4 ways donated furniture energizes a makerspace

Green Standards helps companies donate office furniture they no longer need
By: | April 30, 2021
Donald Meyer Elementary School in San Jose, California received adjustable tables and chairs through Green Standards, an organization that helps companies donate office furniture they no longer need.Donald Meyer Elementary School in San Jose, California received adjustable tables and chairs through Green Standards, an organization that helps companies donate office furniture they no longer need.

Perfectly sound furniture that might have ended up in a landfill now fills out a makerspace and activity lounge at Donald Meyer Elementary School in San Jose, California.

Principal Victor A. Guendulain received adjustable tables and chairs through Green Standards, an organization that helps companies donate office furniture they no longer need.

“Anyone school looking to create or reorganize a space, this a great way to reach out and look for materials that would be beneficial or appropriate,” says Guendulain, whose building is part of the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District.

Here are 3 key ways the Guendulain furniture donations will benefit learners:

  • The makerspace area fits into the school’s emphasis on STEM and engaging hands-on learning
  • The facility will help students develop critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills
  • Having the furniture donated allowed the district to spend money on other equipment and technology
  • The space will also be a key tool to promote language acquisition among English learners, he says.

Environmental wins

Over the last 10 years, Green Standards has secured $32 million worth of furniture for 5,500 schools, nonprofits and other community organizations, says the company’s president, Trevor Langdon.

Donald Meyer Elementary School “By accepting these in-kind donations, you’re saving money you can put into programming and invest in students, you’re also participating in an environmental win in extending the lifecycle of the furniture that would end up in a landfill,” Langdon says.

“You’re also reducing the need for harvesting raw and virgin materials to create new products,” he says.

In the Detroit area, for example, Green Standards worked with General Motors to donate furniture to Cody High School so administrators could revamp a library and create a space where parents could participate in learning with their students.


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In North Carolina, Green Standards funneled furniture from a financial services company to North Rowan High School to support an IT expansion in the library.

Overall, Green Standards has diverted 73,000 tons of waste from landfills and offset 173,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.