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We are constantly reminded of many of the things we have done wrong in our lives. There is no place we look that we can't see something that needs improving or changing. Even the furnishings in our homes sometimes show how we have neglected and overlooked our environment and practical common sense.
Materials used in the construction of couches and chairs are a good place to start. You may already know the material makeup of the foam that makes the couch so soft. It contains polyurethane, which has toxins in it like VOCs (volatile organic compounds), benzene, and formaldehyde.
Creating two pounds of this foam requires:
* .9 pounds of coal
* 1.5 pounds of oil
* 800 pounds of water
What also comes from the process is liquid and solid waste that goes to the landfill along with 9 pounds of carbon dioxide.
What's the Alternative?
As you might guess, it costs more to go green with your sofa. Some retail eco-friendly sofas cost about $8000, which throws that out of the ball park as a practical option.
Fortunately, you do have choices for attractive furniture that won't cost more than your home. Some sources have couches for around $1100, loveseats for $1000, and arm chairs for $600. While that is not cellar pricing, it is more in line with the usual costs for living room sets.
There are also choices made from reclaimed wood, and there is even an armchair out there made of recycled tightly woven and corded newspapers for less than $150.
It makes little sense to toss the furniture we have now because it has already accounted for the majority of the harm done, but as couches and chairs wear out and are no longer useful, taking the time to shop for eco-friendly replacements should be our aim.