When we talk about becoming more “green” at home, we often focus on kitchens, bathrooms and other areas that use a lot of energy, water and other resources. These are certainly high-impact spaces that could easily be made more efficient. But there’s also a lot of potential in your home office.
Here are ways to limit waste and save money at the same time.
Paper problems: Pick the right paper by looking for products made with the highest amount of recycled post-consumer content. That’s the paper you and I recycle. When you can, opt to print on both sides. If you need to shred sensitive documents, keep that shredded paper and use it to send packages or even to store items such as fragile holiday decorations or china. Keep a small box under your desk to help make recycling paper a habit.
Turn cartridges into cash: Every year, hundreds of millions of ink and toner cartridges are used in this country. And 70 percent end up in our landfills. You can get paid for turning in your old cartridges. There are several online sources that will supply a prepaid shipping label for sending accepted cartridges in exchange for cash. Earn a store credit for used cartridges at Office Max, Staples and Office Depot.
Flip the switch: A power strip will start saving you money immediately. Office equipment such as computers, printers and chargers sip power even when the device is off or done charging. With the push of a button you can cut the power and save energy. This “phantom power” adds up to as much as 10 percent of the energy we use at home.