Natural materials include untreated wood, cotton and latex. These were the materials people used before synthetics became available. What many don’t realize is that natural materials remain an option today. Let’s look at a few of the benefits of choosing natural, organic materials used for your furniture.
You’re Fostering Forest Conservation
If you ordered furniture made out of real wood, the odds are that it comes from a tree plantation, not a clear-cut forest. This means the trees are replanted, renewing the forest. The forest continues to be home to wildlife, whether you’re ordering oak tables or a latex bed. In the case of latex, the trees are never cut down. The latex comes from the sap of living trees. When you buy latex foam beds, you’re incentivizing farmers to keep the rubber trees growing instead of cutting them down to plant sugar cane. If you’re buying organic wool, you’re encouraging farmers to continue grazing livestock in a sustainable manner instead of planting GMO crops.
You Aren’t Bringing Toxic Materials into Your Home
The Certi-Pur certification identifies artificial memory foam that doesn’t contain heavy metals and toxic chemicals. This is necessary because of how often memory foam imitating latex did contain those dangerous substances. When you use organic, natural materials, you don’t have to search for labels proving the material is safe. You know that it is safe.
It Is Ethical
Naturally sourced materials like latex are often raised in sustainable forests by indigenous people or local impoverished farmers who are paid more for the premium organic product. You don’t have to worry about the ethics of the material sourcing, because that is often built into the supply chain. You’re providing decent paying, sustainable jobs that don’t hurt the environment or exploit people. You might buy wood that’s processed at small mills after being raised in historic forests or wool from sheep raised by shepherds whose alternative is selling animals for meat.
A side benefit of buying natural materials is that there is not an issue with recycling. Organic wood furniture can be burned for firewood or reused in some way. Latex is recyclable or can be safely disposed of. Let your old wool or cotton mattress compost until there’s nothing left. Because there are no harsh chemicals involved, there’s no risk if you do it yourself.
It Already Has the Properties You Want
Something we often forget is that the synthetic materials are trying to imitate the characteristics found in the real thing. For example, artificial memory foam can be as soft and supportive as latex mattresses. However, they have a problem with heat retention. The solution was to add cooling gel to the memory foam. That’s a second artificial substance in the mattress you spend a third of your life in contact with. Instead of worrying about the safety of these compounds, get a latex memory foam bed. The latex is naturally filled with the air bubbles that allow your body heat to dissipate.
You may find that the real thing lasts longer than the artificial product. The longer functional life makes up for the somewhat higher cost of organic, natural materials.