Most people want something that will last, and I don’t think anyone wants to intentionally harm the environment. Unfortunately, these two details are closely related.
Here’s a familiar concept: consider plastic straws versus paper straws. What happens to paper? After a short time, it will dissolve and you need a new straw. What happens to plastic? They last forever! To the point of polluting the Ocean!
Durable Means Harmful
Polyurethane, epoxy, commercial stain; they are generally toxic, unnatural and harmful to us and the environment. The ultra-durable finish will end up polluting the ocean like the straws. To make it worse, they are not easily repairable finishes. Wear and marks leave lasting ugliness, until they are finally left for trash.
Natural Means Easy
Natural oil and wax finishes can be reapplied with ease. Natural paint pigments can be mixed within. They don’t keep an indestructible barrier around the wood, but that’s ok because wood is very durable!
Natural finishes are not harmful before or after they cure. It’s easy to rub on some natural wood finish (included with a furniture purchase), let it dry, and the shine and color are restored! Scratches and dents will pick up the natural colors of the wood and add quality to the piece. Keep this up, and your furniture will look better with time.