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Published: Thursday, 9/4/2008

Handcrafted Wood Furniture Leads Green Decor Trend

(ARA) - Interest in the benefits and use of environmentally friendly products continues to grow, making the green movement stronger than ever. This is especially prevalent for homeowners who are looking to build and decorate their homes in ways that support the environment.

Furniture found at a traditional retail store is often mass-produced and shipped half-way around the world to be manufactured and then shipped again -- at least once -- before actually selling. Green-minded homeowners look for locally built furniture that is high quality and environmentally friendly.

"There are plenty of reasons why people are drawn to this furniture," says Scott Ekman, vice president of marketing for Rockler Companies, the national woodworking retailer. "More people are recognizing its environmental benefits as a way to set it apart from the rest."

Besides requiring less transportation and energy-use, locally produced handcrafted furniture also reduces waste. Through a combination of higher quality construction and heirloom value, it tends to last longer, easing a huge burden on landfills and other waste management facilities. According to the EPA, furniture and furnishings accounted for over 18 million pounds of waste in 2006, about 3.6 percent of all waste in that year -- the most of any durable good.

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With the interest in green decorating increasing, sometimes there is a barrier for homeowners who don't know where to go to find these types of goods. The Web site, www.woodworking.com/green matches furniture shoppers across the country with woodworkers and carpentry shops in their area.

"We recognized a big void in the furniture industry," says Ekman. "Handcrafted wood furniture has huge potential, but right now it can be difficult to find. All we're trying to do is provide people on both sides of the fence with more opportunities to get what they want."

According to Ekman, that means more business for local woodworkers and more convenient options for consumers. "There are thousands of professional woodworkers out there creating amazing furniture," he says. "And even more consumers who, if they knew it was available so close at hand, would love to buy it. This Web site is designed to bring the two groups together."

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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