beds with trends in 2019. They are mode sophisticated in design to improve the interior decor. As a way of taking care of the environment, designers are using eco-friendly material, including sheep wool, for making these sofa beds.

sofa beds

3. Side Table

If you want to keep your interior decor on point, then you need to ensure that every sofa has at least one side table. The side table is another environmental friend trend in 2019. Using sustainable materials for the construction of these pieces of furniture. Most of these tables are made from recycled wood and bamboo. What is interesting about these tables is the unique designs they come with. Most designers are mixing different materials, colours, and shapes to get a striking interior decoration. However, the size and height of the tables should be the same. These tables are not limited to the living room but can also be used in the bedroom, bathroom, and family room.

4. Bench

Who would have thought benches would make it back as part of the interior decor. Well, in 2019, this furniture has been part of the craziest eco-friendly interior ideas. Bench adds character and colour to your space in a very enchanting way. You have plenty of options to pick from.

You can use benches in your living room, porch, deck, or foyer. However, the furniture is not limited in these areas. It is also important to choose the right design that works for your space. In most cases, backless benches work for most spaces. These designs are also very versatile and easy to find.

5. Demilune Table

If you don’t have a demilune table, then you need to get for your space. They are some of the eco-friendly furniture trends that have been doing very well in the interior design industry. These are the kinds of tables that will offer your space a new tweak on how it looks. It is one piece of furniture that will enhance your space aesthetics. They come in all sizes, and thus, you can get what works for your space.

The demilune table works for almost all spaces in your space, including your home office, bedroom at the side of the bed, foyer, and living room. Look for a table that has no centre leg as they offer more versatility. You can have a couple of these tables in your house. Getting different colours and materials enhance your room appearance.

6. Slipper Chairs

colorful chairs

This is another eco-friendly furniture trend that is doing very well in 2019. These types of chairs come with a unique design that can dramatically change your room appeal. In fact, we can say that they are some of the most versatile upholstered chairs in the market. The distinguishing feature is their armless design, which makes them comfortable for everyone in the family, from children to adults.

Slipper chairs work great for the dressing room, bedroom, family room, and living room. However, when buying these chairs, smaller ones are the most appealing. Smaller versions also accommodate everyone in the family. Choose a colour that will create striking contrast in your space.

If you are looking for the top best eco-friendly furniture trends in 2019, these are some of the best that you can pick from. However, there are many other options that you can choose from. With these pieces of furniture, you will not only enhance your home aesthetics and keep the planet safe.

upcycling home decor

Ways To Upcycle Home Decor

When it comes to overhauling your interior décor, you don’t have to spend even a single dollar. There are some things you can do with your clutter and other unwanted items to breathe a new life into your space. In fact, you will be surprised to see how some of the things you consider trash can add a touch of class to your home décor.

We have rounded up some of the smart ways to upcycle home décor. You don’t need to be an interior but just a little bit of creative thinking to transform your old stuff into an inspiring interior décor.

Here are the best ways to upcycle home décor:

Book Knife Block

You can give your old books a new purpose in your home by making a book knife block. It is a unique interior décor that will enhance the appeal of your kitchen space. It is very simple knife storage that will take you just a few minutes to create. What you need is to pick out at least four neglected volumes, tie them together (but not tightly) with a piece of rope, and you are done. Then you can start slipping knives between the pages. You can play around with color to make it more appealing.

Painted Coffee Table

Furniture age faster, and in most cases, we find ourselves putting the old ones in the garage to create space for the latest trends. But you can bring back your old coffee table and have it painted to give it a new life. Try some floral painting on it, and you will be surprised by how it will transform your space.

Trash Can Planters

If you have trash cans in the house, you can use them for creating a mobile garden. This garden works magic for people who are in places where sunlight is limited. You can move the garden around your place to ensure plants are getting adequate sunlight. You can also use trash can planters in the kitchen, living room, on the deck, and so. These old cans will definitely improve your home décor.

