Nabbing the "Outlaws"

How many products do we use every day – in the office, for our projects – that have more environmentally responsible alternatives? Inspired by an in-depth look at the debate over whether vinyl can be appropriately considered sustainable, our weekly summer “Happy Lunch” in Princeton featured an “outlaw” scavenger hunt.

From paper goods and cleaning products, to finishes and materials, staff brought items to the table that could be considered for an “outlaw” list – a list of products we should refrain from using in-house or in our work.

Energetic discussion on the merits of rating products and materials, and the benefits – or detriments – to excluding options made for a lively lunch. A few sustainable alternatives discussed: fair trade coffee, sustainable/recyclable trace paper, alternatives to foam mounting board, flooring products to use in lieu of vinyl composition tile, and more.

An extension of KSS’ existing sustainable policies, which call for the use of green cleaning products and papers with recycled content for example, an “outlaw” list could further guide our everyday tasks, planning and design.

The jury’s still out on the “outlaws” to populate our list, but it never hurts to engage in sustainable conversation.