Where Can You Find Environmentally-Friendly Furniture in Canada?
You’ve probably heard of single-use plastics and improperly recycled materials clogging up landfills and waterways, but did you know that office furniture makes up a HUGE part of landfill waste today? The US Environmental Protection Agency reports that over 8.5 million tons of furniture end up in a landfill every year. And that’s just in the United States!
In such a rapidly evolving economy, both businesses and home offices have needed to adapt quickly to outfit their workspaces. This usually means moving locations and re-furnishing new workspaces many times over—and sometimes all the office furniture from the old buildings just ends up getting tossed! It’s no wonder Canadians are looking for eco-friendly office furniture.
With such a huge rise in wasted material, it’s important for us to consider whether your furniture and home decor are environmentally sustainable. Thrifted, recycled, and repurposed furniture contributes to the global circular economy, and this helps to divert as many items from the landfill as possible.
Conscious consumption starts in the office—whether that’s at home or in an office building. But what exactly makes a product eco-friendly? And where can you buy environmentally-friendly furniture in Canada? Read on to find out!
What Makes a Product Eco-Friendly?
When it comes to environmentally sustainable products, there are two factors to consider:
- Eco-friendly materials
- Eco-friendly processes
A product that is made from eco-friendly materials is usually made from recycled, repurposed, or post-consumer materials. Wood, metal, glass, or plastic may all be recycled and turned into material for new items! These products require very few raw materials (if any at all), which reduces the carbon footprint of the finished item. Most of the time, these products can be recycled once they’ve been “used up,” and the materials can be used for another eco-friendly product!
Using sustainable materials also makes a product more eco-friendly. Bamboo, for example, is a natural fibre that is a great green alternative to raw wood. It grows much faster than trees do, which makes it a sustainable material. On top of that, bamboo products are easily compostable and recyclable!
Environmentally friendly products would be completely redundant if they were processed in a way that created huge amounts of waste of harmful by-products. That’s why sustainable processes are a big part of making an eco-friendly product! It’s more than just the products—it’s also about the companies behind them.
How to Tell if a Company is “Environmentally Friendly”?
Companies that manufacture eco-friendly products have a high standard to live up to! Not only are they responsible for sourcing sustainable earth-friendly material, but they also have to make sure their manufacturing processes are “clean” and don’t produce any harsh chemicals that might harm the environment. This is why microfactories like ChopValue’s have become increasingly widespread in recent years.
What are Microfactories?
A key characteristic of the modern-day microfactory is its advanced technology which reduces the amount of time, resources, and operating power needed to create a finished product. Smaller factories with closer proximity to their customers like ChopValue’s closed-loop microfactories also use more sustainable and localized manufacturing processes and resources, effectively generating smaller amounts of waste. Take ChopValue’s hot-resin sanitation, for example—the process is highly effective at killing bacteria from recycled chopsticks, and it produces no water waste at all! In fact, ChopValue’s entire manufacturing process stores more carbon than it creates, making every piece of furniture and home decor carbon-positive.
You can also tell if a company is environmentally friendly by finding out where they get their materials from. In the case of office furniture, many earth-conscious companies will work with reclaimed wood or FSC Certified Wood (wood that the Forest Stewardship Council has deemed to be harvested sustainably). Responsibly sourced material means you can support the company and enjoy your furniture without worrying about the environmental impact.
Making the Switch to Eco-Friendly Furniture?
Make sure to donate desks and chairs to thrift stores or secondhand shops, especially if they're still usable and in good condition. You never know—someone else might find your old desk to be just the one they wanted!
Donating items to thrift stores gives them a second life in someone else’s home. Before going to a landfill, these pieces of furniture could be upcycled or reused by someone else. If your old desk or chairs aren’t in good condition anymore, make sure you recycle them properly! Most furniture can’t be recycled with curbside recycling programs, so check with your local recycling department to find out where to recycle large items.
Without further ado, here are some eco-friendly companies to support when you’re on the market for sustainable office furniture!
Furniture Companies that Sell Eco-Friendly Furniture
EFFYDESK x ChopValue
With the highly-celebrated launch of the Closed Loop Collection by EFFYDESK x ChopValue, it's never been easier to shop for environmentally-friendly furniture. This sustainable collection of office supplies is made from recycled chopsticks harvested and repurposed by ChopValue.
What is Closed-Loop Production?
During the closed-loop production of EFFYDESK and ChopValue’s eco-friendly home office products, the amount of raw material used is virtually zero, and the manufacturing process stores more carbon than it creates! This eco-friendly process makes the Closed Loop Collection a great, sustainable choice for office furniture.
The choice is yours for sustainably-made office accessories! From eco-friendly laptop stands to environmentally-friendly filing cabinets, there is an upcycled office accessory for everyone in this collection. The signature TerraDesk tabletop is made of over 10,000 recycled chopsticks and is stronger than oak and maple wood. This durable material will stand the test of time and also bring a minimalist style to your office. On top of that, both EFFYDESK and ChopValue have headquarters in Vancouver, so Canadians can enjoy free shipping and support locally! Not to fret, if you’re shopping from the US, you will also enjoy fast and free shipping.
Thuma is an eco-friendly online store (based in San Francisco) that specializes in bedroom furniture. Their quality craftsmanship elevates your bedroom design with ethically sourced material: all their furniture is made from repurposed rubberwood from sustainable tree plantations. Each piece is shipped to your door in recyclable packaging, and Thuma also plants a tree with every purchase.
The Citizenry, is a globally-inspired home decor brand that invests in artisans worldwide. From Mexico to Mali, this company sources high-quality handcrafted goods made in limited quantities. Dining room furniture, pillows, or tableware--you’ll find a little bit of everything on the website! The small-batch production ensures that every item is unique, and fair trade standards mean that they’re produced in a safe working environment. Worldwide partnerships make it easier for artists to use ethically and locally sourced material. The Citizenry uses 10 percent of its proceeds for entrepreneur development grants, which gives back to the artisan communities they work with.
VivaTerra blends global inspiration with modern design to bring you an eco-conscious line of furniture and home decor. This company sources items from family-run businesses around the world, working closely with people who use sustainable methods to create beautiful furniture. Every handcrafted piece is made with natural materials and is inspired by natural forms, as VivaTerra strives to protect the planet. Most of their pieces are handcrafted with recycled glass, vintage fabrics, salvaged metal or responsibly sourced wood (either FSC-certified or reclaimed wood).
Looking for Environmentally-Friendly Furniture in Canada?
Our award-winning ergonomic office chairs ensure that office workers are protected against desk job damage and are well-equipped to maximize efficiency and morale in the workplace — wherever that may be for you.