Eco-Chic Outdoor Wood Furniture

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The rich, warm hues of wood furniture lend a timeless appeal to any outdoor space, but what makes it eco-chic?  It should be beautiful and stylish, but also made of sustainably harvested or reclaimed wood.

Unscrupulous logging companies and governments, as well as illegal harvesters, are destroying tropical forests around the globe, leaving behind a trail of destruction to the environment and humankind.  It is very important to know where the wood for your furniture comes from and how it is harvested.

Here’s my recommendation of eco-friendly options for outdoor furnishings:


Teak is an expensive wood, but its durability and unique characteristics make it highly desirable.  Its inherent oily resin makes the wood resistant to water, weather, decay, insects and bacteria.

Best Resource for teak furniture (like the mod chair and ottoman pictured above):

Rainforest Teak uses sound economic, social and environmental principles.  They’ve been planting teak and other species of native trees to restore once pristine rainforest land that was degraded by cattle ranches in Costa Rica.  Local craftspeople transform teak trees into amazing pieces of furniture and other products.  They provide a list of organizations where you can learn more about deforestation, reforestation efforts, carbon sequestration.


Another outstanding option is reclaimed wood, from old dismantled barns, winebarrels or naturally felled trees.  Barnwood is typically well over a hundred years old and is generally harder, denser and more stable than wood harvested today.  Look for furnishings finished with water-based, low or no-VOC finishes.

Best Resources for hand-crafted Reclaimed Wood Furniture:


You’ll know when Eucalyptus wood is sustainably harvested when it is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC-certified).  It’s easy to find with any google search and is available in many well-known brick-and-mortar retail stores.

Tag(s): Conserving Resources, Green Furnishings, Greening the Home, The Great Green Outdoors


2 Responses to “Eco-Chic Outdoor Wood Furniture”

  1. James on October 8th, 2012 2:37 pm

    Absolutely love that chair and table on the beach!!! I want it so that I can sit back with a cold drink and a book!

  2. Coleen on October 8th, 2012 10:58 pm

    Thank you for sharing this information about Teak wood. I agree, they cost a lot, but I would prefer buying them because they would really last. We have a table made of this kind of wood in our house and it’s been like 5 rough years and the quality is as good as new.

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