The good people at Apartment Therapy: Chicago have an interesting interview with Jill Salisbury, the founder of el: Environmental Language Furniture (we covered them here on TreeHugger) about sustainability, product design and green materials.
There's lots of good stuff, but our favorite part was what she had to say about what to look for when trying to buy green: "When you’re looking at products that claim to be green, don’t look at just one part of the product. Look at the whole process. If something is made from bamboo, which is a renewable material, but coated with a high-VOC lacquer, it really defeats the green benefits of that product. You need to take a look at what materials are used in the product. Look for low-VOC finishes. Ask about adhesives. Formaldehyde can hide in adhesives and binding agents, in the linings of upholstery. Start asking questions of the salesperson or the manufacturer, and get a feel for whether the product is as green as it claims to be." Read the whole interview here. el: Environmental Language Furniture via ::Apartment Therapy: Chicago