Springtime is outdoors time. If one of your backyard projects this year involves replacing your old outdoor furniture, make sure you look for items with an eco-twist. There is no better complement to your organic vegetable garden, water-friendly landscaping and stylish compost bin than earth-conscious furnishings.
Gaiam's recycled wine barrel furniture. Photo courtesy of Gaiam.
The good news is that it is actually pretty easy to find eco-friendly outdoor furniture. If you’re a yoga fan, you have probably heard of Gaiam. What you may not know about the company is that it has an entire line of green outdoor products. Check out the rustic look of the wine barrel chairs and table (right). These are made from 100% salvaged white oak wine barrels claimed from California wineries. Add the fire bowl made from recycled copper for additional ambiance. If you prefer a more plush set of outdoor furniture, check out the Crate & Barrel eco-friendly furniture lineup made out of Sunbrella. Sunbrella is a machine-washable fabric that is GREENGUARD certified and fully recyclable. The product lasts from two to 10 times longer than other fabrics, but once it has reached its end of life, Sunbrella will take it back through the Recycle My Sunbrella program and repurpose it into a new consumer product. Crate & Barrel also sells eco-friendly wicker outdoor furniture for those that prefer a more traditional look and feel. However, this wicker furniture won’t splinter and poke your guests. The entire line of Crate & Barrel all-weather wicker furniture is made of hand-woven 100% recyclable, nontoxic resin. Resin is a type of plastic, so it is weather resistant and durable. Crate & Barrel also uses Sunbrella cushions for the wicker product line.
Loll Designs' Adirondack chair. Photo courtesy of Loll Designs.
Don’t forget the kids when you redecorate your back yard. Loll Designs has an entire lineup of outdoor kids furniture made of recycled materials. The kids Adirondack chair is made from recycled high-density polyethylene. The company’s BBO2 collection, also made from recycled plastic, was named one of Time’s Top 100 Green Products and received a Garden Design Green Award in its first year on the market. It is surprisingly easy to find eco-friendly outdoor furniture. Whether you want wood, metal, plastic or fabric furniture, there is an eco-friendly alternative available.