Upcycle Old Cabinet

Don’t throw away your old cabinet because it can be repurposed to produce a charming look in your bathroom. You don’t have to do a lot to it apart from a little bit of repainting. However, you can get creative in repainting an old cabinet by introducing a contrasting color. That would make a perfect bathroom antique rather than wasting money on buying a new one.

simple decor at home

Soda Bottles Upcycle

Most people through away their soda bottles and other bottles after use. If you have some old soda bottles in the house, you have a perfect laundry room antique. Use these bottles to store your laundry room liquid. You can have them placed strategically in the laundry, where they can command a more appeal.

Vintage Ladder Storage

It is exciting to see how interior designers are making vintage ladders work for home décor. If you have that wooden ladder lying idle in the garage, it is time that you bring back into the house. Vintage ladders can be used in almost every part of our homes, including the living room, bedroom, and bathroom. They can be used like shelves to hold books, blankets, flower cans, and so. Consider repainting them to enhance their appeal.

Your Old Chairs

Like most of the furniture, chairs are also quickly replaced when they get old. So, you might be having some vintage chairs lying idle in the house. You to consider transforming them to enhance your interior décor without spending a dollar. By just repainting or cleaning them off dirt, you can have a perfect living room or patios antique.

Bathtub Sofa

Upcycling home décor is all about getting creative and pulling out a surprise out of this creativity. Imagine a bathtub sofa! Well, if you have an old bathtub that is lying idle somewhere, then you can convert it into a sofa. All you need is to cut one of the longer sides creatively to create an upholstered sofa. It is that simple.

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to do your home décor. You can use some of the old stuff in the house to transform it. These are some of the best ways to upcycle home décor. You can also get creative depend on what you have.

sustainable home

How To Create A Sustainable Home?

The term sustainability has become synonymous with climate change campaigns. As we become more aware of the environmental damages causing climate changes, everyone is looking for a way that they can make the planet a better place to live in. One of them is buying eco-friendly products, which helps to make the environment safer and healthier.

One of the ways that we can all help in making the environment healthier is by creating sustainable homes. There are small and big things that every one of us can to make our homes environmentally friendly. Here are some of the best tips for creating a sustainable home.

Use Eco-friendly Building Materials

The first thing that you need to do is to use as many eco-friendly materials as you can when building the house. There many parts of the house where you can use sustainable materials. Eco-friendly compost and wood, such as bamboo, are great for floors. The material can be used for the construction of various floors, including floor patios, decks, and so on. You can also use sheep wool for insulation purposes. When possible, use locally sourced materials.

Buying Second-hand Furniture

Buying the newest and latest furniture trend may look nice, but you will be contributing to environmental damage. It is essential to note any new furniture you buying is a tree that was lost, and a lot of energy was used to manufacture it. So, if you can buy second-hand furniture, you will have made a significant contribution towards keeping the environment safe and healthy.

Green Cleaning

Cleaning green is what all of us should be trying to achieve in our homes and workplaces. We must try to choose cleaning products and practices that are better for the people and the planet. So, when buying cleaning products, make sure that you have checked for eco-friendly products. Avoid products with harsh chemicals that are likely to release hazardous compounds. Some of the best green cleaning products include baking soda, borax, lemon juice, and washing soda, amongst others.

Recycled or Reused Materials

Using new materials for your home construction contributes to the destruction of the environment. That is why you need to consider using recycled materials. If you need steel bars for your deck or roofing, consider using recycled steel. It has been proven that recycling steel helps to save about 75% of the energy cost. That is the kind of contribution that you make to keep the environment clean. Apart from steel, you should also consider buying furniture constructed from recycled wood. There are many stores here in Australia selling such furniture.

recycling

 Using Less Plastic

One of the things that you need to consider to kick out of the house is plastic products. Plastic is one of the major pollutants, and that’s the reason why you should avoid it. Unlike wood that decomposes faster, plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose. That is why it has been classified as a threat to the environment. If you have to use plastic, get a recycled one.

Using Less Water

Your water usage habit is another way that you can create a sustainable home. Water is increasingly becoming a scarce resource. We are competing for this resource with the animals and plants to stay alive. So, when you waste water, you deny their two adequate water survive. Using less water will ensure the entire ecosystem is balanced, and that will keep the environment healthier.

