Sturdy Eco-Friendly Outdoor Furniture Materials

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Eco-friendly, or green furniture is not exclusively for indoor use.  You can furnish your yard or patio with environmentally-friendly outdoor furniture that's sturdy and yes, attractive.  When looking for furniture from a company like Carol's Design House labeled sustainable and non-toxic, seek out these materials.


A variety of sustainably grown hardwoods are used in making eco-friendly furniture.  Here are some of the most popular.


Teak is a tropical hardwood.  It's also a wonderful material for outdoor furniture.  Teak is hardy and water-resistant, plus it has a high oil content, which insects dislike.  This wood's solid, tight grain provides surprising strength, making it ideal for pieces like lounge chairs or chaises which require good support.

Teak does tend to be pricier than the other hardwood choices, though.


Northern White and Western Red Cedar are both native to North America.  Furniture made from this hardwood can last for twenty years or more without decaying or warping.  

Cedar does show knots in its grain, which some find aesthetically unappealing.  It also weathers to a silver grey color over time.  If you're one of those who prefer the original color of your outdoor cedar furniture, periodic refinishing with a weather protectant will be needed.


This strong, long-lasting wood is plentiful and grows in various parts of the world.  It has many of the same qualities as the other hardwoods, namely, insect, rot and mildew resistance.  That makes it well suited for outdoor furniture.  It's not as water-resistant as teak, but does cost less than its hardwood counterpart.


Most wicker furniture was originally made solely from plant fibers, making it prone to rot.  Today, wicker furniture is made mainly from resin, which is a man-made product and much stronger.  Sometimes natural fibers are woven in as well, but that is not usually the case.  Outdoor wicker furniture manufactured from recyclable, non-toxic resin fibers is available.

Because wicker isn't heavy, you might be inclined to think it isn't sturdy, but it is.  Its light weight also makes it easy to rearrange whenever the mood strikes you.

Wicker does have its drawbacks.  It requires some maintenance.  Plus, it may not hold up well in extremely wet and cold climates.  For example, those in very cold parts of the country should consider storing their wicker furniture during the winter, since it can crack.  Finally, because modern wicker furniture is made mostly from man-made materials, some don't consider it eco-friendly.

Research which materials you're most comfortable with when buying outdoor furniture.  Then enjoy your new space with your sustainable, yet resistant furniture selections.