4 Ways to Make Your Home Office More Eco-Friendly
Emily Newton is a manufacturing journalist who regularly covers the industry trends. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized. Subscribe to read more from Emily.
Gone are the days of early morning commutes and in-person meetings for many Americans. Despite the increase in COVID-19 vaccinations and the world slowly opening back up, Gallup reported that 7 in 10 white-collar workers in America are still working remotely halfway through 2021. While many remote workers are finding benefits to their new work environment from a lifestyle standpoint, several benefits to the environment are also coming along with it.
Many of these environmental benefits come naturally due to the decrease in daily commutes and other office life factors. However, there are still even more ways that workers at home can continue to decrease their carbon footprint by creating an eco-friendly home office with these sustainable office tips.
Power Off When Possible
When a worker is in the office, the thought of turning off your computer might come naturally to them as they are packing up to leave at the end of the day. But that thought might not be a part of the wrap-up routine when one is in the comfort of their own home. Little do they know just how much power is used if you leave your computer running 24/7.
The average computer has a power consumption of 200W per hour. That means if you leave your computer on for 24 hours, you are using 4,800W in a single day. That creates a significant impact when workers leave their computers active 24/7.
If saving the Earth wasn’t reason enough, leaving your computer running 24/7 can cost you over $200 on your energy bill over a year’s time. So practice eco-friendly habits and turn your computer off every chance you get. And yes, that includes lunch breaks and stretching breaks!
Maximize Natural Lighting
Another great tip for making your home office more eco-friendly is to make sure you are turning off your light switches whenever possible. And no, this doesn’t mean you have to show up to your Zoom meetings in the dark. Instead, if you can, find ways to maximize your natural light source.
A great way of doing this is positioning your desk right in front of a window that gets a lot of sunlight through it and opening your blinds all the way up during your work hours. Placing a large mirror where sunlight can reflect off of it is another great way to brighten up a room naturally.
If the natural lighting simply is not in your favor, consider swapping out your old lightbulbs for new LED ones. LED bulbs will not only help the environment, but they will also last longer, saving you money on your energy bills in the future. In addition to that, you can add indoor plants that require LED grow lights, which will not only help the environment but also provide you with a healthier work space.
Reduce Your Amount of Waste
Those who work from home, on average, produce less paper waste than those who are working in an office. When working remotely, there is virtually no reason to be printing things out and using paper. On top of that, your computer cuts down on plastic waste by eliminating the need for pens, pencils, markers, and other plastic office supplies.
With the internet available at our fingertips, ditch the old paper routine and start saving all of your information, documents, and work forms on your computer in a safe place. Not only will this produce less waste and be better for the environment as a whole, but it’s also a great way to stay organized and makes it easier to access the information you need in the future.
Purchase Environmentally Friendly Office Supplies and Furniture
When it comes to designing your office space, it’s essential to start by looking around your home for items and furniture that you already have and give them a second life. If you still need new office supplies and furniture, consider looking into more eco-friendly office options. As much as we love running to Target, Ikea, and other trendy furniture locations, to get cheap and easy-to-assemble furniture, consider ditching the fast furniture trends that will likely be out of style in the near future and start looking for more sustainable products.
Thrift stores can be a great starting point for the furniture search. All of their products are second-hand, so you won’t be adding any more waste into the environment through new manufacturing. Also, consider other second-hand shops such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist.
If you find it challenging to find the perfect second-hand furniture item, at least consider looking into more sustainable pieces that will stand the test of time, won’t break easily, and won’t go out of style after a year.
Make the Change Today
It’s never too late to start making changes in your life for the benefit of the environment. Don’t let your office space be the one place you lag behind. Start the changes today in creating an eco-friendly home office! It doesn’t have to be difficult. Just remember these sustainable office tips and remember that little changes along the way will lead to big changes in our environment in the future!