Use Compost

One of the most significant contributors to environmental pollution is the user of fertilisers in farming. The chemicals in these fertilisers usually seep into the groundwater or are swept by the surface water when it rains. However, you can use compost instead of fertilise for your flower and herbs garden. What you need is put food waste and other kitchen scraps and put it in a compost bin. Leave it for a while, and you will get a useful compost for your gardens. With compose, we can reduce the use of chemical fertilisers.

Plant Drought Tolerant Plants

To reduce the amount of water used for irrigation, you should consider using drought-resistant plants for your landscaping. That will enable you to reduce water wastage during the dry seasons.

If everyone can create an eco-friendly home, we would contribute a lot to the environment. The good news is that you don’t have to do a lot to create a sustainable home. With simple things such as composting your food, you can make the planet safer. 

home accessories

Guide To Eco-Friendly Home Accessories And Decor

When it comes to sustainability, it is not only about the big industries but the ways. Interior designing is one way that we can help promote the environmental conservation campaign. But switching to green décor will require to get the best accessories and décor for your space.

In this guide, we are providing some of the best eco-friendly home accessories and décor that you can pick from. Here is the best guide to eco-friendly home accessories and décor:

Eco-Tableware

Sustainability in the kitchen means buying tablewares that are environmentally conscious. If you look around the market, you will be surprised by the vast range of eco-friendly tableware available for you. From tumblers, bowls, cups, and plates, you have a myriad of items to pick from. They are chic and durable products mostly crafted from bamboo, which is highly renewable. However, ensure that you are buying dishwasher safe eco-tableware.

Eco-friendly Rugs

Avoid buying rugs made from non-biodegradable and non-renewable materials. Instead, go for eco-friendly rugs. Fortunately, there is a vast collection of rugs to pick from in the market. There are many stores here in Australia selling organic cotton rugs. There are also many types of rugs made natural and renewable materials such as jute rugs and hemp rugs, amongst others. All these types of eco rugs are durable, and thus, will offer you value for money as you contribute to making the planet safer.

Recycled Plastic Bag

Making the planet safer also means managing pollutants to avoid making the condition worse. Plastic is one of the main pollutants, but we can also use it properly to prevent further pollution. Recycled plastic will cause less damage to the environment. It will reduce the amount of energy that could have been used to make a new plastic bag. So, it makes a huge difference when you go for recycled plastic.

Recycled Wood Furniture

recycled wood furniture

Furniture is vital when it comes to home decor. There are many eco-friendly furniture options to pick from, including chairs, benches, and sofa beds, amongst others. Although wood is renewable, making it sustainable, recycled wood furniture would be the best choice. They help to reduce the number of trees cut, or vegetation cleared. That’s how you contribute to a better environment.

Eco Tabletop and throws

One of the crucial accessories that adds an elegant touch to your furniture is the tabletops and throws. Fortunately, the market has several types of these accessories. You can buy eco tabletops and throws made from natural materials such as wool, cotton, amongst others. There many designs that you can pick from as well as colours. For the colours, select an option that matches your furniture and your space in general. Sometimes, contrasting colours for tabletops and throws works magic.

Recycled Entrance Mats

While decorating your house, some of the finer details you can’t miss is things like the entrance mats. There are many non-recyclable and non-renewable options in the market which are responsible for the pollution. Buying recycled entrance mats from both renewable and non-renewable materials to decorate your house helps to keep to the planet clean and safe. There are other materials you can pick from cotton, wool, rubber, plastic, and so on.

Handmade Basket

A handmade basket is an accessory that adds some class and authenticity into your interior décor. Being hand weaved basket, it adds some fine touch of originality in your home decoration. There are many sustainable options for baskets to pick from based on the materials used. For a perfect handmade basket, get one that is woven from sustainable materials.

Eco cushion and pillows

You need to add eco cushions and pillows for your beds and couches. These accessories add a subtle touch to your furniture. When buying sustainable pillows and cushions, the kind of material used matters the most. Natural or renewable fibre materials such as wool, cotton, silk, and so on would be the perfect choice to pick from. However, you can make more impact if you buy recycled fibre.

If you are planning to switch to green home décor, these are some of the best options you can pick from. There are many stores in Australia selling eco-friendly home accessories and décor, where you can get more options. Going green is the best decision that you can make.

chairs with cushion

What Makes Furniture Sustainable?

