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Time To Go Green For Office Furniture

With the growing number of start-up companies, there is also a growing demand for office furniture however little do we know that these increasing usage of office furniture also greatly affects our environment and our health in ways that are harmful. Therefore, now is the right time to be informed and think twice when choosing furniture for your space. Here are some of the things you might not know:

  • Most office furniture is made of wood or have wooden parts. And all those wood certainly need to come from somewhere. Wood that is harvested in unsustainable ways have huge impact on the environment. They lead to deforestation, alteration of the natural biodiversity, floods, and contribute to global warming. Thus in choosing the right supplier for your office make sure that they are certified to get wood from well managed forests or those that use recycled wood products like fiberboard made from agricultural waste.
  • Most of the binding agents used to build office furniture contain formaldehyde. This material is thought to be increase the risk of some cancers in human. To minimize health risks, look for companies that use alternative binding agents instead such as methylenediphenyl cyanate (MDI) or other naturally derived adhesives and resins.
  • The cushioning foams for office furniture contribute a lot to global warming. These foams are made from hydrofluorocarbons as their blowing agents. Hydrofliuorocarbons are known factors in the depletion of the ozone layer. Thus, the use of them in creating cushioning foams or other products are mostly banned. However, this do not stop companies from using them. So be careful and do not patronize those that use them still.
  • The chemicals used to treat foams to make them less of a fire hazard also poses health risks. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers are debated to increase cancer risks in humans.
  • Although metal coating increases the durability of office furniture by making them rust proof, some metals used in coating such as nickel and chromium are toxic. Some of them are even classified as carcinogens. When choosing office furniture, it is better to shy away from those that need metal coating,
  • Some types of paint used in furniture are also harmful. Some of them add to pollution in the office. Good thing is that these are very well studied and paints are now classified by the amount of pollution they emit. Choose paints that are certified to emit low pollution. These are also known as green paints or environmental friendly paint.

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