Greening Your Home Office

Man working at home office

A lot easier than you may think

Having a home office can be a wonderful space to have whether you work at home for a living or just have a home office to pay bills, writing letters, or for surfing the web. Have you considered that a home office can leave huge carbon footprint and cost you a lot more money than you may have thought? Did you know that greening your home office is a great way to solve these problems and it can be a lot easier to do than you may think. In this article, you will learn some simple things you can do to save you time, money, and help the environment.

Saving Energy

The first thing that most people think about when they want to be more green is how to save energy. Our homes can use a lot of electricity on a daily basis and at the end of the month; the electrical bill can be high. Here are a few things you can do to bring down your monthly electrical bill and help make the planet greener.

One thing you can do is to let in as much light from the windows as possible. This will cut down on the need for lighting. If you have to have the lights on then you can replace all of your light bulbs with energy saving florescent or LED light bulbs. There has been a lot of debate as to which of the two energy saving light bulbs are the best. From the research it looks like LED bulbs are going to be the leader in energy saving, response, and overall safety.

You can also shut down all the hardware you are not using like your printer or adjusting your computer screen from screen saving mode to sleep mode when not in use. You can also power down your Wi-Fi and modem when there not in use. Purchasing Smart Power Strips that automatically turn off the power when items are not in use will also help.

During the winter, you can put on more clothes rather than cranking up the heater. Most people may be home all day in their home office but they are heating the whole house. Try turning the house heater off or at least down to 65 degrees and purchase, a small energy saving space heater that will help cut down on the electrical cost.

Many home offices still use a fax machine, scanners, and a printer, which are plugged in and usually left on. You can now purchase energy saving machines that fax, scan, and print all from one devise.

Saving Paper

Another easy way to make your home office greener is to cut down of the use of paper. We use paper in many of the daily things we do in our home office; from printing out projects or proposals to taking notes. Below are several ways to cut down on the use of paper and save a few trees in the process.

First thing you can do is to stop using paper. Instead, make everything a digital document. If you have projects or proposals save it as a PDF and send it to your clients via email so they can read it on their laptops or iPads. You can use a digital signature on contracts saving you time and paper. The old way to get a contract signed was to print out the contract then fax it over to your client they in turn have it printed out on their end. They then sign it and send it back which now prints out on your end. If you had a ten page contract, that is a lot of paper.

Another great way to cut down on the paper is to choose to receive all of your bills online rather than having the electric company send you a bill, and then you write a paper check and send it back in a paper envelope. Try just paying your bills online, which will save time, energy, and trees.

If you do need to use your printer keep in mind that many ink cartridge companies will recycle your ink cartridges which means less garbage in the landfills

Lastly you can use older printed on paper that has not been used on one side and fold it in half with the unused side out to use for notes or checklists. Once you have used all your paper up completely keep a bin or box in your office so any completely used paper you don t need can be recycled.

Save on Travel

Having your own business may mean you need to meet with people face-to-face. With the ease of online tools like Skype or Facetime you can now setup online face-to-face meetings saving gas, time, and money all of which help the environment.

There is nothing more fun than heading out to your local office supply store. Unfortunately, this takes up time and gas, which increases your carbon footprint. Instead, try to make an office supply list at the beginning of each quarter and order your supplies online. You can also use many of the great online green office supply stores, which sell supplies such as recycled paper and green products.

Taking green a step further

If you wish to do even more to greening your home office you can take some structural steps that would be cost effective in the long run and depending where you live may even get you tax credits.

The first thing you can do is to make sure your home office area has the highest rated insulation that your local building code requires. This also means replacing your windows with a high R-value and making sure, they are double pane insulated. Lastly, adding solar panels to your roof will help cut down on your overall electrical cost.

Taking any of the steps mentioned above to greening your home office will not only help you save money, time, and energy but will help in improving the environment and the planet we all love.

Posted by: Ahmed Muztaba
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