We Get Greener Kit Cassingham & her Bigger Half

Aeron, My Green Office Chair

Being practical (isn't that a nice word for cheap, or Scottish?), I have used whatever chair I had available in the house for my office chair. I've been doing that since 1985 when I started working at home. Being practical isn't always so practical, based on my discomfort and back problems.

After about four years of making do I broke down and bought a chair at one of those big box office stores. A high-back office chair looked so professional that I went with that style. I couldn't afford a leather chair like my dad had, so I went with a fabric-covered chair. I thought I'd really improved my seating arrangement. I had softened the seat, but I wasn't any more comfortable than I had been before. Sure I now had a swivel chair -- unlike any of my dining room chairs that I'd used, but the first one just didn't fit me. I have now been through more chairs I could almost start my own office chair store!

Office chairs look as if they'd be easy to buy and use. I guess I've shown that to not be the case. I have bought what I thought were executive chairs, reception chairs, fabric chairs, leatherette chairs, chairs with arms and chairs without, a sitting ball, and I've even bought ergonomic chairs.

My first ergonomic chair had an interesting and promising design. I had two problems with it, though. The small issue was that the chair tilted me forward and I had to fight to keep the seat level -- I guess the base was too tall for me. But, the biggest issue was the smell. For the first two weeks I couldn't be in my office for more than two hours at a time because the smell would bother my sinuses so much. It surprised me the smell lasted so long, especially given that my office was in the yurt at the time, and the yurt has a good ventilation system (lovely way of saying the air exchange through and around the walls was active). Even after a week-long trip the smell overpowered me. Fortunately it didn't bother My Bigger Half's assistant, so he bought it from me for her to use (she got to graduate from one of my office chair experiments). So much for that ergonomic desk chair.

I'd loved the Aeron chairs for years. They are ergonomic, in multiple sizes to fit any stature, and made of recycled materials that could be recycled at the end of the chairs' long life, but the price kept me away. After listening to several of my friends rave about their Aeron chairs it was finally time for me to give in to comfort. Herman Miller makes Aeron, and have they put thought into their creation!

First, I have a seat that is my size. Aerons come in three sizes: a Papa Chair (size C), a Mama Chair (size B), and a Baby Chair (size A) -- I bought size A and My Bigger Half bought size C. I have a woven fabric for the breathing benefits -- Pellicle Waves is the name they gave it (sounds jazzy, I think). Padded arms adjust up and down, and swing in and out. I can rock back as much or as little as I want and have lumbar support -- where my lumbar is (great concept).

And as much as I love having a comfortable office chair I even love more that it's earth-friendly. I first came to appreciate that part of Aeron chairs when I read Cradle to Cradle, by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. About two-thirds of each chair is made of recycled materials and about ninety-four percent of each chair is recyclable. They seem to be fond of saying "even if it's black, it's green" -- and so do I.

My office chair search has ended with my fabulous Aeron chair. I'm comfortable. It's green, which makes me even greener. My Bigger Half feels that way too. Yet another way we get greener!


This chair looks wonderful! I went to the Herman Miller / Aeron website to check it out further, hoping to find that it is made in the United States. The good news is that many of the Merman Miller products are indeed made in USA, and they actually tell you on the website that they have manufacturing facilities in the US, China, Italy and the United Kingdom. The chair is definitely worth checking into, although my current budget won't allow me to purchase it. (I'm barely able to keep up with my Premium Edition of This Is True. LOL) Keep up the great work, Kit!!

ED KNOX at May 1, 2010 10:16 AM

Ed, you keep that This Is True subscription going. Your Aeron chair days will come soon enough.

Thanks for being a reader of WeGetGreener.com!


Kit Cassingham at May 2, 2010 6:59 PM
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