2014 was appropriately referred to as the ‘Year of the Entrepreneur’. Several people, especially women, found alternate career options by themselves, without joining the corporate rat race. And a huge number of these people work from home for the greater part of the week.
Just by the act of working from home, we are contributing a good deal to a greener environment. A U.S study says that 8 billion gallons of gas could be saved if every car carried more than one person. So think about how much fuel we’re saving by skipping on the work commute! But besides this, there are several ways to have a greener work place at home. And these tips go beyond being eco friendly; they also help you lead a more organized and pleasant life!
If you are a work from home mom like I am, you would probably be nodding in agreement with most the tips and yes, even making that checklist to ensure that you follow these awesome tips for an eco friendly workplace!
Tips for an Eco Friendly Workplace
1. Check the Energy Star rating on all devices
First things first; the most used appliance in a home office is definitely the laptop or computer, followed by peripherals like the printer and scanner. Ensure that all the devices have the Energy Star rating, which is proof of its energy efficiency. This ensures that your devices only use as much power as required so that there is no wastage.
2. Turn everything off when not in use
Turn off every device if it’s not being used immediately. This means keeping printers etc. unplugged if not in use and switching off the computer monitor when you step our for a coffee break or a mini nap. The best thing to do is to organize your work day so that you have certain time slots for work, and the machines will be on only during those slots. This is also a great way to have a good work-life balance.
3. Print on both sides
When printing, select the option to print on both sides, so you can halve your paper consumption. Also, buy recycled paper to print on, and try to avoid color printing unless absolutely necessary. This can also cut down on costs drastically, considering how expensive color cartridges are. Another tip is to make a list of the papers you actually want to print and print just those.
4. Go paperless
Or better still, don’t print at all! You hardly need paper since you can do everything online – send mail, receive bank statements, pay bills, make bookings, read magazines etc. You don’t even need paper to write down notes or to-do lists since there are a number of apps that can help you with it. If you have paper clutter, use the backs to jot down grocery lists or send it all for recycling. I am currently using the Leonie Dawson workbooks that can also be keyed in the laptop or the Ipad.
5. Use the cloud
The cloud is a blessing for people working from home. This way, you can be travelling, but you’ll still have access to all your files – no need of printouts or numerous storage devices. All those devices end up as e-junk, the disposable of which is proving to be a serious problem.
6. Freshen air naturally
Air conditioners consume a lot of power and may even emit VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that are harmful to health. Go au naturél with windows; open ones at opposite ends of the room to ensure proper circulation. Skip the aerosol air fresheners and use natural methods like pomanders and home made pot pourri. I love to use diffusers in my room!
7. Get some plants
Here’s a way to make your home office literally ‘green’! Plants can freshen up the air around you and help you breathe better. Just beware of allergies and do some research before choosing the right plant for you. Besides adding to air quality, green plants have been found to improve productivity since green is supposed to be easy on the human eye.
8. Opt for eco friendly bulbs
Have a good look at your lighting and switch to energy saving bulbs and tube lights. These have been found to use about 25% to 80% less energy than traditional lights. They also last longer, saving you money and cutting down on waste.
9. Use non toxic office supplies
The small things matter too. Opt for non toxic highlighters and ink, recycled paper, double sided notepads etc. Also, support local, fair trade brands that sell organic and eco friendly products. Avoid anything that requires batteries.
10. Be organized
Last but not least, have a place for everything and everything in its place. By knowing every item’s location, you can save valuable time searching for them and avoid buying more. This especially applies to pens and USB sticks! We keep buying them, but they keep getting lost!!
Working from home has its own perks. And when you streamline or stick to a schedule when you are working from home, it makes things a lot easier. This was the list of our tips for an eco friendly workplace! Do you have a tip that you may want to share with us?
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*All of my reviews are based on my own personal experiences with the brand/products. If it is a sponsored post, it is indicated. Most of the brands and products reviewed are what I have tried and tested and truly recommend! All Photographs are (C) Pratibha unless stated otherwise.*