Herman Miller Embody Chair
Office furniture is essential to Getting Things Done, yet most of us rarely give much thought to it. The average piece is used only for 10 years, then tossed in a landfill, amounting to a huge amount of waste. At the same time, smartly designed furniture makes for healthier indoor air quality, happier workers, better quality, and great talking points to share with clients. Help the planet and your company morale!
For example, Michigan-based Herman Miller has been a leader in merging sustainable design principles with modern manufacturing. The company has worked extensively with the groundbreaking McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), and has developed MBDC certified products, such as this Embody chair, which earned the Silver level (it is also Greenguard certified).
Embody chairs are 95% recyclable, contain 42% recycled content, and contain no PVCs. The chair was designed for people who work at computers, to make you feel like you're floating. The rotation points are within the seat and back, and the base of the back remains fixed relative to the seat; this encourages the body to move naturally, and provides consistent support, whether you lean forward or back.
Herman Miller's Teneo office storage system (pictured) is clean, functional and attractive. It has earned MBDC Silver and Greenguard certifications.
Herman Miller Mirra Chair
Herman Miller's Mirra chair is designed to give great back support without fussy adjustments. The innovative design also gives good ventilation, making sitters more comfortable.
Mirra comes in an assortment of appealing colors, and is certified to MBDC Cradle to Cradle Gold and Silver, depending on configuration, as well as Greenguard. Like Herman Miller's other certified products, it also can help your organization earn points for LEED certification. The chair is made to be easily disassembled for recycling at the end of use.
The Teneo Collection
Teneo offers a wide range of versatile pieces, designed to work in many settings. Boost your productivity.
Herman Miller Leaf Light
This stylish Leaf personal light from Herman Miller uses efficient LEDs and simple touch sensitive controls. You can control the light intensity and color.
The light consumes just 8 to 9 watts of power, about 40% less than compact fluorescent lights, and it sheds full light for a minimum of 60,000 hours. That's a long time.
The sleek Caper chair by Herman Miller is lightweight and stackable, allowing for flexibility. It also comes in a range of colors and is perfect for anywhere impromptu meetings or occasional gatherings may take place.
More comfortable than other stacking chairs, Caper can be easily connected in orderly rows. It is MDBC and Greenguard certified.
Nala Waiting Chair
Have your patients, clients or guests sit in green style with the Nala waiting chair by Herman Miller.
Haworth Zody Chair
When a test sample of the Haworth Zody Chair arrived in our office some months ago, we were immediately drawn to bright, eye-catching upholstery. The Zody looks like no standard office chair. And it doesn't feel like one, either.
The back support system was developed with the help of the Human Performance Institute at Western Michigan University, and was the first task chair to be endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association. We're not surprised; it feels great.
Made of cast aluminum and glass reinforced nylon, Zody is also the first task chair certified as a Cradle to Cradle Gold product by MBDC (McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, LLC). The chair contains up to 50% recycled content, and its manufacture is offset with wind energy certificates.
You're not the average worker. So why should your chair be?
Bambora by Ecowork
"We don't see any reason to sacrifice hard-to-replace virgin materials when recycled or renewable materials can be so beautiful and useful," explains Scot Davidson of Washington-based Ecowork. "We try to ensure that all materials are easily recycled at end of life and work to introduce the lowest impacts on indoor air quality. All of this comes by way of careful materials selection and manufacturing processes that use only low/no VOC adhesives and coatings."
This sleek Ecowork table is in the Bambora collection, which uses rapidly renewable cross-ply bamboo (zero added formaldehyde). The edge exposes the great character of the material. Surfaces are coated with a tough waterborne and low-VOC urethane.
deNUO by Ecowork
EG-System by Ecowork
Ecowork's original product line is EG-System, which is made with 95% recycled material. They are easily configurable and flexible.
Ecowork Sprout Table
Ecowork's Sprout table is made with 100% recycled materials, and has a classic, functional look and feel.
Namaste Solar Electric
Ecowork outfitted groundbreaking alternative energy leaders Namaste Solar Electric with a great green space. Pictured is part of the installation. Healthy indoor air means fewer sick days and happier workers.
Set off spaces in style with this arty screen from Animavi. Inspired by handmade jewelry, the screen can be arranged in a straight line or serpentine pattern. The steel bases are handmade, and the slats can be ordered in FSC-certified bamboo, or chroma or ecoresin by 3form.
A relatively new company, Animavi is based in Venice, Calif. It is working toward cradle-to-cradle philosophy and increased sustainability.
Knoll Life Chair
Furniture maker Knoll has cleaned up wastewater and reduced emissions, and reuses wood scraps or burns them for fuel. Knoll uses FSC-certified wood and natural fibers, and KnollTextiles fabrics include products made of 100% post-consumer recycled content. More than 70 KnollTextiles patterns carry a Green Bar on their label, indicating 49%+ recycled content or 75%+ natural fiber.
