The National Wildlife Federation has created a scorecard to keep track of retailers selling garden furniture brands that are "eco-friendly," or "green."
According to a survey of major box store retailers, consumers this year can find a wider variety of styles and prices of Forest Stewardship Council certified garden furniture. The scorecard assigns a rating of stars, with five being the best and one being the worst. Several retailers, including World Market, Crate & Barrel, The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Pottery Barn, earned four stars for their product lines. Four stars indicates 70 percent of their tropical wood garden furniture is from responsible sources.
"We are pleased that more retailers than ever before have chosen to participate in our scorecard, and that they are making better choices about the sources of wood in their furniture offerings," says Eric Palola, senior director of Forests for Wildlife at the National Wildlife Federation. "Retailers now have an increased awareness about where their tropical wood products are being sourced from, and they expect they will be asked about the sources of their tropical wood from consumers."
The U.S. is the world’s largest single importer of wooden furniture from tropical timber-producing companies, with garden furniture representing about one-fifth of the wooden furniture market. U.S. imports of all tropical wood products have increased four-fold over the past decade. As a result, the once biologically rich forests of countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil are being depleted at an unprecedented rate, according to the National Wildlife Federation.
For more information, visit www.fscus.org