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Choosing Eco-friendly Office Furniture
With the threat of global warming looming large, more and more people are switching over to energy-efficient appliances and environmentally-friendly products. Offices are large consumers of furniture and in keeping with the green revolution it is important that office furniture should be eco-friendly. The primary concerns to be considered when choosing eco-friendly office furniture are the choice of wood and the chemicals involved in the manufacture of the furniture. Hard wood has traditionally been the material of choice for office furniture. However, with increasing pressure to save precious natural rainforest resources, the new trend is to manufacture furniture only from woods obtained in an environmentally friendly manner. Most furniture makers are now committed to sourcing their wood only from lumber companies that are known to indulge in sustainable forestry practices.
When buying office furniture, look for those that have been certified by recognized authorities such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). These certifications guarantee that the wood has been sourced from well-managed forests that meet the principles of environmental conservation including maintenance of ecosystems, conservation of biological diversity and establishment of long-term management practices. Recycled materials are also beginning to find favor in the office. Office chairs are now available that are being constructed of material that is made from recycled soda bottles. It is equally important that office furniture should also meet indoor environmental pollution standards.
Certain finishes, glues and stains create emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) that are largely responsible for indoor air pollution. Eco-friendly office furniture includes powder-based finishing coats that require less energy to manufacture, create less waste and are VOC- free. Greenguard, a non-profit organization evaluates the effects of various products on the indoor air quality. Opting for furniture with a Greenguard certification ensures that only low-emission materials that are non-polluting are used in the product. Business owners have recognized the importance of buying eco-friendly office furniture. With furniture-makers acknowledging the need to comply with the ever-increasing demand, eco-friendly office furniture is now easily available in a wide range of designs and eco-friendly materials.