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How To Make Your Home Office Eco-Friendly

09 February 2022

The environmental movement gripped the world throughout the pandemic. As dolphins returned to the canals of Venice and the smog cleared from over the world's major cities, we all sat up and paid attention to how our lifestyles have been affecting the environment.

So, 2022 is all about sustainability. As working from home is the new normal for many people, taking control of the energy you spend at at work is now within reach.

Making your workspace eco-friendly is now possible, and it is entirely within budget to create a space that is environmentally sustainable and supports your physical wellbeing.

Invite Nature Into Your Space

According to a Humans Spaces Report, those who work surrounded by natural elements report a 15% increase in wellbeing.

You can promote nature in your office space with plants and lots of natural light. Natural light also increases alertness, helps you sleep better at night, and helps keep the electricity bills low.

Enhancing your office space with nature will lift your mood, bring positivity into the environment and boost innovative thinking. Working close to nature makes us more creative, but there are a few things you should be mindful of before you purchase your first home office plants.

  • If you have allergies, buy low pollinating plants
  • If you are short on space, consider windowsill plants
  • Balance your plants with light. If you have a space without much natural light buy plants do not need much to thrive.

Hang Heavy Drapes

Most heat is lost through the windows, so the thickness and quality of your curtains have a huge impact on how much heat your building contains.

Known as ‘winterization’ there is an emerging trend of switching out lighter summer curtains for darker heavier ones during the winter months to keep the home warm and conserve energy.

Thermal insulated blackout curtains can help contain 10-25% more heat than keeping the same curtain throughout the year. Heavy curtains also block out artificial light from street lamps, helping you to create a more comfortable environment that promotes sleep or better late-night working.

Spend Sustainably

Making your workspace eco-friendly does not have to be expensive or elitist. Switching up your materials for more sustainable, natural products may be a little more expensive in the short term but they will last a lot longer than the cheaper plastic options.

Thankfully, there are lots of online retailers and sellers that are dedicated to sustainability. Upcycling is the new recycling, and there are many ways to use recycled and natural materials such as reclaimed wood, bamboo, and cork.

There is also a booming industry in VOC-free paints. VOC-free paints contain no volatile organic compounds (VOC) that harm the environment.

Regular paints that contain high levels of VOC emit gases that can affect air quality and your ability to concentrate. Switch up to VOC is not just great for the environment, it's good for productivity too!

Reduce and Recycle

How you behave in your workspace has as much of an impact on the environment as to how you decorate it. Resuing and recycling your office supplies has a huge impact on your carbon footprint.

During the office spring clean, keep all of your old files, folders, and binders and recycle them instead of throwing them away. Even smaller items such as elastic bands should be kept and recycled as much as possible.

Other common office items that can be recycled are:

  • Paper towels
  • Disposable office cups
  • Post-it notes
  • Binder sleeves
  • Old pens and pencils

Reduce the items in your office by only buying supplies that you truly need. If you have a few items that are still in good working order but collecting dust, donate them instead of letting them clutter up your space.

Eliminate Waste

Reducing waste is a goal we should all have both inside and outside of the office. Mostly, it is about forming new habits and being more mindful about how you go about your workday.

By making a few small changes to your routine, you can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint and have a positive impact on the planet. Here are a few tips on how to remain productive whilst reducing your waste:

  • Use a whiteboard instead of post-it notes
  • Use recycle printer paper - or ditch the printer entirely if you can
  • Use a mesh basket instead of disposable coffee filters
  • Stop buying pre-packaged snacks and opt for healthier fruits and vegetables
  • Set up a compost or organic waste cycler
  • Start using handkerchiefs and washable towels instead of tissues
  • Use a water purifier instead of buying bottled
  • Turn off your machine at the end of the day instead of leaving it on standby

Invest in Energy-Efficient Light

Hands down the most energy-efficient light is natural light. If you have large windows make sure to keep your curtains open during the day, as natural light brings in heat, helps you to focus, and keeps your energy bills low.

However, if you do not have big open windows in your office and need to rely on artificial light to conduct your workday, switch to energy-efficient bulbs.

Energy-efficient LED light bulbs can save up to 75% more energy than regular incandescent lights. Although they are more expensive than regular bulbs, they quickly pay for themselves when it comes to the energy bill.

If you really wish to save energy you can install motion sensor lights around your home or office. Motion sensor lighting can save you even more money on electricity and are great for the environment too! However, they are not always practical if you tend to sit still for long periods.

Making your office eco-friendly doesn't have to be a chore. Just by making a few simple changes to your usual routine, you can help save the environment, and save some cash too!