Are you planning to set up a home office? Then why not consider buying eco friendly furniture and supplies to support the environment and adopt a healthier lifestyle? Here are a few ideas which you can use to go green in your very own home office.
1. Go natural while buying office furniture and supplies
Desks, chairs and shelves can do more damage to the environment than you think! Not only do they use up a lot of energy and natural resources during their manufacture, they also release toxic substances into the atmosphere during manufacture and disposal. Hence, while shopping for your home office, look for furniture and equipments which have been certified by third parties such as BIFMA (The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association) and SCS (Scientific Certification Systems).
Bamboo is a wonderful eco-friendly material to consider for your home office since it is easy on the eyes and tech friendly. You can buy charging stations, laptops, external hard drives and furniture made from it.
2. Buy an eco friendly printer
While choosing a printer for your home office, go for an eco-friendly one. In general, ink jet printers use less energy than laser printers and would be an ideal choice for a small home office without huge printing needs. Listed below are a few eco-friendly printers available in the market today.
Dell 1235cn Color Laser Multifunction Printer - This is a multifunction color laser printer which is Energy Star certified and RoHS compliant. (RoHS compliant components are tested to check if they contain certain dangerous substances commonly present in electrical and electronic equipments).
HP Officejet Pro 8500 - This is an all in one printer with power measurements based on Energy Star OM test procedure.
Samsung SCX-5530FN - This is a multifunction laser printer which is EcoLogo certified. (The EcoLogo program compares products and services with others in the same category and awards the EcoLogo certification based on certain stringent criteria which are verified by independent third parties).
3. Save energy by going solar
The home office can be an energy hog with its lighting and various electronic equipments.
You can replace a few gadgets such as desk lamps, calculators and cell phone chargers to use solar power instead of the more expensive electrical power. Ikea has come up with a new line of snazzy solar powered lights.
Since you cannot do away with the use of electrical energy altogether, make sure that you turn off all lights and electronic equipments such as laptops when they are not in use. Unplugged, unused gadgets can look completely harmless at first sight but they keep on consuming power if left in that state!
And last but not the least, replace all bulbs in your home office by Energy Star certified CFLs.
There are plenty of wastes that can be recycled from a home office. Instead of dumping used printers, laptop computers and other electronic equipments, see if you have an option to recycle them.
Regional Computer Recycling & Recovery provides a nationwide electronics recycling service. For more information you can visit www.ewaste.com.
Used ink cartridges can be recycled as well. Waste Farmers, a resource recovery company will pick up your used cartridges because they are in the business of finding productive uses for waste. For more information visit www.wastefarmers.com.
And then there is the paper that can be recycled. If you print a lot of reports that use up paper, use the leftovers for scratch paper instead of tossing them in the recycling bin right away. Every office would have a lot of junk mail coming in everyday, so instead of tossing them away as garbage, place them in the paper recycling bin. And if you order supplies which comes with a lot of packaging, don't forget to recycle the packages as well!
5. Use chemical free products
Get rid of all those nasty chemicals from your home office. Paint your walls with low VOC paints, order chlorine free paper products, use green cleaning supplies and use recycled products as and when you can, such as recycled sleeves for your laptop etc. If you want to decorate your office a little bit, bring in a houseplant and seasonal flowers.