It’s an ongoing trend for people to work from the home office. Many companies hire experts and employees to work remotely. This is something being practised a lot in the last decade or so. For businesses, this is cheaper and easier way to come to the quality workforce. For employees, it more relaxed and comfortable to work with the familiar surroundings.
However, even this can be your chance to be a responsible citizen and go green. Creating a sustainable home office is not that hard and expensive anymore. It requires some adjustments and renovations, but it can be rewarding and gratifying to know you’re helping the environment.
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Use less paper
Almost everything is digital today. Even official documents accept digital signatures and you can conduct transactions online. Besides being practical, it is also a great way to reduce the paper use. Print only what you must and do it on both sides if appropriate. Digital newsletters and magazines, as well as bills and online banking, are all perfect ways to limit the paper use. In addition, you will declutter your home from paper stacks and have more space to move.
When getting rid of paper, place it in the container for recycling. This includes envelopes, printouts, cardboard packaging and all other paper-made items. Also, you can donate the magazines to the library, school or any other business which might make use of them.
Buy energy efficient equipment
When buying office equipment, look for those labelled with Energy Star. This means that it will use less energy to operate and have reduced the negative impact on the environment. Energy efficient equipment is also excellent to save on the electricity bill which is important for any business.
To be more energy efficient, you can check the sealants on the doors and windows of your home office and make sure that insulation is all right. This will save the energy for air-conditioning and heating system, by not allowing inside temperature to leak outside.
Acquire used/sustainable furniture
It may come as a surprise, but you can also help the environment by buying used and sustainable furniture. Used furniture can easily be brought back to life with some paint and varnish. There are many DIY tutorials on a topic that you can surely find some inspiration and instructions.
What is more important, older furniture is usually made of more quality wood and restoring it will give you long-lasting pieces. In addition, you can repurpose the furniture or buy a new one from the sustainable manufacturers. Sustainable furniture is made of materials specifically intended for this, like renewable wood.
Use power-saving modes
Power-saving mode is not so hard to achieve. Nevertheless, it will take some time to get all your devices in order for this purpose. The easiest one is to set your computer to use less energy and go into the hibernation, sleep or standby mode after a certain time of idling. Many devices draw power even if switched off. Power strips will allow you to turn them off completely from the electricity source. The best part is that you can plug in several devices at once and shut them out from the power source by pressing a button.
Switch to remote control
Automatic shut down can be set to start at the certain time after office hours, but not all devices support this feature. Another more available option is using remote control. This is a new way of manipulating electronics in your home via smartphone. Newest devices have this option with included Wi-Fi receiver which helps you connect with it and control it through the app.
Additionally, there are remotely controlled outlets which let you regulate the electronic devices no matter where you are. This is a cheaper and practical solution than buying new electronic devices if you don’t need them or are not ready to spend so much money.
Change the lighting
Instead of using the conventional light bulbs and lamps, opt for products from the more eco-friendly LED lighting supplier. Incandescent bulbs are less and less used since the LED one costs less, last longer and provide lighting that is more efficient. This type of lights has proven even better and more energy efficient than compact fluorescent bulbs. Using a task light on the desk instead of the overhead one can also save the energy, as well as your eyesight.
Install solar panels
The far reach for going green would be to install the solar panels and make your own energy. This is expensive and not many decide to do this just for the home office. However, if you consider the benefits the whole household could have, then it’s something you can decide upon. Although the installation and switching process can be costly, it’s environmentally beneficial for the long run while bills will be lower immediately.
In the end
Even the smallest step towards a sustainable home office can be helpful and environmentally responsible. Starting with baby steps can later bring big benefits and make you one of the people responsible for making our planet healthier and in better shape.