The South West London Gardener

5 Ways to Make Your Garden Furniture Sustainable

bamboo garden furniture

People love their gardens.

Whether enjoying a cold drink in the sun or working up a sweat planting new flowers, a garden is everyone’s own little private place to enjoy the great outdoors.  

For most people who enjoy nothing more than taking in a deep breath of fresh air, there is a want for sustainability. Gardens are great for the fight against climate change. From growing your own food to recycling waste, there are a ton of ways to make your garden more eco-friendly.

One thing that often gets overlooked though, is garden furniture. Often made from harmful materials and with a short lifespan when up against the Great British weather, these items rarely help in making your garden get greener.

But there are ways this can be more sustainable. Here’s five top tips on how to make your garden furniture more eco-friendly.

Use Bamboo

Bamboo is a bit of a super-material. It grows fast. Really fast.

There aren’t many materials that you can watch grow with your own eyes, but bamboo is one. It is known to around 3 feet in one day. This makes it a great choice when looking for something renewable.

It’s a popular choice for garden furniture as it is strong, flexible and comfortable. It remains tough against the weather and is relatively easy to clean.

Bamboo doesn’t just look and feel great, it also has huge benefits for the environment. It produces 30% more oxygen than most trees and plants, which makes it the ideal choice for your sustainable garden.

Do a Bit of DIY

Looking for a new outdoor table? Before you buy, why not consider using that old pallet that’s been sitting in the back of the garage for months. You’d be amazed at what a bit of TLC can do for something that was destined for the tip.

And it doesn’t have to be a huge change. If your furniture is looking worn and you’re thinking of buying something new, why not give it a sand and a lick of paint. You could have just saved yourself some money and done a good deed for the planet in the process.

Recycling things from around the house is a great way to keep your furniture sustainable, and it’s also a lot of fun.

If you’re not a fan of getting too hands on, or you’re more destroyer than designer, why not look for local businesses in your area who specialise in recycling garden furniture. Their products are often unique, and you can rest on your new upscaled chair in the knowledge that it was made entirely from recycled materials.

Not All Plastic Is Bad

When it comes to sustainability, plastic is often at the top of most peoples list of items not to use. And there’s good reason. Single-use plastics that cannot be recycled are very harmful to the planet.

But that doesn’t mean all plastic is.

In fact, if you can find recycled plastic, then this could be a great choice for your garden furniture.

Although it may not be able to be recycled again, the fact that it is tougher than most materials and sure to last a long time slightly counteracts this point.

When choosing to use recycled plastic, you are choosing a piece of furniture that will last many years.

So don’t run away from plastic, it does have its uses and can form a key part of your sustainable garden.

Choose Your Wood Wisely

Wooden furniture is a popular choice for gardens. It looks great, and is strong enough to handle a lot of weight. But which wood do you buy?

For sustainability, it’s better to be soft.

Woods that come under the softwood category, such as pine and fir, are a great choice for your eco-friendly garden as they are fast-growing. This means that they can renew quicker, especially when compared with hardwood which is slow-growing therefore harder to keep renewing.

If you’re struggling to identify the sustainability of your wood, look for an FSC certificate. This means the wood has a certificate from the Forest Stewardship Council which shows that the forest it came from has been managed in a responsible way.

Wood doesn’t last as long outside as some materials, but it is a great, natural choice for many gardens. When sourced correctly, it makes a lovely sustainable choice for your garden.

Get a Feel for Steel

Metal is one of the toughest materials you can choose for your garden. When compared to the other materials mentioned, metal is stronger than them all. So why isn’t it used for garden furniture everywhere?

Well, firstly it doesn’t hae the desired look that most people want in a garden. When you’re opting for rustic and natural, metal doesn’t really have a place. But that doesn’t mean it can’t fit into a garden. In fact, metal can be a great choice for sustainability.

It is the perfect combination of being strong and durable, lasting forever if cared for properly, and recyclable. After many years of use, if you do decide to get rid of your stainless steel garden furniture, then it can always be put to use in something else.

While you don’t see much furniture built solely from stainless steel, it is a great option to add a bit of extra strength to items such as tables. It is also a great choice for fire pits and planters as it will not rust and will always stay tough

Final Thoughts

When thinking of garden furniture, the first thing that comes to mind is white plastic chairs and tables. But this causes problems for sustainability.

There is now a wide range of options available to any budget and garden that are environmentally friendly and also look great. From bamboo chairs and reused rubbish, to stainless steel plant pots and recycled plastic tables, now is a great time to find the best sustainable garden furniture for you.