Many businesses have adopted recycling programs for office paper, inks and toner, plastics, and aluminum as a matter of course. For companies ready to take conservation efforts to the next level, green furniture is the key to getting there.
Green office furniture, now available for lease or for purchase, is made from recycled materials or materials that can be recycled with little or no harm to our environment. It is free or mostly free of the stains, paints and metal coatings in other furniture that release toxins into the office environment.
Manufacturers are also turning to innovative materials that are strong and durable for use in creating furniture:
Lumber: High-density polyethylene lumber is made from the same plastic as milk jugs and detergent containers. This lumber is strong and long-lived and doesn’t crack, peel or splinter. It doesn’t emit harmful chemicals during production.
Aluminum: This lightweight metal is getting a closer look as an environmentally friendly material. The recycling process for aluminum takes only about six percent of the energy used to mine it.
Bamboo: A viable alternative to hardwood, bamboo takes only about five years to grow compared to 50 years for tree species. It doesn’t need pesticides during growth and can be molded to create furniture.
Don’t forget your outdoor spaces. Companies of all sizes offer open-air plazas, break areas and public spaces furnished with outdoor furniture. Take your eco-friendly practices to the limit by making that furniture green, too. Green tables, chairs and more available in beautiful finishes and designs.
Companies that adopt green products can boost their corporate image while also helping to make the world a greener place. Using green furniture gives your company the opportunity to contribute by reducing environment pollution, helping to maintain an ecological balance, and helping conserve natural resources, including forests and wildlife.
Presented By Trex Outdoor Furniture
Eco-Friendly Home Products for Today’s Earth-Conscious Generation
From carpeting to countertops, furniture, and more, there are plenty of ways homeowners can join the recycling revolution and make their homes, and the things within it, more eco-friendly. It’s not just the interior pieces that can lay claim to being “green.” Exterior siding and even outdoor furniture are getting into the act too. Here’s a look at ways you can be part of the recycling generation.
In the Kitchen
Explore your options in green countertops created from recycled plastic, glass, and paper, as well as sustainable bamboo:
Recycled glass: Glass can be made to imitate stone countertops or you can select glass tiles for the countertop with a mix of different-colored glass.
Paper: Try a paper-based countertop made mainly of pulp, sourced from trees in a sustainable forest. You’ll have lots of color options in a material that resists stains, scratches, and heat.
Repurposed materials: Hunt for pieces that can be repurposed as kitchen cabinets, such as dressers or old door panels.
Sustainable products: Bamboo grows fast and doesn’t require pesticides. It makes another green option for cabinets and even flooring.
In the Bathroom
Along with shorter showers and turning the faucet off while we brush our teeth, new dual-flush toilets offer another way to curtail water use. The dual-flush toilet gives homeowners two options: One button uses about a half-gallon of water, while the second button uses increased force and increased water, between 1.2 and 1.6 gallons per flush.
In siding, you’ll have to weigh the embedded energy, or the energy needed to create the siding, against its ability to decompose in landfills, as well as options for recycling the material:
Vinyl siding: Virtually maintenance-free, this siding lasts 30-50 years. It is created with PVC, a compound of chemical ingredients that doesn’t break down. Another minus are the byproducts, such as dioxin, that are released during the making of PVC. It is recyclable, however.
Fiber-cement siding: Made of a mixture of clay, wood pulp fibers, sand and Portland cement, this siding is resistant to fire, termites, and rot while offering a long life of several decades. It carries high embedded energy, however, in the amount of energy used to produce it.
Wood: If taken from a managed, sustainable forest, wood is a great choice for siding, offering a beauty unmatched by other materials. Its biggest drawback is its high maintenance with refinishing needed every few years. It can be recycled and it easily decomposes in landfills.
For maintenance-free pieces that don’t need to covered or moved for colder seasons, eco-friendly furniture is gaining in popularity. Traditional wood furniture is a high-maintenance product when it’s used outdoors as it can rot and fade quickly. Today’s outdoor furniture options are constructed from recyclable materials that are non-toxic, renewable, and don’t release harmful chemicals during the manufacturing process. You can choose a wood-look plastic lumber, aluminum (which can be recycled) or bamboo.
Today’s consumer wants to show his eco-friendliness and there’s no better way to do that than by making your home an Earth-conscious showpiece. A little research on what’s available and how it’s made will have you on your way in no time!
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