Although the push for more eco-friendly initiatives in the office have been occurring at a smaller scale, this year has actually been filled with a variety of recycling projects. Ranging from retrofitting an old building in Chicago to designers creating greener business furniture, 2013 has paved the way for many more eco-friendly buildings and offices.

Fast Company released its list of this year’s most creative office design stories and some of the stories featured on its list were discussed on Quality Office Liquidation’s blog as well:

  • Issues around open-floor plans: Although 70 percent of businesses in the United States have begun making the switch, a study found that a lack of privacy and control over noise levels actually may reduce employee productivity.
  • Yahoo ends work-from-home option: The work from home option has gained traction in recent years, but Yahoo decided to get rid of these privileges altogether because it appeared that not as many tasks were being completed when employees were outside of the office. Fast Company contributor Ariel Schwartz wrote that “Yahoo now says that things are working just as planned: engagement and productivity are up.”
  • Green offices: While these are popping up all over the U.S. and the world, Seattle’s Bullitt Center might be the greenest of them all. The building can survive a 100-day drought from all the rainwater it collects. It also runs completely on solar power. Another building that is operating on net-zero energy is the Walgreens in Evanston, Illinois, which opened in November 2013.

Despite all of these improvements, planet Earth has a long way to go. Reliance on fossil fuels and raw materials in plastics is still contributing to greenhouse gases and poorer air quality. Businesses can do their part to be environmentally conscious by purchasing used office furnishings. These hand-picked commercial pieces are durable for daily use and can be a part of any work environment.