Episode two of this seasons series takes a look at a subject that is often forgotten when thinking green, home decorations and furnishings. Those decorative touches to your home can actually result in substantial eco damage.

Traditional furniture often results in the clear cutting of forest areas, and there are many toxins given off in the use of glues and paints. The same goes for that lovely carpet that you have just purchased, it likely is laden in petroleum bi-products, and other chemicals. So is it even possible to make furnishings and decorating materials in a green fashion?

This week Big Ideas For A Small Planet explores the world of green Furnishings. Without doubt my favorite segment features  Daniel Michalik, a New York designer, who has partnered with the Wine stopper industry, and taking the leftovers from the manufacturing process for making corks and turning these shavings into usable furniture. Once the cork is has been transformed into pellets, beautiful and maybe more importantly, sustainable furniture can be created.

Miami based high-end designer Bannavis Sribyatta also loves to work with sustainable products, and one of the best, most prolific sustainable raw materials is Bamboo. It has strength, flexibility, longevity, and most important of all is a prolific plant. To demonstrate the strength aspect, in parts of the far east Bamboo is used for scaffolding. As a testament to it’s flexibility, even as recently as the 1970’s most high quality fishing rods were made of bamboo, they had a great whipy action combined with enormous strength. Bamboo has also been used to make bicycles! And the best thing of all, it grows like bamboo, very fast! This is the ultimate sustainable wood source on the planet.

You can catch Big Ideas For A Small Planet on the Sundance Channel at 9pm on April 8.

Simon Barrett


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