NATIONAL REPORT—More and more companies are trying to find ways to reduce their impact on the environment. Some decide to focus on their energy consumption, or the amount of waste they’re producing. In many ways, lean offices are also eco-friendly since they minimize waste in processes, which then trickles down and reduces the amount of energy a company is consuming.
But one area that many businesses still ignore is furniture. The furniture we buy can make a huge difference to our carbon footprint, and it’s essential that you have an eco-friendly approach when looking at your options. Here’s a quick guide on how to furnish your office the eco-friendly way.
Minimalism is not only a look, it’s a way of life and a philosophy. Your goal should not only be to buy your facility’s furniture from a responsible source and choose the right materials, but to try and find ways to cut where you can.
Focus on items that can serve multiple purposes at once. For instance, there are low stools which can be used as a side table as well. These small additions could make a big difference and allow you to cut down on cost as well.
Build an Eco-Friendly Nap Room
Napping and nap rooms in general have been shown to have great benefits for morale. They have also been shown to increase safety by boosting alertness. But there are things that you must do to make sure that you furnish them with eco-friendliness in mind.
It all starts by buying the right mattress. When picking an eco-friendly mattress, you should look for organic fibers such as organic wool and cotton. The mattress should also be free of harmful toxins. Many mattresses have fire retarding agents in them, and these can not only be harmful to the environment, but detrimental to your health as well.
If you don’t know where to start, there are plenty of online mattress comparison sites that you could check. This buying guide, for instance, ranks several mattresses, and has a few eco-friendly options as well. It’s essential that you know what you’re getting before buying mattresses online and using guides like these is one of the best ways to know what to expect.
Try to Look for Recycled & Recyclable Materials
You not only want to buy items that came from recycled materials, but from materials that can be easily recyclable as well. Some products may be marked as eco-friendly but can be very hard to process and recycle.
One example is what are called “monstrous hybrids”. These are made of a variety of different materials that must be disassembled and sorted in order to be recycled, which can make the process virtually impossible. So make sure that you look for items that are C2C (Cradle to Cradle) certified, and not just recyclable.
Consider Alternative Materials
If you’re going to buy furniture, consider going for different materials as well. Bamboo is viewed as one of the eco-friendliest options out there if you’re looking for wood furniture. While bamboo is technically a weed, it can replicate the properties of wood very well and is very durable. But just like any weed, bamboo grows very fast, which is why it’s so sustainable. However, since bamboo furniture is usually assembled with glue, make sure that it is free of harmful toxins such as formaldehyde, for instance.
If you follow these few instructions, you should be able to furnish your facility in a responsible way. Make sure that you go beyond the surface, and look at the manufacturing, delivery, and life cycle of the items you purchase if you want to make an actual difference.