The past year saw a substantial increase in remote working as the majority of the global population started working from home.
With the passage of time, it’s getting more and more apparent that remote working culture is here to stay. This means, it’s time for us to get comfortable and set up our home offices as we chase deadlines and get work done.
With traditional workplaces increasingly becoming obsolete (at least for the foreseeable future), many of the green and sustainable changes introduced are sitting around collecting dust.
Just because these eco-friendly improvements aren’t being used in workplaces, doesn’t mean that the impact has reduced. It has simply shifted to home offices where people are working from and now it’s up to them to uphold these green practices.
Why Introduce Eco-Friendly Changes In Your Home Office?
Since you are working from home, your employer doesn’t have to pay for your power supply and your heating bills. Moreover, they don’t need to pay for your office supplies or handle the day-to-day office wastage. All these things have to be dealt with at the employees’ end which means you need a better way to remain green and eco-friendly.
Just because you’ll be working from home doesn’t mean that you need to do away with being green. It’s high time to start thinking about initiatives that’ll transform your home office into a hub of eco-friendliness.
There are so many ways for you to reduce your carbon footprint and your impact on the environment from the comfort of your home office. Here are top 3 ways to make your working space at home green and energy-efficient.
1. Be Efficient and Green with the Way You Use Your Light
The best way to reduce your energy consumption when working from home is to choose a space with ample natural light flowing in. If that’s not an option, you need to select artificial lighting that’s highly efficient.
Since your home might not be situated in the best geographical location, chances are, your options for natural light might be limited. You could look into making arrangements to relocate your home office in the most natural-light friendly space of your home.
You can look into enhancing the overall energy efficiency of your space by painting your room white or in neutral tones, installing efficient windows and heat pumps for home. While these changes are available in a range of budgetary options, choose one that’s most feasible and will pay off in the long run.
If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, the best location for your home office is the south side of your property as it’s prone to get the most exposure to daylight. For people living in the Southern Hemisphere, your home office should be located on the north side of your home.
If rearranging your home and relocating rooms isn’t an option, you can still light your home in an eco-friendly way using energy efficient LED bulbs and lights. Refrain from using compact fluorescent and incandescent lighting as they are no match when compared to the LED alternative in terms of environmental sustainability, overall cost and efficiency.
While LED might cost you more, you are sure to save loads in the long run on both replacement costs and energy bills. The average LED light lasts for more than 25,000 hours whereas incandescent lasts for 12,000 hours and the average CFL installation lasts for a mere 8,000 hours. These numbers are enough to make your decision easy.
2. Invest in Repurposed Second Hand Office Furniture
If you are setting up your home office, the temptation to run to your nearest IKEA or other superstore to get a low-cost assemble-at-home furniture can be overpowering. But, if your goal is to set up an eco-friendly home office, then you have to resist and make do with environmentally-friendly alternatives.
The concept of “fast furniture” causes a lot of damage to the environment as products more often are discarded, leaving a greater carbon footprint when you count the shipping, transportation, overseas production and usage of hazardous materials involved in the process.
For supreme sustainability, the best products are those that have been repurposed to be used again. When reusing, recycling and repurposing are at the heart of every decision you make, you are bound to make more environment-conscious choices.
Browse through flea markets, antique shops, Facebook Marketplace and other sources to find old furniture that’s high on quality and costs relatively less than a new piece of furniture.
3. Get Rid of All the Waste You Possibly Can
When it comes to our day to day work routine, it is easy to not think about the little bits and pieces of waste generated in our office space. Paper towels, sticky notes, disposable coffee cups, takeout containers etc, get mindlessly tossed in the bin.
When working from home, it’s far easier to keep your space clean. But if you are engrossed in your work, the waste is bound to pile and creep up on your green conscience.
Since your home is now essentially your workplace, you end up spending quite a bit of time in there, meaning there’s more waste being generated. Get rid of all the waste you can by doing the following:
- Instead of paper towels, use washable and reusable rags
- Put up a white board in your office and eliminate the concept of sticky notes altogether. You can also use sticky notes digitally.
- Invest in recycled printed paper
- Print on both sides of the paper
- Reduce your printing needs by sending files and documents digitally
- Stop drinking bottled water and using disposable cups and plates
- Reduce your intake of package snack items and replace it with eating healthy fruits and homemade food items
- Recycle recycle recycle
- Create compost out of organic waste
To Sum Up…
By following the tips mentioned above, being eco-friendly in your home office setup will help you stay green and sustainable. Ensure that you are always on the lookout for anything inefficient as you strive to come up with alternatives that make your activities and decisions eco-friendly.