Living a greener lifestyle is no longer a solitary endeavor but rather a mass movement all over the world as people everywhere are making serious efforts to preserve our planet and its resources. One way to lower your environmental impact is working from home but this also means that your home office design needs to be eco-friendly as well.
As technology rapidly evolves and much less paper is used nowadays than before, it’s not very difficult to lead a green business from your home but it’s still important to make careful decisions regarding the equipment and materials you use.
Here are some sustainable practices you can adopt to make your home office more sustainable and eco-friendly.
Reduce Your Energy Use
Utilizing natural light is an important way of reducing your energy consumption. It’s free, easy and known for its beneficial and calming effects on human health and productiveness. Having large windows and skylights is a huge asset for a small home office, but in case your home office is in a spot where there’s not much natural light, LED sensor lights are a great sustainable option. Depending on the motion changes, they will switch off and on reducing your energy use and cost.
In addition to light, almost all the technology you have in your home has a control station including computer screens, air-conditioning and heating. If you run them pointlessly at night or when not necessary, you'll only increase your energy consumption.
By adjusting your energy-saving computer screens, using smart power strips and switching your devices to eco-mode, you will significantly reduce your home office energy use.
Implement the 5R’s
There are at least 3.5 million tonnes of solid waste generated each day which is ten times more than it was a century ago. Dumps and landfills are quickly filling up and it's imperative we all find ways of reducing the amount of waste we create.
One way of doing it in your home office is by adopting the 5R’s rule – refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle. Simply put, say no to environmentally damaging products.
Refuse to print documents you can send online and when you think about buying a new item, think again if it’s really worth buying. Rather, purchase items in bulk to save money, reduce your trips to the shops and lower your carbon footprint.
Reduce your paper usage by typing documents on your laptop or computer. Instead of using disposable items, reuse things you already have in your home and give them a new purpose. This is perhaps best done with old furniture that you can freshen up with new paint or upholstery and add charm to your home office.
Stop using single-use plastics and anything you need to throw away, consider ways of recycling or donating them to local charitable organizations.
Adopt Sustainable Practices
Implementing sustainable printing practices can also be an efficient way of reducing your environmental impact. Switch to 100% recycled paper and, whenever possible, print on both sides. Duplex printing will cut down both your paper usage and cost.
Another simple step towards more sustainable printing is opting for an eco-friendly printer. Many modern printers today have power-saving features and automatic duplex printing options that enable you to lower your energy consumption and paper use. Combined with the use of eco-friendly inks and toners, your home office will have a minimal environmental impact.
Re-Evaluate Your Office Supplies and Furniture
When designing your eco-friendly home office, you might not have enough room in your budget for exclusively sustainable products but you can implement certain changes in those areas that will have the biggest overall impact.
Start by making a list of your necessary supplies and, in addition to choosing recycled paper, re-evaluate your needs and check what is essential for your business and what you can do without. As mentioned in the 5R's paragraph, you can reuse and repurpose many items, especially furniture, but you might also consider buying used furniture on sale or furniture made from eco-friendly materials.
Another way to reduce your spending is to consider freshening up your office with a new coat of paint. Instead of splurging on new office furnishings, a new layout and furniture arrangement with a different wall color could be just what your business needs.
However, be sure you buy eco-friendly, low VOC paints and don’t forget that a few indoor plants can make a huge difference. Not only do they beautify the space but they also reduce up to 87% of indoor air pollutants within 24 hours.
Implementing a variety of green sustainable designs and practices in your home office can be an impactful way of contributing to the preservation of your environment and the planet as a whole. You might think it is insignificant, but simple things such as reusing items you already have, repurposing old furniture pieces, using recycled paper, etc. will all work towards offsetting your carbon footprint and will set you and your business on the right path towards a greener, cleaner future.
Written by Theodora Evans
About the Author
Theodora is a passionate blogger from Sydney and she is someone you would call an IT nerd. Also, she takes great interest in psychology and helping people deal with their mental and anxiety issues. Besides that, she loves martial arts and enjoying the nature. Find her on Twitter.
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