The slim-backed, ergonomic Life Chair by Knoll won numerous green and design awards a few years ago. The Life chair is certified by Greenguard for indoor air quality and children and schools, and features 55% recycled content (plastic base version) or 60% (aluminum base version). It's designed to be (mostly) readily recyclable, and is made in the Knoll LEED Gold and ISO 14001 certified Lubin Building, where energy use is offset with wind power. Life chairs can contribute to achieving LEED credits.
Knoll Chadwick Chair
Knoll's ergonomic, highly adjustable Chadwick chairs are also Greenguard certified, and 41% of the components are recycled. Roughly a third of the components are readily recyclable. The chairs also earn credits for LEED certification.
Move beyond the boring, ordinary cube with Knoll's flexible office systems. There are many styles, colors, finishes and configurations available, all made with Knoll's cleaner manufacturing.
The company uses water-based adhesives and UV-cured wood coating, and its products are virtually volatile organic compound (VOC)-free. Many are available in FSC-certified composite wood, as well as Greenguard certified.
Prefer a more modern, bold look to inspire creativity and collaboration? Knoll offers many options to choose from, all made with efficiency and sustainability in mind.
Knoll Essential Work Chairs
Knoll's Essential Work chairs are designed to be affordable yet quality. They are Greenguard certified.
Audrey by izzydesign
The Audrey system by izzydesign is modular and flexible, so it can be easily reconfigured on the spot as needed.
The Audrey line is Greenguard certified for safe indoor air quality, and contains PVC-free banding. It is made with recycled materials and is made for long life.
Credenza by izzydesign
Looking a little Mad Men is this credenza from Michigan-based izzydesign, showing more of what's possible in work spaces for good flow.
Guest Chair by izzydesign
Izzydesign is also more than storage, with a complete line of functional, attractive office chairs, screens, tables and more.
Hannah Chair by izzydesign
Izzydesign's popular, affordable, award-winning Hannah chair is now available in a swivel tilt option. The chair is Greenguard certified.
HAG by izzydesign
Izzydesign's brand HAG has been innovating in the sustainable space for years. Since 1995, HAG has been using recycled car bumpers, salad containers and ketchup bottles for plastic seating components. It was the first furniture maker to earn ISO 14001 certification, and buys 100% of its power via wind credits.
HAG's Sideways conference chair (pictured) just won a Gold Award from NeoCon World's Trade Fair 2008. The innovative chair, which allows 180-degree movement, is made from 72% recycled content (in the four-star base model) or 51% recycled content (stackable model). The components of both models are 98% recyclable.
Legaré Bamboo Desk
Check out this attractive bamboo desk from Legaré Sustainable. Made from rapidly renewable bamboo, the desk's rich golden color comes from the nontoxic kiln finishing process. The tab and slot design makes assembly tool-free.
Also available in the line are occasional tables, bookcases, media centers and other pieces.
John Wiggers Kidney Desk
Although it's pricey ($14,050), the kidney-shaped desk by John Wiggers makes a bold statement, and is a good place for eco-executives to preside over a greener world. The desk is designed with principles of feng shui and the Vastu Shastra of ancient India.
The desk is made of FSC-certified wood, with drawers of sassafras and hawthorn for their natural aromatherapy properties. Finish is nontoxic. Available from Vivavi.
Also in gorgeous FSC-certified wood, but much more affordable ($1,849), is the functional yet minimalist Knu desk. The legs are powder-coated steel and the finish is non-toxic. Production is offset with carbon credits.
If you need something even more affordable, as well as space-saving, consider the compact-yet-elegant Wave Desk from Offi, at Vivavi. It's made of molded ply and a birch veneer, with formaldehyde-free adhesives.
Inspired by the classic video game Tetris, Brave Space Design offers modular storage options unlike any others. The hip pieces are made in Brooklyn and are easy to configure any way you want, then you can mount on the wall. Perfect for dot-com start-ups, ad agencies and anyone else who wants to make an impression.
Tetrad shelving is made with water-based finishes, and can be ordered in sustainable bamboo or Finland plywood. Colored metal in the back completes the look. Start solving your own puzzles!
Also available at Vivavi.
RH Form Furniture
Sweden's RH Form makes all of its chairs 100% recyclable, and has slashed waste at its factory 99%. The company is also rolling out a new Ventec fabric that is breathable and biodegradable (within five years if buried). Available through Posture People.
RH Form will also accept old models of their chairs and recycle them for free — they'll even pick them up for free!
RH Form is one of Europe's leading suppliers of ergonomic office chairs. They're showing what's possible.
NaturesCast Barque Table
In an innovative process, NaturesCast products are made using dry leaves, dead twigs and barks gathered from forests in the Philippines. The material is bonded together with an odorless, water-based binder and shaped into unique forms designed by local artists. NaturesCast supports the local economy while giving people a reason to protect forests.
You'll likely be the only person on your block with a table with a story like that.