Hardworking professionals in a variety of industries make use of extra space in their homes by converting rooms into functional, comfortable home offices. However, making sure your space is eco-friendly and functioning with sustainability in mind is a tall order. Looking for ways to make your home office green? Consider the following tips and reduce your carbon footprint while increasing productivity.
1.Power Down Your Electronics
Once you’re done for the day, turn off your electronics. Letting your monitor run over night could mean wasting a great deal of energy, and letting that cordless keyboard stay on could waste down batteries in just a few weeks’ time. One study performed by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that 23 percent of all residential energy consumption came from electronic devices that were plugged in but not in use. These devices draw on energy 24 hours a day, and this can quickly add up. Plug all of your essential work equipment into single power strip. When you’re finished with your work, one flick of a single switch will turn off everything you need—no sweat off your brow.
2.Reduce Paper Waste
In this digital age, there’s no reason your home office should be a large source of paper waste. There are certain cases where paper documents are essential; if you do have to print something, purchase recycled paper. Invest in a scanner or download a scanning app to take all of your important documents from paper to computer screen. You can also find ways to reuse paper; if you regularly receive printouts or ad papers, you can use the blank side as note paper for jotting down important notes and ideas. It’s also important to keep a recycle container next to your desk so it’s easy to quickly discard of your paper waste in the most eco-friendly fashion. It’s also important to take your printer habits into consideration. Always shut down your printer when not in use, and if you’re going to print, print on both sides of the paper, especially in cases of personal use. Once your ink cartridge runs out, don’t throw it in the garbage—be sure to recycle it. Reducing paper also means reducing clutter. Cutting down on clutter can provide surprising health benefits; papers, storage bins, books, and more get covered in dust daily, dust that’s filled with pollutants and allergens. Committing to cutting down on paper can help you streamline your office into a minimal space that’s efficient and healthy.
3.Reassess Your Lighting Options
The best workspaces offer excellent lighting, but keeping those lights on bright throughout the day and night can mean terrible things for your electric bill. Don’t think simply switching your lightbulbs out for compact fluorescents will do the trick—making a significant impact means making a significant change. Sites like www.renovateamerica.com offer financing for energy efficient lighting systems that are designed to give maximize output with minimal energy usage. From dimmers to motion sensors, doing what you can to revamp the lighting in your home office (and in every other room in the house) can make a big difference in your energy use. While this purchase may constitute a larger investment, it’s one that’s more than worth the payoff.
4.Eco-Friendly Equipment Options
If your home office requires new equipment, be sure to look for used items first. You’ll save money and reduce waste. Websites like www.offerup.com allow you to connect with local sellers; often companies that have moved offices or closed down will sell their equipment for a fraction of the price. If you must buy new, be sure to look for products that feature an Energy Star label. This office equipment is designed to conserve energy, which means great things for your utility costs.
5.Bring the Garden Indoors
Your home office should contain plenty of plants, and that’s for more than aesthetics. Plants are effective air filtration systems in their own right, and according to studies performed by NASA scientists, there are numerous plants proven to efficiently remove harmful pollutants from the air you breathe. Even a single plant addition in your office can help improve air quality.