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Greening Your Office: Part II

We got started [www.sundance.tv] on a discussion of green ideas for the workplace earlier this week by looking at some desks and workstations. Many of us spend much of our time at work sitting down, so today we’ll examine a few of our favorite chairs that are good for comfort, posture and the planet.

We can’t think “office chair” without picturing Herman Miller’s Aeron Chair [www.treehugger.com]. Perhaps the most recognizable (and imitated) of these contemporary designs, the chair combines distinctive looks with pioneering ergonomics and is the envy of office workers the world ’round. Aeron is based on the ideas that ergonomically, the chair should do more than just sit there; functionally, it should be as simple and natural as possible, and environmentally, it should be durable, repairable and designed for disassembly and recycling. Made largely of recycled materials, the Aeron chair is designed to last a long time, with parts that get the most wear easily replaced and recycled.

Unfortunately, Aeron isn’t in the budget for all of us; thankfully, there are a host of office chairs that offer similar ergonomics, design, use of recycled materials and recyclability. Haworth’s Zody chair [www.treehugger.com] and the Think chair from Steelcase [www.treehugger.com] both have serious eco-cred (they’re both [url= http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/10/the_first_six_c.php]Cradle-to-Cradle certified[/url]) and offer real comfort with a smaller price tag than Aeron. There’s more to green seating at work than these beauties, though. Along with Herman Miller, Haworth and Steelcase, companies like Humanscale (their award-winning Liberty side chair [www.treehugger.com] is pictured) and Krug offer guest, hospitality and conference seating options that will satisfy just about any office seating requirement while taking care to design with both human comfort and planetary well-being in mind.

Of course, where you sit and work are just the tip of the greening-the-office iceberg; from office supplies and printing to lighting and energy use, there are a bevy of quick and easy things you can do to reduce your office’s ecological footprint. We’ve put as many as we can think of in the How to Green Your Work [www.treehugger.com] guide, part of our “How to Go Green” series, that we recommend for further green-office reading and ideas. There are so many ways to do it today, the only hard part is choosing which one you’ll do first.