Speaking of ideas that are out of the box: one startup is using cardboard to make eco-friendly furniture.
Chairigami manufactures tables, arm chairs, couches, shelves, standing desks, even iPhone cases out of recyclable material called Triple Wall, a three-plied corrugated cardboard. The material is like plywood in terms of its sturdiness, but is flexible enough that it can bend without breaking, providing maximum comfort. The pieces — which range from $80 to $180 on the Chairigami website — ship flat and require minimal assembly, but no glue.
Zachary Rotholz, 24, started the New Haven company in 2011 after graduating from Yale University with a Mechanical Engineering degree. “People these days just purchase stuff and throw it out when they’re done with it, so I wanted to get people thinking about what the material is made out of,” he says.