Working from home is more than just the freedom to be a late-riser or a chance to be the boss. It is a great opportunity to craft an environmental policy that ensures the home office does more than just cut the carbon emissions by skipping the commute.
There are several ways for home offices to go green. Some of the best ideas are listed below.
Use Recycled Paper to Green the Home Office
Make it a point to use only 100% recycled paper, envelopes and packaging materials. These items are usually competitively priced at office supply stores. Go the extra mile and place a recycle bin close to the workstation to make recycling a part of the process.
Think First then Print, to Reduce Paper Use
Paper is the largest component of waste in landfill sites and commercial use, such as in home offices, is one of the main culprits. There are some simple tips that can drastically reduce the amount of paper the office churns out on a daily basis. Adjusting the margins to a smaller width and printing on both sides can be set automatically and both can cut the paper use by more than half.
Utilize Natural Light to Reduce the Carbon Footprint in the Home Office
Instead of depending on electric light, take advantage of natural light as much as possible. Place the desk in front of a window to minimize the number of hours the indoor lights are turned on. One way to go a step further is to change out the lights in the house to more environmentally friendly CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs.
Buy Used Furniture to Green the Home Office
Repurposing old furniture is one of the best green options, because it means that no additional materials are being taken from the environment. Of course the added bonus is the satisfaction of giving an old item a new lease on life. The other great thing about going used is that it is also often the cheaper option.
Extend the Life of Machinery to Minimize E-Waste from the Home Office
It may be tempting to spring for the latest laptop or the newest printer, but if the existing machine works or can be tweaked to improve performance it is always more environmentally friendly to go this route. If these items must be replaced it is important to ensure they are disposed of in a responsible manner. Search for recognized dealers in e-waste handling in the area to be sure that the information on the drives is wiped clean and no hazardous materials will be dumped to landfill.
There are many small actions that can be undertaken, that together, make a huge difference.