If you have a home office, it’s an easy place to Do Your Part to conserve natural resources, use less energy and create some fresh air. Plus you’ll be saving money! Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Every office needs a way to send documents from one place to another. The fax machine is one option but it wastes paper and energy, not to mention money with all the print cartridges you’ll need to buy! My husband and I got rid of the fax machine years ago. We bought a scanner to make electronic copies of our documents we can then e-mail. If we have to send a fax, there are a number of free or low cost online services that will do the job. If you decide to go fax-free, donate your old machine to a local charity or take it to a full service-recycling center. A fax-free office uses less paper and energy. And, you can save even more money if you cancel that extra, dedicated phone line.
Another way to Do Your Part and save money in a home office is to turn off the equipment when you’re done for the day. Computers, printers, monitors, and chargers for all of your gadgets sip power even when they’re in standby mode or powered off! It’s called ‘phantom load’ and it’s estimated to account for up to 10% of the power used in American homes. The solution is easy! Plug your office equipment into an electrical strip with an on/off switch. You can power off multiple machines when you’re done for the day and eliminate the phantom load in your office.
Another way to tread lightly in your home office is to reuse and recycle. Getting the most out of your printer paper is an easy option. Find a place near the printer to stack paper that’s only been used on one side and use the other side when you can. Use it to print your coupons, kids coloring pages or rough drafts. Paper is also easy to recycle at your desk. Keep a box under your desk for paper and empty it in the recycling bin when it’s full.
Finally, add some green to your office and clean the air. Live, green plants give off fresh oxygen and absorb harmful gases like formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide. Some of the most effective plants are: English ivy, spider plants, palms or peace lilies.
There are many benefits to working from home. With a few simple steps you can Do Your Part to increase the environmental benefits and keep a few bucks in your bank account each month.
Terri Bennett is an earth scientist and mom; www.TerriBennett.com