Working from home is becoming the new norm for huge swathes of the population, with 35% of Americans having the option to work from home full time in 2022. Because of this, more and more people are setting up office spaces in their own homes, but creating an eco home office with a lower impact on the environment can be a bit of a challenge.
We’ve put together this list of 5 ways to be more sustainable when working from home, so you can earn your daily bread from a green home office with pride.
Eco Home Office Tips #1 - Choose Eco-Friendly Furniture
The idea of an eco-friendly desk might sound foreign or fantastical to you, but there are plenty of choices you can make in relation to furniture to reduce the impact your home office is having on the environment. Firstly, you can look for furniture in forums, around your local area, and on upcycling websites that people are choosing to give away or sell for very cheap. If you like the look of something, it makes sense to take it rather than let it go to a landfill!
If you’re not a fan of second-hand goods, that’s fine as well, because there are plenty of items of furniture out there being made from sustainable materials. Materials such as recycled plastic and bamboo are always good choices for reducing the impact of your furniture choices. Similarly, it’s important to pick products that are durable and sturdy, as they’ll last longer, in turn creating space between your next purchase.
Eco Home Office Tips #2 - Lighting is Key
When considering ways to go green at home, being mindful of your lighting is always more positive for the environment. When working in one room throughout most of the day, across the seasons of the year, you’ll have to utilize ceiling lights, lamps, and other sources of light a lot of the time, so choose energy-efficient options when you can. Not only will this reduce your environmental impact, but it should also save you some money on your utility bills.
Along with choosing your powered lighting consciously, it’s also always good practice to make use of natural light whenever you can. Choose an office room with plenty of windows, keep your blinds open when possible, and make the most of the sunshine. It’s a simple and effective way to reduce your carbon footprint, while also having some tangible benefits for your mental and physical well being.
Eco Home Office Tips #3 - Manage & Eliminate Waste
It can be easy to treat your home office like a traditional office space, especially if you’ve transitioned from that environment into your work-from-home routine, but an eco office shouldn’t allow for so much waste. In offices, people are quick to use paper towels, post-its, disposable coffee cups, and other disposable items that are provided by the company, but you can cut out those habits at home with ease.
The US is already one of the biggest contributors to landfills in the developed world, so ways that you can help to turn things around include recycling whenever you can, following economical printing practices, making your own lunches rather than buying them pre-packaged, using a whiteboard rather than sticky notes, cleaning up spills with rags rather than paper towels, and many more.
Eco Home Office Tips #4 - Stay on Top of Energy Usage
Making an eco-friendly office at home isn’t all about your purchasing habits, with common sense practices also being effective ways to reduce your environmental impact. One of which is simply being aware and vigilant of your energy usage in the office. It can be tempting to keep everything plugged in and running at all times to make work feel more efficient, but really you should only have the mains on for an appliance when you really need it.
Things like keeping a charger on all day, having your printer on standby, and using lamps in rooms with plenty of natural light all add up, increasing your energy usage. Beyond simply checking your sockets, you can use a desktop energy monitor to be more precise with your observations.
Eco Home Office Tips #5 - Get Some Plants!
Now, this one is more for your own personal environment than it is for the sake of the greater good, but your personal experience will have a massive impact on your home’s ecosystem. With plants in your home office, you’ll help to clean up the air, while also positively impacting on your mental health in a subtle but effective way.
Along with this, plants are the most eco-friendly form of decoration that you can go for, being made without the use of any nasty substances or less-than-sustainable materials. They’ll also be doing their part against greenhouse gases, absorbing the CO2 you produce in the room and replacing it with clean, fresh oxygen.
Final Thoughts on Eco Home Offices
We all need to do our part toward a greener future, and being mindful in your home office is one of the easiest ways to do so. Traditional office spaces will be run in ways that you can’t really influence or affect most of the time, but in your home office, you can be in control of your own environmental footprint.
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