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A How-to Guide to Ethical Dining Room Décor

Jul 30, 2021
by Maneesha Wijesinghe

The dining room, like the kitchen, forms the heart of any home. It’s the place where you enjoy meals together as a family, entertain friends and spend quality time with loved ones. It’s only right then that you should invest into your dining room décor, to make it the appealing, stylish place it deserves to be. But if you are embarking on a dining room makeover, and you are keen to keep a close eye on sustainability, then you’ll need some tips on ethical dining room ideas. And that’s precisely what we have for you right here.

Sustainability and dining room furniture

One of the biggest considerations for dining room décor is of course the dining furniture.

Many people fail to realise that the furnishing industry is the top consumer of timber. When we purchase new products made from wood, we need to ensure that we are not inadvertently contributing to deforestation.

We can do this by making certain that we are mindful about the supply chain behind any dining room furniture we purchase. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified woods for example are considered sustainable, so if you are purchasing furniture for your ethical dining room, be sure to look for the FSC stamp. Also think about the type of timber that’s been used to make your dining room table or chairs. Is it a fast growing species, such as willow or bamboo?

It is also important, when considering ethical dining room ideas, that we ensure the furniture we choose is not finished with hazardous Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These compounds are dangerous to health, and it is not yet know how long it takes for them to turn to gas, although studies have shown it can be as little as one year. So, in place of traditional finishes, choose low or no VOC finishes, natural finishes such as oil or waxes, or water-based lacquers.

There are many companies that now manufacture dining room tables and chairs with responsibly sourced materials and no or low VOC finishes, it is just a matter of taking time to carefully check the credentials of the supplier before you make your purchase.

Of course, you could always buy pre-loved, recycled or upcycled rather than new dining room furniture.

Sustainable dining room lighting

Sufficient, suitable lighting for dining is an essential consideration for dining room décor.

Dining room lighting ideas include a single overhead fixture, such as a chandelier, which can set off a classically styled, fairly large dining room beautifully.

Adjustable lamps that hang over the table and can be angled to suit individual preferences are another great lighting idea for dining rooms. And if you are looking to create an ambient environment for intimate meals, table lamps, floor lamps or sconces could fit the bill perfectly.

For ethical lighting, look to use LEDs, a lighting technology that uses 90 per cent less energy than standard incandescent lighting, and 50 per cent less then fluorescent lighting. LEDs also last much longer too, up to 27 year if used for five hours per day, so are clearly the sustainable choice.

Ethical dining room accessories

It is often the accessories that set off your dining room décor.

Candles make an ideal accessory of choice for a dining space. Just be sure to choose ethical candles that are all-natural soy or beeswax rather than regular petroleum-based wax versions. Not only are they a great deal more pleasant, they are better for the environment too.

Artworks make an appealing focal point and are a staple of many dining room ideas lists. There are many ways to source sustainable artwork, such as checking the supply chain, or finding vintage pieces or those that make use of recycled materials. You could also opt to buy artwork or any of your accessories from a supplier that works on a circular shopping model, so that you know that once you are finished with them, they can be returned for recycling, refurbishment or composting.

Sustainable table linens

Be mindful of the dyes used to stain your table linens. Synthetic dyes contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment and humans, so it is best to look for natural or low impact dyes. Both will be less likely to cause allergic reactions too.

Organic is the way to go if you are looking for sustainable table linens. What’s more, by choosing Fairtrade cotton linen, you can have complete peace of mind that the people who have grown the raw materials will have been treated fairly, receiving a minimum price for their cotton and never being exploited. A Fairtrade Premium is also paid to their communities, which can help fund important infrastructure designed to protect their future livelihoods.

Ethical dining room décor ideas, courtesy of Kola Project

Searching for ways to achieve sustainable dining room décor? Kola Project has much to offer in the way of ethical dining room accessories, including dining sets, rugs, textiles, candles, artworks, drinkware, tableware, kitchen tools and more.

Kola Project was founded in response to the global waste crisis and forms the world’s first fully circular shopping experience. Based on a return and reuse program, Kola Project’s scheme means that when you buy from their range of premium quality, sustainable household products, you can enjoy total peace of mind that what you’re buying can be returned for repair, recycling, refurbishment, recycling or composting, at any point, regardless of how long you’ve had it.

Why not start your circular shopping experience today, and create your very own sustainable dining room décor style?

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