As the climate keeps changing for the worse, we are becoming more and more aware of the environmental damages and how they are adversely affecting. That’s why the campaign for environmental conservation has grown popular not only here in Australia but across the world. But what are the little things you can do at a personal level to make the planet safer?

Buying sustainable furniture is a role that every one of us can play in this campaign. Sustainable furniture is also called eco-friendly furniture or environmentally safe furniture. But what makes furniture sustainable? Well, there are a couple of things that make furniture eco-friendly. In this post, we have rounded up some of the key factors to look out for when buying sustainable furniture.

Here are the 5 things that make furniture sustainable:

1. Material Used

The first and the most important thing you need to check is the material used for the construction of the furniture. Several characteristics can tell whether the material is eco-friendly or not. The first thing to check is whether the material is recyclable. If the material can be re-purposed, then that is the kind of furniture that supports environmental conservation. Recycled woods and metal are some of the best examples.

Furniture made from renewable materials also fits in the sustainable category. Wood materials such as bamboo are an excellent choice because it grows faster, and thus, they are easy to replace. Not all wood is sustainable. For instance, it will take bamboo five years to mature and seventy years for an oak tree to mature. Unless it is reclaimed wood, avoid wood coming from trees that take a very long time to mature.

2. Environmentally friendly Manufacturing

Using sustainable materials is not enough to make a piece of furniture sustainable. You need to go further into the manufacturing process of the furniture. Is the manufacturing process safe for the environment? There are several things that you need to look out for. First, is whether the manufacturer is releasing harmful gases such as carbon emissions into the atmosphere? If that’s the case, then the furniture is not sustainable.

Don’t be confused if the manufacturer says that they are using electricity. You need to ask if it is clean electricity. Some of the electricity may be coming from diesel generators or a coal plant. These are electrical energy sources that contribute to the destruction of the environment. Hydro, geothermal, or solar electricity are some of the best green energy.

3. Mode of Transport

mode of transport

The other thing that makes furniture sustainable is the mode of transport. There are various ways that the transport of the finished product is done. So you need to pick the most environmentally friendly. Is the mode of transport energy efficient? Most people will use pick-ups and other types of cars to transport finished orders to their clients. You need to know the kind of cars used and if t is offering the best energy efficiency. The higher the efficiency of the mode of transport, the better. If they are using clean energy, the better.

However, you can do more to ensure minimal damage to the environment when buying environmentally-friendly furniture. The most effective way is buying locally or near your home or business. That means less energy will be needed to transport the furniture to your place. That is another factor that makes furniture sustainable.

4. The Usefulness of the Furniture

For the furniture to be sustainable, it should be useful to the user. It should also offer maximum functionality, ease of use, and comfort. The piece of furniture that you buy should also provide maximum versatility in application. For instance, you should buy a piece of furniture that is multifunctional since it takes less space. A good example is a sofa bed which can be used as a couch and a bed. Such pieces of furniture offer a greater utility to the user.

The other thing you need to look for in sustainable furniture is the durability. Eco-friendly furniture should last for a longer time. That means you will not need to replace every now and then. That is how you allow the environment to replenish itself before you can for another bamboo to construct new furniture. That’s what contributes to a healthy planet.

5. No VOC Finishes

The finish used is another factor that makes a piece of furniture sustainable or not. Some of the finishes contain very toxic solvents such as benzene that can be problematic to the environment. That is why no-VOC finishes are the best choice because they are water-based. Such finishes do nor off-gas hazardous organic compounds. These compounds not only damage the environment but also causes a wide range of respiratory and autoimmune conditions.

Buying environmentally friendly furniture is one way that you can contribute to a healthy environment. However, you need to look beyond the materials used and check other factors such as manufacturing process, finishes used, and so on. That’s how you will ensure that you are buying 100% sustainable furniture.

