Greenwash Watch: HDPE Chairs


He must have seen my TreeHugger media badge, because the salesman from Element Square called out and said "No trees were harmed in the production of these chairs!" I replied that a lot of fossil fuels were burned and a lot of CO2 released, and he said "but no oil, just natural gas," which matters only if you are more concerned about your car than your climate, but we will let that pass and look a little deeper.

Element Square
makes a lovely Muskoka or Adirondack chair from King Starboard, which would appear to be high density polyethylene. Wikipedia says that "High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum. It takes 1.75 kilograms of petroleum (in terms of energy and raw materials) to make one kilogram of HDPE."

So no trees may have died to make that chair, but instead of sequestering carbon like a wood chair does, each 58 Lb chair uses up a hundred pounds of petroleum feedstock. I, for one, will stick with the classic wood chair. ::Element Square found at ::Cottage Life

Related Content on