At Kelson Group, we want to help you live better! In this feature blog, we share tips on how to make your life better by making your home office a little more green.
Working from home is eco-friendly, and many companies today have reduced their impact on the environment by promoting working from home as an option for team members. All those office-bound workers commuting to work pour pollutants into the air, while those who work from home can feel pretty good about their carbon-free trek to the home office. However, your home office still uses energy and consumes goods, and you pay for most of that. Make a special effort to reduce, reuse and recycle to create an office with a lower environmental impact that'll save you money!
Did you know a home-based worker is potentially consuming more energy than his or her office counter part? Working from home means you're heating an entire apartment that might otherwise be empty for perhaps only one person. Some simple ways to save on heating include closing off vents to bedrooms and other unused areas during the day. Put on a sweater and turn the thermostat down.
Reducing Other Energy Usage
Make sure the lights are off in the rest of the house while you work in your office. Use task lighting instead of whole-room lighting when feasible. Put a chair by the window so you can make use of natural light for reading. At the end of the day, shut down office equipment such as computers, printers and other peripherals. This equipment draws energy while it's off, so to save more energy plug everything into a power strip, and flip that off too.
Buy Better, Greener Products
When you purchase anything for your home office from computer equipment to paper, shop for environmentally responsible office products. Opt for metal or wood desk organizers instead of plastic. Go for a bamboo floor mat which will last longer and look better. Look for the Energy Star rating on office equipment - it's not just for appliances! Buy recycled paper and Earth-friendly cleaning products.
Buying better, more eco-friendly products can be expensive, so make up for it by saving a bit when you give some old stuff new life. Shop at second-hand stores for your home office furniture. You can find great deals on high quality furniture that companies no longer need but are still in great condition. Find new uses in your home office for shelves and furniture you already own before purchasing anything new. A fresh coat of paint will do wonders to extend the life of old furniture.
Recycle More than Paper
Don't trash electronics and furniture when you buy new ones. Think about how to recycle electronics (computers, printers, cell phones, etc.) and other large items. Either find an electronics recycler or sell your old stuff online. You may be able to donate old technology, particularly cell phones, to non-profits and receive a tax deduction. And some non-profits will take donations of furniture and some electronics.