What are The Impact of Mass Producing Furniture On Mass Deforestation Each Year
In the past few decades, there has been an increase in technology that uses wood material to make furniture. Not only does this harm the environment, but it also puts humans and wildlife at risk.
Using laminates and veneers in furniture may seem like a good substitute for wood, but they also pose a great danger and can easily be destroyed with a few scratches. Because the demand for furniture is at an all-time high, companies resort to mass production to meet consumer demand.
This has now led to deforestation in search of wood raw materials. Additionally, furniture has been rated a top spot with a massive carbon footprint, generating unimaginable greenhouse emissions.
Interestingly, a recently published report suggested that an average piece of furniture, say your favourite sofa, generates up to 47kg of carbon dioxide equivalents. To give you a rough idea of how grievous this is, 47kg CO2 is approximately the same amount of greenhouse gases emitted when 5.3gallons of petrol are burned!
Impact Of Mass Production Furniture On Mass Deforestation Each Year
The impact of this heedless mass production on the environment is quite drastic. Consider the following samples:
- When companies mass-produce wood furniture, they make as much as possible and as fast as possible to meet skyrocketing demand. This means that little to no measures are taken to protect tropical forests from being cut down.
Some companies do not consider what happens to these trees once chopped down or the environmental impact of processing wood into furniture. For example, wooden items are tainted with chemicals that will contaminate the water supply or cause harm to the environment through pollution.
- Mass production of furniture is also a threat to wildlife. A good number of trees have already been cut down to cater for our furniture decor needs. Trees are a limited resource, and though renewable, they can take decades before growing to replace the ones used.
This leaves a 'naked land' that was once home to whole wildlife. Besides threatening the animals' well-being, deforestation also leaves them vulnerable to being captured and sold into "slavery" to be treated as pets. Some are even killed, so their body parts are sold on the black market.
- Mass-producing furniture harms humans. Many of the chemicals that go into wood production can cause harm to those working in sawmills.
Ways Homeowners Can Reduce Their Impact On Deforestation.
- You can try to reduce the amount of furniture you buy over a while. It may seem challenging at first, but it is essential for your future and everyone around you.
- Embrace recycling any old furniture you have lying around the house; this could go towards helping someone who needs it more than you and ultimately keeping wood and other materials out of the landfill.
- You can also reuse or repurpose your old furniture; for example, if your chair legs are broken, rather than throwing it away, try repairing them or replacing the legs with new ones from a scrapyard/hardware store.
There is a boatload of measures that you can take to stop the mass production of furniture and save the planet. For instance by making better choices for consumption and getting behind companies who are willing to make a difference by selling PEFC and FSC labelled furniture.
Both the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) are forest certifications that take measures towards protecting forests around the globe from deforestation threats.
Ways Manufacturers Can Reduce The Impact of Furniture Production on Deforestation.
- Manufacturers can utilize a sustainable source of wood and minimize energy consumption. Essentially, these measures will positively impact the environment and biodiversity by allowing forests to remain intact while using less trees. In addition, companies need to replant trees once they have been cut down to guarantee a continuous supply of resources in the future.
- By ensuring that the wood they purchase is strictly obtained from well-managed forests, market-leading furniture stores can protect trees while also providing customers with furniture and decor.
- Non-coniferous timbers require a longer time to regrow once they have been cut down. In addition, this type of wood is harder to come by and typically requires deforestation to be harvested. Furniture companies can consider using wood from coniferous trees such as pine and cedar has very little impact on deforestation because they grow back rapidly after being harvested.
- Wood plastic may help combat deforestation and save the environment. One of the most significant benefits of wood-plastic is that it is environmentally friendly. Wood-plastic is made from recycled plastic and particles of wood. They have become popular over the last 40 years, increasing both furniture production and market share.
Though having lower durability than solid wood, wood plastics are less susceptible to damage by moisture and are resistant to fungal attacks. Additionally, this type of raw material reduces the need to cut down trees to make furniture as it recycles old furniture to make beautiful, high-quality materials.
The Bottom Line
Mass production of wood furniture has a significant environmental impact. And although there are numerous ways that both homeowners and companies can reduce the impact on deforestation levels, there is still concern about the management techniques used to ensure that trees continue growing back after being harvested.