Working from home is more common than ever before, which is having a great impact on the environment. Home-working cuts out the daily commute through rush hour traffic, deters people buying processed food with heavy packaging and cuts down on unnecessary office resources. But there are ways you can make your home office even more eco-friendly (Whilst also saving yourself some money!) Keep reading to find out our favourite small changes you can make to transform your office into a sustainable workplace.
Decorate with Houseplants
Did you know, in 1989, NASA released a report on how houseplants help to clean indoor air we breathe? They do this by removing toxins, pollutants and allergens that are associated with a variety of health issues. Plants also look cool and brighten up your space, making them the perfect decor.
The majority of plants can have a positive effect but some are better than others. English Ivy, Devil’s Ivy, Peace Lilies, Varigated Snake Plants and Cornstalk Dracaena are a few of our favourites.
Make the Most of Natural Light
Rather than lighting your room with artificial lights, strip back the window dressings and let the sunshine into your office. Natural lighting will cut down on your electricity usage whilst also saving you money. Light walls and strategically placed mirrors can also help to brighten a room.
Natural lighting is thought to improve your physical and mental health as well as your sleep cycle. It can also increase your productivity by boosting your concentration on tasks.
On sunny days, you could sit out in the garden if you’re working on a laptop. This is one of the huge benefits to working from home, the freedom and flexibility that's not possible when you’re chained to a desk.
Ditch the Printer
In the 21st century, is there really any reason to print anything? Everyone has a screen they can access anywhere, whether it’s their phone, tablet, laptop or desktop. Getting rid of your printer will help to save paper, electricity, plastic and ink.
Even if you have a document that needs to be signed, you can use a digital signature rather than printing out a copy. Sites like DocuSign and HelloSign offer legally binding online signatures. There’s an online solution to 99.9% of problems, so just have a look around.
Vintage or Sustainable Furniture
Rather than kitting your office out with new, modern furniture, why not create a vintage haven. Recycled and upcycled furniture has a history and unique look that can’t be replicated. It can also be cheaper than buying new.
If you do opt for new furniture, make sure it’s made from sustainable materials. Choose pieces made from natural or recycled materials that can be recycled themselves. The same goes for all the aspects of your office. Choose eco-friendly paint, accessories, wall decor, etc.
Laptop Over Desktop
On average, laptops are considered to be significantly more energy-efficient than desktop computers. In fact, it’s thought they use five times less energy than a desktop. This will vary depending on the specs and capabilities of your computer but it can make a huge difference in your energy consumption.
If you are choosing a new computer, check out how eco-friendly it is before you buy it. Look for the best efficiency rating and the available power-saving modes.
As we mentioned, laptops can give you even greater flexibility of where you can work. Perfect for someone who’s on the move.
Create a Smart Office
This sounds like a bit of an oxymoron but creating a smart office can be more sustainable. Installing smart plugs and lighting allows you to control everything from wherever you are using your smartphone. You can set timers to make sure you don’t accidentally leave anything on and power down at the end of the day.
A smart thermostat can likewise help you conserve energy. You can track how and when power is used as well as set yourself energy-saving goals. Like the smart plugs, you can control the temperature from anywhere and avoid wasting power.
While you’re at it, make sure everything is in a power-saving mode, without screensavers. This can help to cut down on your energy consumption.
Choose a Green Supplier
Energy suppliers are definitely not all made equally. A quick online search will let you find a supplier who’s dedicated to providing only renewable energy like wind and solar. Not only will this be good for your office but it’s also good for your home.
Do you really need to go to that meeting? If it’s not the first time you’re seeing the person, usually, a video chat or conference will do. Cut out the unnecessary travel, especially if it involves a drive or flight.
Use Eco-Friendly Stationery
Rather than choosing a traditional paper and pen for your notes, opt for sustainable stationery. (Time for a shameless but very relevant plug!) Karst notebooks are made from recycled stone and resin, meaning they don’t use trees, water and chemicals. They’re also made with 60% less energy than traditional paper options. A perfect partner to a Karst notebook, Karst woodless pencils look amazing and are eco-friendly.
Do your bit to help create a more environmentally friendly world.
Contributed by David Atkinson from Icon Wall Stickers.