Social Entrepreneurship For Sustainable Development

Social Entrepreneurship For Sustainable Development

It is always said that profit motive and poverty alleviation do not mix. We cannot talk about helping the poor and at the same time trying to make a profit out of it. But social entrepreneurship is changing that way of thinking. It is a poverty alleviation initiative that can be shared by the private and business sectors and the community members. This business endeavor has the potential to expand the economic earning opportunity of the community which in turn would be a great benefit to the poor and the community they live in. We need to encourage private and business sectors to be involved beyond their Corporate Social Responsibility projects because we need long term partnerships in rebuilding communities. These sectors have the resources, technology, and training among other things that poor communities lack.

Even though social entrepreneurship is making waves all over the world, it is still a young field of endeavor in our country, often introduced by foreign development workers who are determined to be agents of change through innovation. We can learn a lot from these change-makers and hopefully, raise awareness to more people about the importance of social entrepreneurship.

Social entrepreneurship encompasses different business endeavors aiming to have social impact. It is the product of any individual, organizational, or network activity that demonstrates some element of sociality, innovation, and market orientation, irrespective of its legal form (charity, business), resource strategy (for profit, not for profit, voluntary sector) or sectoral home (public, private, or civil society). Social entrepreneurship is an eclectic mix of business, charity and social movement models designed to offer solutions to social problems.

Even though social entrepreneurship is a relatively new movement, there are already efforts to widen its scope. There are international organizations that are committed to innovate and to be change-makers in response to the most urgent social problems of the world and work towards sustainable development.

Profiles Of Women Involved In Aellon: The Story Of The Invisible Sisters

Aellon works with the Invisible Sisters, a women’s group that crochets plastic bags into bags, home designs, accessories, and other products. Here are their stories on how this project has helped improve their lives.

Elizabeth is a widow and a mother to 4 children. She busies herself with crocheting and she is the leader of the women’s group in their community. She is also involved in different organizations. She is grateful to Invisible Sisters for teaching her the value of caring for the environment. She can do that through crocheting plastic bags and making them into bags and other accessories. She says the money that she earns helps in meeting the daily needs of her family and it is sustainable. She has many dreams but mainly, she wants to have her own business to support her family.

Erlinda is one of the more experienced members in the group when it comes to crocheting. She is a nursing aide by profession but she spends her time crocheting and doing reflexology. She and her husband have 4 children – 2 are married and 2 are working. At this stage in her life, she still has many dreams for their future – to travel to other countries, have her own business, and improve their house. She says Invisible Sisters supports them financially, it’s just a matter of working faster to earn more. She is also proud of the crafts that she makes and she also takes pride in being able to teach other women how to crochet plastic bags so that they can earn money too.

Sharon is a widow with 9 children. Crocheting plastic bags is her only source of income. Fortunately, most of her children are already working and only 2 are still in school. She also receives assistance from the government for their education. She dreams of improving their house, seeing her children graduate, and getting more projects from Invisible Sisters. She says the organization has been a big help in helping her meet the needs of her family.

Finding A Gem Amidst The Storm

Finding A Gem Amidst The Storm

It had been years since heavy typhoons devastated the community of Barangay Pinaglapatan in Infanta, Quezon – a far-flung town in the Philippines. Since then, the community underwent the arduous process of rehabilitation to rebuild their lives. Hundreds of families lost their homes and belongings during the disaster that was why it had been a challenge for them to get back on with their lives.

As disaster struck the community, there was also an outpouring of support from government and non-government organizations. Different groups extended their assistance by giving relief goods, medical help, and construction materials for damaged houses. Later on, some humanitarian groups focused on the issue of health, livelihood, education, and spiritual formation to help the people get back on their feet.

When the typhoons struck the community, floodwaters rose rapidly, carrying mud, debris, and logs that engulfed the community. This caused deaths and damages to properties. However, amidst this disaster, one humanitarian organization found a way to be able to help community members get back on their feet by turning the hundreds or thousands of logs into different pieces of furniture. They taught the men and women basic carpentry and wood carving skills to be able to turn the logs into beautiful tables, chairs, bookcases, plant stand, bed frames, and other things. They also helped the people by funding the equipment that they needed for turning the logs into furniture. Lastly, they also found a way to market these furniture pieces so that the community members could earn money after selling them.

Each piece of furniture relays the story of the family that was affected by that disaster and their efforts to get back on their feet after the tragedy. Each piece of furniture that was sold strengthened their spirit and gave them hope.