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Sit Green

Many folks I know in the SF area managed to snag themselves a fancy desk chair at fire-sale prices during the dark days of the dot-com bust. If you weren't quite so lucky (that is, if you weren't able to plunder the grisly remains of shattered dreams) or you're just in need of a good new chair, Steelcase has something for you. You enviromental-types who want aggressive use of recycled material, maximum recyclability, and a chair manufacturer who knows when to mention LEED compliance in its brochure may be particularly interested in this chair, called the "Think" (PDF).

According to the Steelcase documentation:

  • 41% (by weight) of the chair comes from recycled materials.
  • 99% (by weight) of the chair can be recycled.
  • The chair contains no PVCs, CFCs, solvents, benzene, chrome, lead or mercury.
  • "The Think chair can contribute toward LEED credits because it contains a high percentage of recycled material and it is a low emitting product. Additionally, its ergonomic qualities, production processes and ease of disassembly may contribute towards LEED credits for employee health and for innovation. Because each project is unique, Steelcase will work with customers individually towards LEED application."
  • Denmark's Institute for Product Development performed a full Life Cycle Assessment on the chair; the results can be downloaded from Steelcase (PDF).

    Steelcase Think chairs aren't exactly cheap -- running around $600-$650 -- but that's not significantly more expensive than comparable non-green ergonomic chairs. For those of us who spend a good chunk of the day at a desk, ergonomically-friendly chairs are worth the investment. That the Think is also environmentally-friendly makes it all the more attractive.

    Beyond the particular value for those who need a new chair, the Think is also another example of a well-regarded industrial design group taking a green leap. It's great to see Steelcase do this -- but the challenge is to move beyond the specialty niche "green chair." When Steelcase starts making all of its chairs from recycled/easily-recyclable materials, then we'll really applaud.

    (Found via Treehugger)

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