There’s sustainable energy. Sustainable food and technology. Sustainable cars, clothing, construction, even sustainable toilet paper. So why not sustainable furniture for your office? Now, it’s a truth universally known, that if you read the same word too many times, it starts to look like gibberish. So, before “sustainable” starts to look like nonsense, let’s define it:
sustainable [suh-stey-nuh-buhl] adjective - pertaining to a system that maintains its own viability by using techniques that allow for continual reuse. Example: Sustainable agriculture. Aquaculture is a sustainable alternative to overfishing. (from dictionary.com)
Therefore, sustainable furniture must be able to sustain, whether that’s the life of the furniture, the eco-friendly materials used to make it, or the way you can dispose of it when it’s reached its limit. As you read on, we’ll explore exactly what that looks like, why it’s important, and how to choose the right sustainable furniture for your office to reduce your carbon footprint. So let’s jump into how to make your office more eco-friendly.
What Makes Furniture Sustainable
1. Material - What is it made of?
Sustainable furniture starts first with green furniture materials. Some eco-friendly materials are considered sustainable because they are an easily renewable resource like plants. Another type of sustainable material is recycled post-consumer materials. This recycled material is a great option that also helps keep trash out of landfills and gives discarded objects like plastic water bottles a second life in PET dividers.
2. Make - What is the process of making it?
Once you have the green materials, it’s important to consider how the furniture is assembled at the processes of manufacturing. Many manufacturing processes can harm the planet: smoke stacks, disregard for wildlife, soil or water pollution, and more. However, eco-friendly manufacturing uses sustainable practices that are careful about how its processes impact the environment by using clean and renewable energy and being waste conscious.
3. Mode of Disposal - How do you get rid of it?
It’s as simple as finding out how much of the furniture (and even its packaging) is recyclable. For example, 100% of Juniper’s cardboard packaging and shipping pallets are recyclable. Our PET dividers are also 100% recyclable and the steel we use in the majority of our products is 98% recyclable post-consumer.
Why You Should Choose Sustainable Furniture
The obvious reason to choose sustainable furniture is that it is better for the planet we all call home. Another great reason to consider the sustainability of your furniture is your budget. Next to a desk pod that is not made from sustainable furniture materials, a sustainable desk pod’s price may not look very different. However the difference lies not in the price of the desk pod, but in its lifetime. Sustainable furniture should have a long life and save you from having to replace the furniture piece in a year or so. Timeless, modern design also helps your desk live longer.
Sustainable furniture for Juniper, also looks like being a part of changing the world for the better. Juniper is part of the For Our Forests program by the National Forest Foundation to plant trees for every purchase of our desks. Sustainable furniture is also just one component of an eco-friendly office. Read more about the best practices for an overall eco-friendly office here.
How to Choose Sustainable Furniture
We’ve talked about what goes into making sustainable furniture and why it’s important. But lastly, we need to talk about how to choose your green furniture. If you’ve been paying attention (which of course you have!) then this will sound familiar:
- Look at the company you’re buying from.
At Juniper, we seek to be transparent! We have an entire page on our website dedicated to sustainability.
- Look at the materials they use.
On our sustainability page, we detail what is sustainable about the materials in its surfaces, steel, and PET products. For example, the surface of the Jot Desk is made from recycled content core and a 95% recycled steel frame.
- Is it furniture you could use for a long time?
Much of Juniper’s furniture is designed with the longevity of your office space in mind: both with style and with durability.
- Look into how to dispose of the furniture.
Furniture on Juniper’s site has a spectrum of recyclability. If you ever have a question about a specific product and our sustainable practices, you can always shoot us an email or give us a call and we will help you out!