Whether you prefer "going green," "eco-friendly," "environmentally friendly," or "sustainable," making a commitment to products that help conserve the earth's resources is important. One way you can make a difference is by purchasing office furniture that not only enhances your company's space but also helps the environment. And it is getting easier to do so. Companies across a vast number of spectrums are making the choice to look for green office furniture such as office chairs, space dividers, office desks, office cabinets, and more. They are looking for items made from recycled, non-toxic materials held together with glue and other products that do not pose a threat to the environment.
As more people become aware of the need to help the ecology heal from hundreds of years of man-made damage, many of them are considering the danger posed by office furniture once it is discarded. Manufacturers have made substantial changes in the products they offer, providing a much wider range of eco-friendly options.
Traditional manufacturing processes are slowly going by the wayside as people realize the dangers they pose to the environment. The making of items such as finishes, glues, and stains have been a major contributor to outdoor smog. New powder-based coats not only create less waste and use less energy, they are also free of harmful volatile organic compounds.
Wood manufacturing has also progressed, as companies are moving from suppliers that have little regard for natural resources and poorly manage the forests from which their wood is harvested. Office furniture manufacturers are looking more toward wood producers that follow sustainable forestry practices and also look for reclaimed lumber whenever possible.
Recycled materials are coming into favor as well. Once viewed as second-rate, these materials are being used much more in several products, including upholstery fabrics made from recycled soda bottles. Manufacturers are also making products that can easily be disassembled and either recycled or fixed.
If you are choosing eco-friendly furnishings for your office, it is important to note that a lot goes into making sure they actually meet the criteria for being called "eco-friendly." In order to be considered green, products need to meet strict certification standards. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency required that desks and tables have substrates made from non-wood agricultural fiber. Any laminated surfaces just have water- or bio-based glues. Dyes must be non-toxic, tiles and panels must be made from recycled materials, and certain fabric finishes must be composed of recycled plastic.
All of these advances are in direct response to customer demands for sustainable office furniture. They don't show any signs of slowing down any time soon. By purchasing these types of products, companies are only strengthening their commitment to helping the environment.