At this point in the pandemic, we all know that maintaining social distance guidelines and avoiding crowds are necessary precautions to remain safe. Many of us have been continuing to work and/or study from home even as government-mandated restrictions have begun to loosen, so it’s natural that we are using more electricity and consuming more resources at home. It appears many businesses have made remote work a permanent or at least semi-permanent transition – so we must have the proper set up to work from home.
While, for the foreseeable future, making our remote work situation as comfortable as possible is critical, it certainly does not mean that we have to disregard our sustainable living considerations.
There are plenty of simple things you can do to make your home office as comfortable and stylish as it is mindful of the environment, without breaking the bank. Keep reading below for a few of our favorite ways to accomplish this:
1. Take Advantage of Natural Light
Positioning your desk and/or workspace near a window with plenty of natural light will not only brighten your space but will also help you reduce your energy usage and save some money on electricity through ethical investing. To enhance the brightening effect of the sun’s natural rays, you can also incorporate some bright colors and strategically-placed mirrors into your home as part of your office décor.
2. Decorate With Plants
House plants are a great way to enliven your space without having to spend many resources or money. They also help purify the air by reducing pollutants and some of them even absorb carbon dioxide in exchange for oxygen. What’s not to love? Some easy-to-care-for indoor options that are commonly known for helping purify indoor air quality include English Ivy, Snake Plant, Peace Lily, and Dragon Tree.
3. Establish Energy-Saving Habits
Energy-saving habits, such as unplugging your laptop or computer at the end of each workday, and even when you go on lunch or coffee breaks, can go a long way. It’s surprising how much of your home’s energy consumption is used up by consumer electronics even when they are turned off – up to 15%. You can use a Smart Powerstrip to help automatically power on and off all your devices when necessary to better control energy seepage. Some other beneficial habits include shutting off any artificial lighting when you leave the space and upgrading the lighting in your home office to LED lighting. LED lights are known for being 80% more efficient than incandescent bulbs and will last longer too.
4. Say Goodbye to Your Printer
Regardless of whether it’s an inkjet or a toner-using laser printer, owning a printer ends up having a significant impact on the environment. This is mostly attributed to the growing concern over toner and ink cartridge waste. Each time you print something, you’re also contributing to paper waste. If your line of business requires you to have a printer, it’s critical to not only recycle your used cartridges but also to purchase remanufactured cartridges. However, the most eco-friendly alternative is to ditch your printer altogether and go digital where applicable.
5. Practice the Principles of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Instead of using disposable items, use a real mug for your coffee and a reusable water bottle for water. Instead of buying something new for your office, consider repurposing a piece of furniture or decorative piece you may already have. Lastly, before you simply discard an item, consider its recyclability and ensure that you discard it properly.
These are just some ideas for how you can make your home office a little more sustainable, but with a little creativity, we hope that you feel inspired to look for other ways as well!
Your home has many different roles right now. It is your home, your work/study space, and might even be your fitness studio. For more feasible and useful tips on how to sustainably make your home more comfortable, and how you can optimize your space for energy efficiency, be sure to follow our blog for future updates.