I'm finding myself in the market for a new sectional sofa. Where do I start?
When shopping for new furniture keep in mind the eco-friendliness and the sustainability of the product. Choose to buy from manufacturers who care about our environment. Sustainlane has an informative page listing labels and badges that identify manufacturers who care about the environment and who adhere to responsible manufacturing. See the highlights below:
The Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) This program is managed and annually audited by an independent third party that has absolutely no direct or indirect association with members. Their mission is to promote and recognize environmental stewardship and sustainability.
RugMark randomly inspects the looms of companies that agree to employ adults only. Through independent certification and rigorous inspections you know your rug is child-labor-free. Moreover, RugMark has freed more than 3,000 children from weaving looms. Their educational programs provide children with rehabilitation, daycare, literacy programs, formal schooling and vocational training.
GREENGUARD's Environmental Institute (GEI) mission is to improve public health and quality of life through programs thatimprove indoor air. In accordance with that mission, GEI currently has three third-party certification programs: Indoor Air Quality, Children & Schools and Building Construction Building. GEI measures chemical emissions including formaldehyde, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), respirable particles, ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and carbon dioxide emissions.
ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Results are already adding up. Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy in 2007 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 27 million cars — all while saving $16 billion on their utility bills. Energy Star also lists rebates and special offers. Check out these money saving offers before any major purchase.
U.S. Green Building Council sponsors the LEEDS certification and rating system. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEEDS homes have lower energy and water bills, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and fewer problems with mold, mildew and other indoor toxins. See their Green Home Guide for interesting tips and the U.S. Green Building Council's videos. Part of this rating system includes commercial furnishings.
American Home Furnishings Alliance’s Enhancing Furniture’s Environmental Culture (EFEC) program. This program is self designed, supported, and self policed by the AHFA and their trade association membership. EFEC is a voluntary environmental management system (EMS) for furniture manufacturers. Many state regulatory agency benefits encourage member participation. This program provides internal and external benefits that create eco friendly options for customers. American Drew and Stanley have completed the EFEC program.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests. Products carrying the FSC label are independently certified to assure consumers that they come from forests that are managed to meet the social, economic and ecological needs of present and future generations. More than 100 million forest worldwide were certified to FSC standards in April 2008, distributed over 79 countries.