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Sitting sustainably – Garden view

Sitting sustainably – Garden view

One of the great pleasures in life has to be sitting outside on a summer evening, glass of wine in hand, gazing in reverie at your precious plot.

But what are you sitting on? Is your furniture environmentally friendly? What about that lovely decking, or your garden shed?

As gardeners we have a responsibility which extends far beyond our boundary.

Trees are vital to the planet. They convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and act as environmental filters, offsetting the effects of pollution. They also provide a habitat for birds and animals.

Like many gardeners I take a keen interest in environmental matters so it came as a shock when I read recently that that every year our tiny island imports more unsustainably produced wood than anywhere else in the world!

A good proportion of this wood is used to make garden buildings, furniture, fencing and decking.

I was thrilled, therefore, to read about the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and their certification programme for sustainable produced and sourced wood?

The FSC was founded in 1993, in response to public concern about deforestation. The council devised a wood-labelling scheme which allows a product to be traced right back down the supply chain from the consumer to its source.

Children sitting on garden chairs

Any product bearing the FSC logo is guaranteed to be from forests which are carefully managed to conserve biodiversity and support local communities.

Unfortunately not all garden suppliers stock products which are FSC approved. So we need to demand that they do.

The world’s forests are in decline. Some tropical hardwoods are already on the verge of extinction, and temperate forests in the northern hemisphere are also suffering because of unregulated tree-felling.

As a gardener and lover of our environment I feel more comfortable knowing that I’m not contributing to the destruction of our planet. If you’re replacing your garden furniture this year, ask to see the FSC certified label.

Happy gardening.

Q. Is it possible to be environmentally friendly when buying PVC furniture?

A. Yes it is. Many companies are now producing furniture made from recycled PVCs.

You’re no longer limited to the standard flimsy offerings either. It’s now possible to find sturdy benches and picnic tables. Of course, the advantage of PVC is that it’s completely weatherproof; maintenance-free, and won’t rot, corrode or splinter!


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