Is Teak Furniture an Environmentally Friendly Choice?

The durability and aesthetic qualities of teak have made it a popular wood for flooring and furniture for centuries. This popularity is a double-edged sword, since while teak furniture makes a lovely addition to any home, it means that the wood is now somewhat rare. You might want some lovely teak furniture for your home, but you also want to ensure that the teak you buy has been taken from a sustainable source. So is it possible to get A grade teak products that are environmentally friendly? It is -- if you know what to look for.

Teak Forests and International Politics

The majority of the world's teak forests are located in Myanmar (Burma) and in parts of Africa. Myanmar was under a military dictatorship from 1962 until 2011, and so any teak harvested from the country's forests during this time contributed to that dictatorship. This teak from Myanmar was not sustainably harvested, but since 2011, certain economic and environmental reforms means that it is once again becoming popular. While African teak is rare, it's possible to obtain teak from these forests that is harvested with a view to sustainability. Teak is harvested, but only enough so that the forest can recover and replenish itself.

An Environmentally Friendly Certification

Whether it's from Africa or otherwise, the trick is to only get teak furniture that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The FSC regularly inspects the harvesting procedures in place in these areas of wood production and only grants certification when their stringent sustainability measures are met. The store where you buy your teak outdoor furniture or indoor furniture, such as The Teak Place, should be able to tell you if the teak in question has been FSC certified.

In with the Old

Since teak was not always harvested with a view to sustainability, there is a huge amount of teak already in existence. It's an extremely hard wood, meaning processed teak can last for centuries without degrading or losing its beauty. There is a huge amount of beautiful teak furniture on offer that has been made from old pieces of furniture or even floorboards. This is certainly an environmentally friendly choice, as this teak is taken from trees that were harvested many decades ago.

Fortunately, it's possible to enjoy exquisite teak furniture in your home -- furniture that is an investment and can be passed down to future generations. It's just important to do a little bit of research so that you know where the teak has come from.