Sustainable Worship Seating

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle concept.  Wooden Scrabble letters spell out "reduce, reuse, recycle" Isolated on white background

Three little words make up a phrase that has been said for decades. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. It encompasses several meanings. Though that phrase has evolved, nowadays, we’ve heard the terms Going Green or Sustainable. These are synonymous with making resourcefully responsible choices, limiting our environmental impact, and minimizing our carbon footprint. These same principles we learned early on shaped us into environmental stewards of our community when producing sustainable worship seating. 

The definition of reducing is to limit, conserve, or to cut back on resources. Reusing is to find creative ways or methods to incorporate items that otherwise would have been thrown out. Recycling takes something old and worn out and repurposes it for something useful; like worn-out tires used for sports and playground surfacing. The actions to reduce, reuse, and recycle; have allowed Sauder to grow sustainably and expand to what it is today. 

Sustainable Worship Seating from the Start

Erie Sauder making Sustainable Worship Seating

Sauder Worship Seating began in 1934. It was the beginning of a career and a company that focused on creating furniture for churches. Our founder, Erie Sauder, understood the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling as often as possible. He was environmentally conscious before it became the protocol for most corporations today. Through his legacy, we adopted one of our current core values, Environmental Stewardship. Erie started out making wooden church pews and pulpits. The scrap wood left over from building pews was used to make tables.

Not only was Erie one of the finest craftsmen of his time, but he was an inventor. He understood the value of reusing material and repurposing it; from the scrap, he could use it for his other projects. He designed the first knockdown table. It was the first patented ready-to-assemble piece of furniture that could be packaged in a box and assembled at home. The success of this table helped launch the Sauder Manufacturing Company in 1945 into a full-time production manufacturer.

It Pays to be Green

Lumber in the Pre-Dryer at the Sauder Worship Seating Archbold, OH plant

To this day, Sauder Worship Seating® has continued to implement greener practices to reduce, reuse, and recycle in their day-to-day operations. Sauder carefully selects and sources all their building materials responsibly. This allows us to maintain quality control over raw materials and quantity because we don’t want to acquire an overabundance of lumber.

Much like our founder, Sauder Worship Seating® continues to recycle our scrap material for other purposes. There is power behind going green Sauder’s use of recycled material to generate electricity to power our pre-dryer and kiln to dry lumber. Every machine in the plant produces sawdust or left-over wood fragments. Sauder collects the sawdust and grinds up the wooden fragments, which are placed into a furnace and burned. This generates enough heat and energy to power the pre-dryer and kiln without electrical support. Inside our pre-dryer, we house fresh-cut lumber under controlled temperature and humidity levels. The steam captured from the furnace is applied in our kiln, acting as a conditioning agent in the drying process. The kiln then conditions the lumber after it has left the pre-dryer.

Recycling our scrap material makes it possible to create our power source. Green energy supports and powers the lumber drying process, which is integral in manufacturing furniture. Properly dried lumber ensures it’s at optimal strength and ready for production use.

Sauder Worship Seating Dumping Scrap Scrap Wood in bed of truck for recycling.

Sauder has been a staple for the community of Archbold for nearly 90 years. As good corporate citizens, we help the local community and farmers by donating scrap wood or sawdust. The dust and scrap wood can serve as bedding for livestock and firewood for their homes. Sauder Worship Seating® carries the legacy that Erie Sauder put in place and adheres to a set of standards that have been a part of our process since 1934. Sauder Worship Seating® is committed to responsibly sourcing, conserving energy, recycling material, and enhancing internal processes through greener practices.


In an ever-changing world, our Core Values are constant. We respect and protect the environment. Through a range of sustainable design and stewardship programs, Sauder Worship Seating is committed to caring for our planet and resources. To learn more about us and Who We Are visit

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