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How to Make Your Home Office Eco-Friendly

11 January 2024

WFH culture has already managed to help reduce our carbon footprint by removing the need for a daily commute, which makes home offices a much more eco-friendly option to in-office setups. However, there are plenty of ways to make your home office even more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Many people assume that to be eco-friendly, you need to invest a lot of money, but this is not the case. There are plenty of ways for your home office to be helpful to the environment without the need for anything fancy or expensive.

How to Make Your Home Office Eco-Friendly

Natural Light

Making the most of natural light is the best way to make your home office (or any space, really) eco-friendly. By doing this, you can reduce your overall electricity usage, which is not just good for the environment but also great for reducing the amount you spend on electricity bills.

If you can select your home office space yourself, you should try to pick one that gets a lot of natural light, so you can maximize on it.

However, not everyone has options, in which case you should decorate your office in a way such that the natural light you do get is enhanced. One way to do this is to use lighter colors for your furniture and upholstery so less light gets absorbed into your office items. Another is to place mirrors around the room so that they can reflect the light that does come in and make the room brighter. The arrangement of your furniture can make a surprising amount of difference on how bright the room looks.

Natural lighting is also great for boosting your health - from immunity to mood, it has a lot of benefits!

If your office space doesn't get much light (such as a basement room), you can compensate by using LED lights, which are more eco-friendly than the alternatives, and are able to mimic sunlight better.

These are admittedly more expensive upfront, but they last a lot longer than incandescent or CFL lighting, and are not just better for the environment, but also cost less in the long-run.

Energy-Efficient Equipment

When you're setting up the office, you may also want to use items that are more efficient about energy consumption. There are plenty of devices that use a lot of energy but don't show much of a difference in performance. Avoiding these can help reduce your energy consumption and make your office space more sustainable.

One way to do this is to use laptops that can be charged, instead of desktops which have to be powered with electricity at all times. You should also try and keep any devices that are not in use powered off, and unplug any devices that don't get used often. When plugged in, some devices still drain energy when they are turned off, and unplugging them can minimize this.

Better Printing

A lot of office work does involve the use of documents, and most often, it is impossible to completely remove printing from your workplace operations. While it is always a better idea to go for tablets and electronic versions of documents, if you have to keep printouts as well, you can go for printing practices that are more sustainable.

For example, when it comes to getting printouts, ask yourself if you really need to print the document out, or if you can make do with an electronic version.

If you feel that a printout is necessary, opt for recycled paper and print on both sides so you use as little of it as possible.

You should also try to find eco-friendly versions of paper and printer ink to minimize the negative effects on the environment as much as possible.

The Big R's

When it comes to eco-friendliness, the big R's are very important! When it comes to your supplies, you should use items in a way such that they can be used again. For example, instead of writing on folders, you can put removable stickers on them so that you can use the folder again later once you've transferred its contents somewhere else. Try using refillable pens, instead of buying new ones every time you run out, and save your rubber bands for repeated use.

You should also try and buy used items wherever possible. You should also keep an eye on how many supplies you are buying and whether or not you need them. Plenty of people keep a stash of supplies that simply never get used. These don't just waste your money and take up space, they are also most likely to end up in the trash once you realize you're not using them.

Instead of stashing, only buy items you know you will need. When disposing of things you have no use for, always opt for recycling. You should also sell and donate items like furniture or devices that you no longer need.

Also try and minimize the waste you create through other means. For example, you can switch from bottled water to filtered, or using washable rags for cleaning instead of paper towels.

Since offices are where people tend to spend the most amount of their time, the waste they generate there is also going to be much larger. By keeping in mind the Big R's you can eliminate as much as possible, and make your home office a greener place to work in.

Eco-Friendly Partners

When it comes to business operations, making your personal home office eco-friendly doesn't mean much when you're still working with entities that don't share the same sentiments with regard to the environment.

Of course, this will depend on how much independence you have. If you are an employee, there is not much you can do about who your employers partner with. Where you have the choice, though, do your research on your business associates and make sure their operations are eco-friendly as well.

Sustainable Interior

If you have the chance to decorate your home office how you like, you can make it an eco-friendly space by going for a sustainable interior design. For one thing, you can keep plants around to improve the quality of your air and minimize the need for air conditioners.

You can also opt for eco-friendly furniture. For one thing, you should probably look for pre-owned furniture that has been put out for sale. When it comes to desks and chairs, it's understandable to buy new ones to suit your ergonomic needs, but storage pieces like cabinets and shelves can be second-hand. This reduces the amount of wood used in their production, and you can also get them for lower prices.

If you are opting for new furniture instead, there are plenty of options where renewable and sustainable materials are used. These include bamboo or reclaimed wood, and even cork. Many people think items made with sustainability in mind are not as high-quality, or offer as many options as the alternative, but this is untrue.

AlcoveRiser Bamboo Standing Desk Converter

An example of an excellent, sustainable piece of furniture is FlexiSpot's AlcoveRiser Standing Desk Converter. While it is not a desk itself, you can use it with any kind of desk to turn it into a height adjustable standing desk, even if it is otherwise stagnant.

This converter also has the benefit of allowing you to use a second-hand desk, with the converter used for ergonomic purposes.

It comes with a flexible height, which allows you to adjust it how you need to suit your ergonomic needs. Many desks and desk converters with adjustable height come with the risk that lifting mechanisms are weak and tend to drop and crash if the load on them is too much. With this desk, this is no longer an issue since the Flexispot risers have an engineered bracing system for safety.

The tabletop is made of bamboo, which is a much more sustainable option than other wood surfaces, so if you want to keep your workspace environmentally friendly, this desk is perfect. Durability is also guaranteed since the carbonized lacquer coating makes the surface resistant to damage from scratches and insects, as well as water.

The rest of the frame is also made durable with the help of powder-coated steel tubing, which is not just strong enough to hold the top with its materials, but also avoids scratches and stains.

The keyboard tray on this desk converter is also removable, so you can utilize the space created for other purposes.

The AlcoveRiser Standing Desk Converter is excellent if you want to maintain sustainability in your home office space, without compromising on ergonomics.

With COVID sending so many of us to our home offices, it's understandable that most people were not prepared for the WFH set up. However, as time passes, this is sure to become the new normal, and we can adjust to it by making our home offices as green - or even greener! - than the ones we used to work in before.