If you’re committed to sustainability, but work from home, what steps can you take? And we’re not just talking about a second monitor and standing desk – even though both of them are cool to have.
Here’s our tips on how to make your office greener, cheaper and boost your cognition by 26 %.
Change your normal bulbs for LEDs. The initial cost is usually slightly higher but the electricity cost to have them compared to regular bulbs is 6x lower. Find the complete comparison here.
Even if you already have LEDs, it is always best to use natural light. It is kinder to your eyes and by placing your desk right and using light colours in the room, you might cut down the use of energy on lighting even more.
Switching Off Plugs
How many of us actually unplug our phone and laptop chargers when not in use. Great for those who do, but sometimes it feels just like too much of a bother. But even though the chargers are not in use, they still consume some energy.
So we can either switch off the whole plug or use Smart strips. They look like regular extension cables, but they’re actually clever devices that can detect when you’re not using your plugged in electronics and automatically turn them off.
Research showed that plants can reduce up to 87% of air pollutants within 24 hours. It is also a proven fact that they positively influence our creativity, problem solving skills and boost our mood.
Screensavers might be nice, but a better thing for the environment is to set up hibernation mode instead and save even more electricity.
Choose laptop over desktop – they do need charging but compared to desktops they consume far less energy.
Set Up a Thermostat
It is easy to blast the heating when we get cold, but it is actually better to heat up the room for a longer time steadily. By setting it at a high temperature, it’s forced to try and heat up as quickly as possible and uses a lot of energy in the process. Usually you can set a timer on your thermostat so it can start heating the room even when you are not around at that time.
Eco Office Supplies
Almost every stationery shop or site you visit now has a sustainable range. So choose the recycled paper or non-toxic markers. You can also order eco stationary from the Green Stationery Co. who have an incredibly wide range of only eco products.
You can choose any colour for your study and still have it green. When choosing the paint for your office walls, go for a non-toxic one and avoid these with VOC (volatile organic compounds). You can find brands who are making the “good” paint and more information about the paints in general here.
Use Green Energy
Nowadays there are many providers that offer 100% green energy and the price difference is not that big. Find out more about the options and what you should know when switching to a green energy provider here.
You can keep taking notes and print, but try it smarter.
Instead of tiny post-its (that get eventually lost), you can get a reusable notepad, where you simply wipe off the pages, such as Rocketbook. If you want to invest in it a bit more you can get a paper tablet such as reMarkable. Or if you like to visualise tasks and notes in front of you, you can try out whiteboards that come in different sizes, shapes and colours, to fit perfectly with your home office.
When it comes to printing, the easiest thing to do is print double sided to start with. If you want to do more, start using recycled paper. Most of the time now you can’t even tell the difference when it comes to quality between normal paper and recycled, and also the price is comparable.
Another thing – choose non-toxic ink, recycle the cartridges and buy remanufactured ones. Remanufacturing is what happens when used cartridges are returned: they’re refilled and resold for a far cheaper price. So it will lower not only the environmental impact, but also the costs.
If you are at the stage when you are only just setting up your home office you might be looking for comfy and quality office furniture. One option is to get brand new pieces – there are many sustainable materials to choose from like bamboo or rattan.
But if you don’t mind second-hand furniture, there are many options available. First of all you can find your local companies that are recycling office furniture so you can aim to get higher quality for potentially less money and far less environmental impact.