When shopping for new baskets, rugs and woven furniture, one sustainable material to look for that's durable, eco-friendly and inexpensive is water hyacinth. Many Asian countries have seen rapid growth of the invasive aquatic water hyacinth plant, and while it's beautiful in appearance, it can literally choke waterways, killing aquatic wildlife and turning lakes and streams into dead zones. Instead of using chemical herbicides to poison the waterways, furniture companies have been hiring local villagers to hand-collect the water hyacinth, which is then dried and woven into beautiful home accessories. This keeps the waterways alive, provides jobs and turns a problem plant into something beautiful for your home.
ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION