Furnishing your home with environmentally friendly products doesn’t have to be costly or time consuming. As demand grows for these furnishings more companies are producing them, and some are switching their inventories over completely. The result is more selection for buyers, and cheaper costs. For home owners who’ve been waiting to green up their interior decor, it’s never been more affordable to start. And for those who’ve never considered the idea before, it may be surprisingly enjoyable.

One of the reasons green home furnishings are more accessible now is that they come in a wider variety of materials. Plastic and paper products that were once discarded or recycled for industrial purposes can now be used to make things like tables and chairs, thanks to advances in recycling. Furniture designers are also re-using materials more creatively, enabling them to bypass the sometimes energy and labor intensive recycling process.

Interior lamps are a good place to start when discussing the re-use movement. Some of the best green lamp designs re-use products without altering them at all, infusing living rooms with a distinct post-modern feel. One innovative company carries a range of products built from discarded computer circuit boards, including night lights, lamps, and candle holders. Tastefully designed, these furnishings make great conversation pieces, and light up the room in attractive criss-cross wire patterns. Another attractive lamp designed from re-used products is the Tupperware light, which usually just consists of a light bulb inside a piece of vintage Tupperware, and a stand. These lights work well for decorators putting together a retro theme, and can be easily cleaned and maintained. A third choice in enviro-friendly re-use designs might include a lamp built with used wooden chopsticks. There are a wide variety of these products, with chopsticks are produced and discarded en-masse every day, and many companies and consumers waiting to use them again.

One of the most popular materials used in recycled home furnishings is cardboard. Lightweight, widely accessible, and easy to shape, cardboard is commonly used in everything from tables to kitchen drawers. A wide variety of cardboard chairs in attractive designs are also available. Many cardboard furnishing manufacturers also use water-based adhesives and finishes, to prevent environmental harm if their products are recycled again.

Governments and Non-Governmental Organizations are now providing funding and extensive research to foster growth in the green products industry. With that kind of support, it’s clearly an industry that’s here to stay.

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