Your home office is a place in which you spend a large amount of your time and because of this, you should invest in it. In addition to making it comfortable and stylish, you might also consider making your office eco-friendly. Set aside some time and a little bit of money to lessen your carbon footprint but also make healthier surroundings for yourself.
Remember that going green can be costly but it doesn’t have to be. The most environmentally sound thing you can do is not waste anything. The energy and resources used to manufacture, transport, sell and then dispose of things is huge. Avoid all that simply by not throwing things out or only buying what you absolutely need and will use. You can save up some money by opting for second-hand furniture or by investing in long-lasting pieces. Here are some helpful tips to focus on when making your home office eco-friendly.
Choose ‘greener’ paint
We seem to forget how much impact paint has on our environment, but we can change that by simply opting for paint that is better for the environment. Low-Voc and non-VOC are great choices in this respect as they will emit less harmful chemicals in your office. This is especially important as paint can continually release chemicals for months and cause a variety of symptoms such as respiratory problems and headaches.
Save energy with light bulbs
We are being told to replace our incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. LEDs are the most cost-effective option in the long run but their upfront cost is high. Their long life and energy efficiency mean they will be cheaper over their lifetime but not everyone wants to pay such a large upfront cost – especially if the bulb is only going to be used for a short period of time.
LEDs aren’t the only green solution for lighting. You might want to consider Halogen or Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFL) as some cheaper alternatives. Both are more efficient and last longer than typical incandescent light bulbs and they are also more budget-friendly.
Choose your furniture wisely
Trying to refurbish your office and remain green at the same time may be a challenge but not an impossible one. It is not just about replacing ‘non-green’ with ‘green’ furniture, but weighing up other criteria such as how much longer we can use the pieces we have and whether we can repurpose the ones we don’t need anymore.
If you really need to buy something new, in many cases you can get greener results by buying second-hand furniture. If you need something brand new then opt for materials which are collected from sustainable sources like tree farms. Another point to consider is that some materials, like bamboo, are better options not only because they are great for making furniture but also because they are fast growing and require little care.
The same goes for computers and other devices like printers, that is, replace them only when their performance is unsatisfactory. In many cases, you can simply upgrade the ones you have instead of replacing the whole thing. You may want new gadgets but do you really need them?
Repurpose or store away unwanted items
Your home office is supposed to be the place of business and inspiration and for that purpose, all pieces of furniture should have their use. If you wish to replace your desk you should find a way to repurpose the old one or give it to someone else. But in the meantime, it will be an eyesore and possibly an inconvenience as you move around your office. You can find it a temporary spot in your home or you find some super easy storage to store it for the time being.
Be eco-friendly with paper
Though we cannot completely deny ourselves the use of stationery still we can cut down on our use considerably. One of the best ways to help the environment is to reduce our dependence on paper. For example, if you want to print out something that you don’t really need in physical form just save it in digital form. If you need to write down something on paper or print it, you can always use recycled paper or better yet scrap paper.