There has never been a greater concern for protecting the environment than exists today. It is for this reason that many people are looking for ways to decrease the negative effects their activities have on the world, and this includes their work habits. In line with this ideology, here are some green living ideas for your home office.

Decrease Paper Usage

Perhaps the most environmentally harming habit that we engage in throughout the workday is the amount of paper that is used and discarded. However, with so many technologies becoming available in digital formats, it is now becoming increasingly possible to eliminate the need for using unnecessary amounts of paper. If you have an office at home, try switching over to paperless forms of communication whenever possible. This could include an array of changes, ranging from paying utility bills online to using efax systems, instead of paper-fed machines.

Buy Energy Efficient Equipment

In the early days of technology, power usage was of limited concern, as it was much more difficult to build energy efficient machines. But with advances in the technologies used to harness power, it is possible to find office equipment that is specifically designed to limit power consumption to the lowest possible levels, while still operating efficiently.

Use LED Bulbs

It is no secret that incandescent light bulbs are being phased out in many areas simply because of the amount of electricity that is needed for them to function, and they are instead being replaced by light emitting diodes (LED) bulbs. These LED bulbs are able to provide the same amount of light as the incandescent bulbs, yet they only use 10% of the electricity. Not only are these bulbs more efficient, but they also provide a more natural light.

Buy Used Furniture

When you are using a space in your home as an office area there is less need to fill the room with expensive, new furniture. After all, when the workday is over, the furniture will go unused until the next business day. Because of this, you may want to consider purchasing furniture that is in used condition. You will be surprised at the quality in which used furniture can be purchased, and often it is difficult to find any imperfections at all. In addition to helping your office to stay green, the used furniture will also do less damage to the pocketbook.

Use Power-Saving Modes

It may not seem as though running electrical items, such as computers and printers, consumes a lot of electricity, but in fact, these machines can cause a significant draw on your utilities. With this in mind, many companies now sell products that come with built-in power saving modes. When you are not using a particular piece of equipment, always try to turn on the power saving mode, which will decrease electrical consumption and lower your home office energy bills.

Having an office setup that is environmentally conscious can go a long way in helping the world become a cleaner place. If you are looking for green ideas for your home office, consider cutting back on the amount of paper that you use throughout the day by switching to digital forms when possible. In addition, using energy efficient equipment, including LED bulbs, will significantly lower your utility bills and help you maintain a green office. Furthermore, remember to switch electrical devices to power saving modes when they are not being used, and look into buying used furniture, instead of new items. By keeping these green living ideas in mind for your home office, you will help to do your part in cleaning up the environment.

With a background in business administration and management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. She likes to cover stories in careers and self-development.

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