As a culture, we are moving away from unsustainable practices. More people recycle, use alternative energy, grow their own food, compost, or find some other way to live more lightly on the earth, than ever before. While it is not perfect—obviously—it points to a better, cleaner future. Each person’s decision to adopt this sustainable practice or that one, even if it is just the single practice, builds upon the next person’s decision to do the same, until it is no longer a struggle at all to change (think of how many vegetarian restaurants there are now). Which is why I want to talk about one more way to practice sustainable living without being totally free of all materialistic pursuits.
Let’s be realistic: most people live and work in the fairly materialistic mainstream culture. We’re not ready to give up our houses and cars and many possessions just yet, and even if you are, it should not be expected to be that way. So, all right, the choice is not ‘buy a new chair’ or ‘do not buy a new chair, instead grow a small grove of trees to harvest in fifteen years’ time and build your own set of chairs from scratch’. The choice is ‘buy new chair that will break in three years and have to be replaced’ or ‘buy new chair that will last a lifetime/can be easily fixed’. A much more reasonable decision to make, although it may still cause people guilt over buying anything at all.
Here is the issue I want to discuss: chair mats. Plastic chair mats warp, or crack, or don’t work well at all (as in the case of on hard floors such as wood or linoleum), or get thrown away every time you move because they’re just so frustrating and unwieldy. Not very sustainable, wouldn’t you agree? Instead, consider the glass chair mat movement. Glass chair mats will never warp—they’re glass—and are tempered much like bullet-proof glass to not break under most kind of pressure. They are scratch-resistant, staying clear and clean long after a plastic chair mat would have given up the fight to stay aesthetically pleasing. A home glass chair mat is suitable and easy to use on any kind of surface; indeed, they are actually enhance and showcase the floor of your home beneath quite well. Your hardwood floors will now be both protected and clearly visible—likewise to tile or linoleum or any other hard surface.
A glass chair mat will potentially last for an entire lifetime; they can be custom ordered to fit whatever size and shape you need, from smaller than traditional plastic floor mats to spanning multiple workstations. Stop filling up landfills with your unwanted plastic floor mats; make the switch to one or many glass chair mats and make your own contribution to the sustainability movement. Who knows, maybe you’ll take further steps to start a small herb garden or compost next—the sky is the limit, and even the smallest of things make a difference.