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15 Sep 2022

How to Create an Eco-friendly Remote Work Set up

How to Create an Eco-friendly Remote Work Set up

One of the many benefits of working from home is that it reduces the impact of work on the environment, reducing the need for daily commutes and the emissions it creates. But working from home still has an impact on the environment, and with rising energy costs, that translates to higher bills. 

So how do you set up an eco home office to help the planet and your bank balance? Here are 3 effective ways!


1. Reducing Consumption

We’ve all heard the mantra ‘reduce, reuse, recycle,’ so it makes sense that the first thing we look at for our eco-friendly tips for home offices is ways to reduce your energy and water consumption. 

Here´s how: 

  • Use natural light to your advantage. While it might be tempting to tuck your home office out of the way in a spare bedroom, those rooms tend to be the ones with fewer windows or natural light. If you switch your home office to a room with great light, you’ll be reducing your need for desk lamps or switching on the overhead lighting.

  • Turn off appliances at night. It can be tempting to leave computers on standby, but one of the simplest ways to go green in the office is to ensure all your appliances are turned off at the wall. As a bonus, it will help you keep healthier work/life boundaries.

  • Make the switch to low-energy lightbulbs if you haven’t already. LED bulbs provide plenty of light for a fraction of the energy.

  • Try lowering the brightness of your monitor screen. This can save up to 20% of the energy it consumes.

  • Lined curtains can be a great way of controlling the temperature in your home. Close them at night when it’s cold to keep the heat in and during the day when it’s hot to keep it out.

  • Maximize heat retention in your home by using draught excluders to fill in gaps and stop drafts. 

  • Keep yourself warm by wearing plenty of layers. Making sure your feet and hands stay warm can be a big help; thick socks or wearing shoes is a good option, and fingerless gloves help keep your hands warm without impacting your ability to type.

  • Heating the whole house when working only in one room is costly. If you don’t have zoned heating, consider using a portable heater in your office to save on bills.

  • One of the most simple steps to a greener home is only to boil the water you need for your drink; fill the kettle from your mug for maximum efficiency.

  • You can also minimize water use in bathroom visits by adding a brick to your toilet’s water tank and an aerator to your faucet to save water every flush and hand wash.

  • Working from home makes it easier to go paperless, as most project management is done via cloud-based solutions. When considering how to be more eco-friendly at home, look at options like sending files to your Kindle app or using a tablet computer to have documents available while you’re working on your laptop. If you have to print, make sure you use both sides of the paper and consider scaling - most documents are readable at 2 pages to a sheet.


2. Making Positive Choices

If you want to go one step further with your eco-friendly office space, you can start making choices that positively contribute to the environment. You could look at ideas such as:

  • Add houseplants that improve air quality. Spider plants, rubber plants, and Dracaena are great for filtering out harmful substances in the air created by home furnishings, paint, etc., while peace lilies can handle mold spores.

  • When it comes to replacing items in your home office, look at the environmental credentials, for example, the Energy Star rating on laptops and monitors, to find the best performance.

  • When buying office furniture, you could buy second-hand rather than new. There may be a non-profit in your area that does this, and if not, there are always thrift shops. 

  • If you do want to buy new, then it’s worth looking at the eco-credentials of your purchases. Finding wood that is FSC certified, for example. Soft furnishings can be eco-friendly, too, including chairs upholstered with material made from recycled plastic bottles.

  • If you have the funds, looking at alternative energy sources, such as installing solar panels or a ground source heat pump, is great for creating green home offices.

  • Having a garden office can mitigate many of the issues with working in your own home. Built with insulation, solar panels, sustainable materials, and additions like turf roofs to support the environment, they can be a brilliant option for eco-friendly office space.


3. Recycling

The last of our sustainable office ideas is to ensure that you maximize your recycling at home. Here are some suggestions for doing that:

  • Get a home composting system to recycle food waste. A traditional compost heap can manage food waste, cardboard, and food. Try vermicomposting (a wormery) to deal with food waste and produce a soil enhancer and fertilizer.

  • Any waste paper or cardboard that doesn’t go on your compost heap can be taken to a recycling point where it can be broken down for reuse in other paper products.

  • Some non-profits will take outdated technology and repurpose or recycle it, so when you upgrade, consider passing your tech on to others.

  • Your coffee grounds and tea bags can also be used in the garden or as dressing for the soil your houseplants are growing in.


Enjoy your Eco Home Office

There are many perks to working from home, and the environmental side of things can be just as satisfying as any of them. Knowing that you are not contributing to pollution through travel and minimizing your impact on the planet can be very rewarding - so enjoy your eco-home office!

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