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How To Make Good Green and Eco-Friendly Patio Furniture Choices

Posted Aug 09 2010 12:11pm

Sears 8-2010.jpg

Shawna Coronado's floating patio made of recycled/reclaimed materials with crafted/painted reclaimed shovels and mirrors on the back wall and an aluminum Jaclyn Smith Today Dining Set in front. Photo credit Brenda Haas of BG Garden - http://www.bggarden.com.

In my search for eco-friendly patio furniture I discovered there are very few satisfactory products that will hold up to weather well, thereby lasting longer without replacement. There are only a few rare products made from 100% recycled material. There are very few who are "reusing" old materials and making them into new furniture. Therefore, part of what makes a product "green and eco-friendly" in the choices we are offered in today's modern retail world, is it's longevity as well as what the product offers related to human chemical exposure, damage to the environment, and long term reuse and recyclability of the furniture.


Several products are out which are greener in nature than others, for example, the 100% recycled plastic lawn furniture which is made from a wood-look injection molded plastic that is available in a rainbow of colors, never needs painting or staining, is waterproof, and arsenic, copper sulfate, and creosote toxin-free (unlike traditional treated wood furniture). Purchasing a product made from aluminum is another positive choice, particularly if it is made from recycled aluminum. Over 31% of all aluminum is recycled (with that number going up regularly) and the ability to recycle the furniture when you want to purchase a new style or get new allows you to turn the product in at a metal recycling center.

Traditional products such as treated wood furniture do not last as long as the newer plastic products if it is not carefully maintained. Teak furniture should not be purchased as an earth-friendly product because teak is being deforested in mass quantities. Unmanaged cutting has been the primary cause of clearance or degradation of most natural teak forests in Thailand, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, and India.

This season I was asked to review two products from Sears-Kmart. I feel both are smart choices. My favorite of the two is the very sturdy aluminum Jaclyn Smith today Kensington 7 Piece Dining Set . Comfortable to sit in, long lasting, and attractive, the set is also easily recyclable. I like it as a positive green choice that is also affordable. In the photo at the top you see the product featured on the floating patio I made of recycled/reclaimed materials.

Sears Front Porch 08-2010.jpg

Front porch seating area of Shawna Coronado featuring a Sears Kmart Country Living Concord Set.

On the back wall are crafted/painted reclaimed shovels and mirrors, be sure to keep garden mirror displays low hung to avoid harming birds. Incorporating reclaimed materials in your outdoor displays is an easy way to keep the reclaimed materials out of the landfills.

On my front porch (right) I have a sitting area with the Sears-Kmart Country Living Concord Deep Seat Patio Set  - I sit on this four piece reversible cushion set nearly every morning and drink coffee with my family. It's location represents a marvelous view of the 500 gallon rain water cistern fountain and front lawn vegetable garden in my front lawn. Less green than aluminum because it is not made from a recycled material, I still feel this is a smarter choice because it lasts much longer than standard wood or wicker and it does not use teak or other exotic woods which represent a higher cost both personally and environmentally. While it is not as "recyclable" as an aluminum set, the all-weather resin wicker is suitable for indoor and outdoor use, making it perfect for the porch or patio. It also holds a tremendous amount of weight, more than most plastic chairs in my experience, so it will last longer with an active family. This set, with its sturdiness and longevity capability means less drives to the store to buy more sets over the years and less product thrown in the landfill. In this case, less equals more.

How do you make good green and eco-friendly patio furniture choices? When you think about what "green" means to you - the best choices are always to buy products which are recyclable or made of recycled material. Next - consider products which are longer lasting, sturdy, and will not be thrown into the landfill when you are done using it, but could be used for something other than its original purpose. Also, maintaining the products well over the years means they will last longer, spending time to make this happen is important.

Being green means spending less money, but taking care of the things you have so you do not waste as much. Both of the products featured above represent long lasting choices for the garden if taken care of well. Make a green difference with your lawn furniture by making smarter, well-planned choices which are better for your family and the environment.

Summer Front Porch View.jpg

Shawna Coronado's relaxing summer front porch view.

  • http://www.thecasualgardener.com ,
  • The Green Blog - http://www.gardeningnude.com , or
  • The Garden Blog - http://thecasualgardener.blogspot.com
  • *Patio furniture products were sponsored by Sears-Kmart. Learn more about the products by clicking through the above links. My opinion on the products have not been swayed because they were given to me to review. My opinions are honest, forthright and represent my honest feelings on everything I review.


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