10 tips to create a green home office
1. Lighten up
Place your desk so that you can work in natural light as much as possible. When you do have to have artificial light, opt for energy efficient LED globes that will not only save you money on the power bills but won’t need to be replaced as often.
2. Floor it
If you’re building, then try to use sustainably sourced timber or bamboo flooring. When it comes to floor coverings, forget the man-made fibres and get back to nature with wool, cotton or hemp.
3. Sitting pretty
When it comes to buying furniture – you don’t necessarily need to buy anything. If you shop around for second-hand furniture, you’ll stop something going to landfill. You’ll also create a “look” that doesn’t mimic the “vanilla” style of every furniture store in the country. Oh, and you’ll save money too! If you really do want something new, or built-in, look for pieces made from recycled or sustainably-sourced materials.
4. Suss out your suppliers
Think green when it comes to office supplies. Look for sustainable alternatives to everyday office supplies such as eco-friendly office stationary, sugar cane and bamboo toilet rolls and paper hand towels, 100% post consumer recycled facial tissues, non-toxic batteries, remanufactured toner cartridges, recycling bins and compostable bin liners.
Do your homework when you’re sourcing paper, ink and other supplies for your business. Find out about the materials being used, where they were made, and how. Don't forget to let clients know that you've gone green.
5. Think before you ink
Keep your printing to a bare minimum. And if you absolutely must print something, use the double-sided, black and white, draft option on your printer.
When your equipment comes to the end of its life, don't just send it off to landfill. Everything from phones to computers and print cartridges can be recycled. Check with your local council for e-waste recycling days and remember that office suppliers like Officeworks often have bins where you can drop off old phones and printer cartridges.
7. Take a power nap
That doesn't mean that you get to take a siesta! Remember to switch off equipment at the power point and unplug it at the end of each day. Ensure your office is well-insulated and try to avoid using air conditioning where possible. Ceiling fans are a great option for circulating cool air in summer and pushing warm air down from the ceiling in winter.
8. Stay green as you clean
Forget expensive, stinky and dangerous chemicals. There are plenty of home-made, environmentally-friendly alternatives that will save money and the planet. Click here to read how to make your own cleaning supplies.
9. Go paperless
Email the office memo rather than passing out paper. Save on paper, printing and postage costs by distributing newsletters, brochures, catalogues and price lists electronically. Invoice your clients by email and have your bills sent electronically too.
10. Bring the outdoors in
Plants can go to work eliminating harmful pollutants from the air. They convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and some can filter out benzene, formaldehyde and/or trichloroethylene.
- Pothos: This plant is difficult to kill, making it perfect for busy workplaces. It’s tolerant of low light conditions and erratic watering.
- Peace Lily: World-class air filtering plant (absorbs pollutants including benzene and formaldehyde) and can thrive in an office! To keep your Peace Lily in top condition, keep away from direct sunlight as they prefer lower levels of light.
- Rubber Plant: A NASA approved air-cleaning plant! Loves the sun but not high heat. Place rubber plants by office windows.
- English Ivy: Keep fresh by misting with water regularly. You might even like to add some timber or mesh for it to climb.
- Boston Fern: Lovely with its draping stems and long fronds, this fern has a higher tolerance for light and dry conditions than other species.
- Gerbera Daisies: A green way to show appreciation. The gerbera daisy is bright, simple and a powerful air-filterer.