Chances are you—or your employer—have made efforts to reduce your impact on the environment at work. These days, being kind to Mother Earth is more than en vogue, it’s essential to a company’s pocketbook. Perhaps your business uses solar panels, recycles outdated electronics, and prioritizes what employees print. Turns out, however, that a massive carbon-footprint culprit could be sitting right under your computer.
An article over at CleanTechnica reports that according to EPA data, 8.5 million tons of office furniture ends up in landfills annually. This staggering statistic indicates that if we want to be more eco-friendly, we'd better consider our cubicle.
Some companies invest in carbon offsets to—you guessed it—offset their energy use. Suncorp went paperless. General Motors has so far kept 550 tons of their old office furniture from the dump by partnering with local organizations and schools who need it. You don’t have to go big to make a big impact, though. Thoughtful furniture choices can go a long way in reducing waste.
Bamboo isn’t actually a tree; it’s a grass. However, exotic bamboo—like the Moso used exclusively by furniture manufacturer Greenington—is 100 percent stronger than an oak tree and matures in one-fourteenth of the time. Because bamboo grows so quickly, harvested land can be replenished quickly, too. On top of all this, bamboo is gorgeous! Just look at the rich, honey tones in our favorite Greenington credenza.
Reduce, Reuse, Reclaim, Recycle
It’s true that trees take a really long time to grow, but it’s also true that wood lasts a really, really long time. Sometimes for longer than furniture is in style! Keep your eye out for furniture manufacturers who incorporate used materials into their designs, like Moe’s Home and their show-stopping modern desk.
Reclaimed materials include more than just wood. Get a load of this incredible conference table built atop an antique cast iron crank:
or this desk by Nuevo that features recycled bronze cast iron legs:
Make an Investment, Not a Purchase
No matter your workspace needs, take the time to consider what will best serve your space presently and in the long run. Consider different brands, what materials they use and how they source those materials. Investing in durable, high-quality, and long-lasting pieces you love will ensure that your office furniture stays home or office and not in the landfill.
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