Eco-friendly outdoor furniture isn't just better for the environment. It's also better for you. No, not in that "eat your Brussels sprouts" definition of good for you. We mean better in the best possible way: a better all-around value, with greater durability, lower maintenance, and outstanding comfort and style for any outdoor setting or lifestyle. To furnish your home and conserve nature's resources, these environmentally friendly materials are a smart place to start.
Teak is arguably the finest of all natural outdoor furniture materials, a weather-resistant wood that's justly famous for its durability. Its high oil content helps keep away insects, while its hardness and dense grain provide outstanding strength and support (some of our teak chaise lounges have a 400-pound weight capacity).
The teak furniture manufacturers at hayneedle.com are committed to sustainable forestry and environmentally friendly manufacturing practices, such as the use of wood cut-offs, plantation-grown wood, and Forestry Stewardship Council-certified timber.
Most shoppers know by now about the contemporary style, lightweight strength, and rust-resistant performance of aluminum patio furniture. But what they may not know is that aluminum is a surprisingly energy-conscious material as well. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, aluminum is an "energy bank," a material whose original energy can be continuously recovered through recycling. In fact, over 50% of the aluminum produced in the U.S. is recycled. Recycling uses only 6% of the energy used to mine aluminum from bauxite, the ore in which aluminum is most often found in nature.
Most recycled plastic furniture is made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is used in heavy containers for milk, shampoo, oil, and other products. This post-consumer HDPE is purified, heated, and then molded into plastic lumber, a colorful material with an uncanny resemblance to real wood.
The benefits of HDPE furniture are huge. It's resistant to moisture, stains, saltwater, mildew, and insects, and it won't peel, splinter, crack, or rot. Its color pervades the material, so it's also resistant to fading. It's also biologically inert, meaning it doesn't emit toxins like preservative-treated wood.
Best of all, HDPE is an extraordinarily durable outdoor furniture material. POLYWOOD® recycled plastic furniture, for example, comes with a 20-year residential use manufacturer's warranty. The Concise Encyclopedia of Plastics states that "plastic lumber is maintenance-free for at least half a century."
It may cost a bit more upfront, but recycled plastic's longevity and wood-like beauty are a brilliant long-term investment.
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