Working from home is already a great start for a greener lifestyle. By not commuting you’re reducing your carbon footprint. But there is more you can do, and we’re here to help. These are tips for a greener home office.
NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL LIGHT
If you haven’t already selected a room for your home office, we like to recommend one that comes with plenty of natural light. If you’re working a 9-5 shift you could probably get away without using any extra lighting at all. Additionally, when deciding on the room that will become your home office, look for one on the southside of the house, it usually gets more sun exposure throughout the day.
The perks from using natural light all day include lower utility bills and less expense on lighting fixtures and bulbs. But the best perk is that you may find you have less headaches, and a better mood, since natural light is good for both.
If you do need a desk lamp look for one with an environmentally friendly LED bulb, that will reduce eye fatigue such as this Bostitch Adjustable LED desk lamp. It’s dimmable, using a 6500 K bulb which mimics natural light.
When designing and stocking your office, make use of natural or sustainable materials. Wood is a beautiful, durable choice for many products, especially your desk or bookcase.
THE RIGHT PAINT
When creating your greener home office, using VOC-free paint is another step in the right direction. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) are solvents released in the air as the paint dries. They are harmful carbon-containing substances that add to the formation of ozone, which is toxic for the environment and us. VOCs are known for causing headaches and dizziness and studies are proving they’re carcinogenic as well.
BE ENERGY EFFICIENT
A greener home office comes from the products you buy, as well as how you use them. You will notice the difference on your electric bill using EnergyStar compliant devices. Laptops are also more efficient than a desktop computer. Whichever you choose, be sure to turn your computer off at the end of the day and if it’s an appliance you don’t use often such as a printer, then keep it unplugged until you need it.
DO YOU REALLY NEED TO PRINT THAT?
Speaking of printers, asking yourself this question before hitting print can save you and the environment. If you do need to print though, there are a few sustainable printing practices that you can follow:
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE
The three R’s have been drilled into our heads since childhood because they’re important. Whether you’re buying or eliminating supplies, keep them in mind. “Reusing” is one of the best considerations for a greener home office; from cutting up used paper to reuse as scrap or repurposing the rubber bands or twist ties that come in packaging, once you start reusing, it gets easier and easier to find more ways and more items to reuse.