Are you considering adding an office to your home? If you are, there are dozens of ways to ensure that it is as “green” as possible. When designing your office, why not make it as Eco-friendly as you can? Here are ten great ways to green your office:
When choosing furniture for your home office, cruise through flea markets or hit a few garage sales. Look for furnishings that have been gently used; upcycling is a great way to be environmentally friendly. If you purchase new furniture, make sure that it is made from sustainable wood, upholstered with Eco-friendly fabric and finished with non-toxic paints or varnishes.
Skip the carpet and look at wood or tile floors if you are trying to go green. Bamboo is a great choice for flooring or, if you are feeling a bit more creative, consider painting your floors with non-toxic paints. Remember that when using throw rugs; choose those that are made from hemp or other natural materials.
If you’ve got a window in your office, take advantage of the natural light as much as possible. Placing a mirror on the wall opposite your window will provide more light by reflecting whatever light enters through the window. When selecting lamps, be sure to use Eco-friendly, energy-saving light bulbs.
Home improvement stores and paint stores are now carrying paint with low VOC, or volatile organic compounds. VOC’s are what gives paint its noxious smell and why you always need to paint with the windows open. Choosing low VOC paint is not only better for your nose but for your overall health as well.
You will undoubtedly use a lot of paper in your home office. When buying printer paper, look for paper that is made from post-consumer waste. To save paper, print on both sides, when feasible and always recycle the paper you use instead of throwing it away.
When purchasing equipment for your home office, look for machinery that is energy star compliant. If buying a new computer, consider purchasing a laptop. Laptop computers use far less energy than their desktop cousins! If you find that a desktop makes more sense for your budget, make sure you at least turn it off when it isn’t being used.
7. Smart Strips
Rather than a regular surge protector, buy a smart strip. These outlet strips give you the ability to completely turn off your computer and its peripherals, while allowing you to determine what equipment in your office should remain on.
Did you know that houseplants do more than provide oxygen? House plants also clean toxins from the air, providing your office with pure, natural air. Spider plants and ferns work particularly well if your office doesn’t receive a full day’s worth of sunlight.
Look for cleaning supplies that are green label certified. Alternatively, clean your office with more natural options like vinegar, borax or baking soda. Not only will your office be sparkling clean but you’ll be able to breathe easier without chemical fumes in the air.
When you stock your office with supplies, look for those that are made from recycled materials. You can find pens, pencils and even binders that are made from recycled woods, plastics and papers.
It’s easy to make your home office green if you are conscientious about your choices. Look for electrical equipment that is energy star certified and furnish your office with items made from sustainable materials. You’ll not only equip your office with everything you need to be productive but you’ll do so in a manner that is environmentally friendly.
Amanda Peters is an Eco-Writer and offers her opinion on the latest environmentally friendly classroom furniture for local schools.