Now that you have the walls and floor all greened up, the next step is to pick your furniture. There are many inexpensive options on the market for office furniture made of particleboard, and wood furniture can be considerably more expensive. But although going the cheap route is better for your wallet at the time, it's not always the best choice in the long run. Not only does particleboard off-gas formaldehyde when it's new, it generally doesn't hold up as well as a solid, wood-crafted desk.
Next, you're going to need stock up on supplies. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of green office supplies available, especially in the paper department. This includes office paper, file folders, envelopes, shipping boxes, as well as paper towels and tissues. Most office papers on the market still contain zero recycled content, so be sure to carefully read the labels when purchasing paper. But you're not just limited to paper goods when going green -- you can also buy refillable pens, biodegradable garbage can liners made of corn, solar-powered calculators, and non-toxic markers and glue sticks. These are all good supplies to have on hand for your green initiatives.
Green computing is another way to honor the environment, and there is a new system for evaluating and certifying electronics that keeps this in mind. The Electronic Product Enviromental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) has a set list of 51 specific criteria that they use to rate and categorize computer equipment according to its environmental friendliness. Some highlights of the list are:
- Eliminating environmentally sensitive materials like mercury and lead
- Limiting amount of post consumer materials used
- Promoting longevity
- Promoting energy conservation
- Conserving packaging