Going green is more than just a fad. It is the way of the future. Implementing sustainable practices at home and in the office is better for your health and the environment. Working in a healthy environment increases productivity and well-being among employees. The green initiative has become standard procedure in many offices. Adding eco-friendly furniture is a good place to start. Many efforts to go green end up costing you extra money, but green furniture is a smart and environmentally friendly way to save money.
Green Versus Sustainable
“Green” products usually refer to material sourcing. Often green and sustainable are used interchangeably, but “sustainable” has a more precise meaning than is usually applied to it. Sustainable furniture should be ethically sourced, have reduced energy and resource needs and be of high quality. Sustainable practices have a built in green element. If your furniture needs to be replaced frequently, those recycled materials quickly find themselves in a landfill.
When shopping for furniture for your office, look for sustainable green furniture. If the pieces you like are made from wood, check that they are harvested from sustainable tree farms, are from sustainably harvested forests or are from reclaimed wood. Reclaimed materials, especially wood, make sturdy, unique and fashionable furniture. Pieces made from recycled metal and plastic require less processing and fewer materials and also help support the market for recycled materials. Look for furniture that is durable and dependable and can be easily repaired. Sustainable green furniture can be affordable, but it should not be cheaply made.
Going green improves health, conditions of the economy and ecosystems. We depend on furniture and storage solutions to run a comfortable and productive business. There are many benefits to choosing more sustainable furniture when outfitting your new office.
- Cleaner Air – Some types of furniture are treated with chemicals that pollute the air and release toxins into the air. You might not even be aware of the ill effects until they are removed from your environment. Pay attention to the kinds of materials products are made of. Shop for low and zero-VOC paints and stains. Take the time to ask questions.
- Buy Local – Buying furniture made in America reduces carbon emissions associated with transporting products from far away sources. When you are making a purchase from a small, local business, it is easier to know what you are getting. These furniture makers are usually closer to their product and can give you intimate details about their manufacturing process. Buying local also helps the economy.
- Used or Vintage – You can find great deals on gently used and vintage furniture. Many times, vintage is of better quality than newer furniture. You don’t have to sacrifice style to save money and implement sustainable practices.
- Focus Shift – Choosing to be more intentional about your purchases and how they impact the environment starts in the office but bleeds into other areas of your life. Going through the process of researching and finding green furniture may make you think about choosing organic and locally grown food or choosing to replace your old suitcase with sustainable spinner hard case luggage that will last you a lifetime.
Green office initiatives have far-reaching implications. Opting for repurposed and vintage office furniture will save you money and create a healthier office environment.