Recyclable Desk Chair

Beth Asaff
Working Away

Nearly every kind of office supply, from copy paper to coffee cups, has been given the green-flag for sustainable design. Today you can even find recyclable desk chairs. You don't have to sacrifice style for sustainability. Many of the new recyclable desk chairs come in fantastic shapes, a variety of colors and fabrics and there are a range of prices that will work within your budget as well.

Good for Your Body and the Environment

Anyone who sits at a desk for the better part of eight to twelve hours a day knows that comfort is paramount to the purchase of a desk chair. For many it is much more important than the environment. (It's ok, you don't have to feel guilty; no one wants their rear end or lower back hurting by the end of the day.) The best part about high-quality recyclable desk chairs is that they help you maintain proper posture and position while offering a green solution to standard office furnishings.

Top Four Recyclable Desk Chairs

  • Aeron Chair by Herman Miller
    • Design of the Decade Gold Winner from the Industrial Designers Society of America
    • Starts at $679
    • Made from 62 percent recycled materials
    • 94 percent recyclable
    • Classic, enduring design
    • Available from Backstore.com and Sit4Less
  • Trey Chair
    • Starts at $239
    • Multi-functional
    • Available by special order from the manufacturer
  • Steelcase Think Chair
    • Available in a wide range of designer colors
    • 99 percent recyclable
    • Completely adjustable
    • Winner of the Enterprise and Environment Award
    • Starts at $399
    • Available from The Human Solution
  • Knoll Life Chair
    • Made from 52 percent recycled materials
    • 80 percent recyclable
    • Automatically adjusts to the weight of the body
    • Starts at $489
    • Available from YLiving.

Buying a Green Desk Chair

Many products today are labeled "green," "eco-friendly" and "sustainable," but can you really be sure you're getting a truly green product? To make sure you're getting the most environmentally sound office chair, pay attention not just to the percentage of material that is recyclable, but to these attributes as well:

Where Was It Made

The closer the source of the manufacturing to you, the greener the chair. Chairs shipped from overseas rack up a bigger carbon footprint than those built down the road.

How Was It Put Together

Look for a manufacturer that uses water based adhesives, rather than VOC based. Your chair may be recyclable, but it won't be doing the environment any good if it's releasing toxic compounds as the adhesives break down. Ask for a materials list from the manufacturer of the chair you are considering.

Green Business Practices

If you're truly concerned about getting the most environmentally friendly office chair, make sure you take a look at the business practices of any company you are considering purchasing from. A truly green company will be transparent with its manufacturing, shipping and disposal of waste practices.

Make Sure It's Made Well

In the case of recyclable office chairs, it's not enough to consider the fate of the chair, it's also important to consider how well the chair is made. If it is poorly constructed it will break and you will end up tossing it much sooner than a well-made version. Yes, quality may mean that it is more expensive, but you will save money and be more sustainable in the long term if you choose a well-made chair.

Recyclable Desk Chair