Furnishings are as important to a sustainable office as technology and overall conservation. Office furnishings can release toxins and ruin indoor air quality. We spend up to 90 percent of our time indoors and much of that time is spent at the office. Responsibly produced office furniture not only affords cleaner air, it's gentler on the planet.
We spent $11.9 billion on office furniture in 2005, so buying the good stuff is increasingly important. Take, for example, your desk; choose a desk made of sustainable materials like bamboo, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) wood or reclaimed materials. FSC wood comes from managed forests that replace harvested trees with new growth. Choose furniture that doesn't give off Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde and benzene.
Guard against bad indoor air quality by choosing plants that remove toxins. Certain indoor plants not only liven up your office but absorb poisonous toxins from the air. Gerbera daisies, chrysanthemums, spider plants and golden pothos are believed to be the most effective at toxin absorption. Just as planting trees improves the quality of life outdoors, so, too, does greenery indoors.
Work travel could become obsolete; find out why on the next page.