Home Offices Going Green

If you’re planning and decorating a home office, you’re already taking the first step to going green – creating a workspace that doesn’t require a commute!  You’ve already started reducing your carbon footprint by eliminating the emissions your vehicle generates during your commute, and with traffic these days and longer commutes, this is significant. 

But what else can you do to create an environmentally friendly home office?

The Paperless Office

Save the trees – and avoid paper cuts!  It’s a win-win situation.  Take your files and communications online and digitize all your files.  Not only will you require less space for files, you’ll save yourself time.  Make sure you have a backup for your online and digital files, there are plenty of services available to back up your essentials in an off-site location, it’s well worth the investment.

The Healthy Office

Make sure your home office is eco-friendly and your health will thank you.  Consider paints and carpet that are low VOC’s – Volatile Organic Compounds, which are elements in paint, carpets and adhesives that can be harmful to your health, particularly in freshly painted and carpeted rooms.  VOC’s are thought to be the cause of the ‘sick office’ syndrome. 

The Energy Efficient Office

Take care when choosing lighting and make the most of natural lighting, which is the best for your eyes.  Although experts recommend the newer, more energy-efficient light bulbs, I find them to be too dim and don’t care for the lighting quality.  It’s not energy efficient when you have to use more energy to make up of the lack of light from the energy efficient bulb. 

Turn off computers and other electronics when you’re finished for the day – putting them in the standby mode still uses electricity.  Putting all of the electronics on a power strip makes it easier to shut everything down and flip a switch to make sure they are all turned off.  Using the most efficient power settings on your computer is just another step you can take to become more energy efficient.

The Recycling Office

Recycle when it makes sense, recycling printer cartridges and paper are just two steps you can take toward reducing your home office’s carbon footprint.  Using recycled furniture – in other words, used – is not only an environmentally friendly option, it’s also a budget friendly home office decorating option!

Going green in the home office doesn’t necessarily mean dramatic changes to your décor or lifestyle, it’s about making conscious decisions for your environment that will be best in the long run.