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Furniture & Furnishings

Just because wood is natural doesn't always mean it's the best option. It's only a renewable material if more trees are planted!

For example, mahogany and some exotic timbers come from long-established tropical rainforests rather than sustainably planted forests. It's worth checking the Good Wood Guide run by Friends of the Earth. Also look for the Forest Stewardship Council mark on wood products to show they have been produced from responsibly grown timber.

Also look out for businesses which reclaim and re-use wood - or buy quality second hand furniture at local auctions.

Materials

Upholstered furniture, mattresses and bed linen can contain chemicals on the EU's list of chemicals of 'very high concern' so do check these things out.

Bed linen, towels and other furnishings are all now available in organic cotton grown without using pesticides. Bamboo fibre is also increasingly being used. Try to look for natural, organic materials grown in a sustainable way.

Many household goods are now also made from recycled materials, including recycled glass. And if the labels don't tell you enough about the product, don't be afraid to ask!

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