Support your health and a healthy world by making green choices for your home office.
It’s not difficult to be more environmentally friendly while creating a home office that will reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals, it just requires a bit of planning and thought.
Furnishing & Decorating Your Office
To furnish your office consider shopping for second-hand furniture so you can save it from a landfill. Craigs List, eBay, yard sales, moving sales, your local paper, and second-hand shops are great places to look.
If you’re purchasing new, look for furniture that will last and not need replaced quickly.
For decor you can use recycled and re-purposed items. If you repaint, use a low-VOC paint to reduce your exposure to dangerous fumes.
Energy Smart Appliances and Lighting
Shop for computers and other electronics which are EPA Energy Star and/or EPEAT certified.
For lighting try to incorporate as much natural light as possible. Set your desk up by a nice large window. If you’re remodeling consider a skylight. Not only is it better for you but it will lower your energy usage (and your electric bill).
Always turn off lights and equipment when not in use.
You can also check with your local electric company to see if they offer free energy audits. Many electric companies will come to your home or office and help you identify ways to improve your energy efficiency.
Choose Recycled and Sustainable Supplies
When you purchase paper, stationary, filing materials and other supplies, choose ones that are recycled and made from sustainable sources.
Instead of using a fax machine that requires thermal paper that’s chemically treated and can’t be recycled, opt for a plain paper fax machine or go digital with a service like eFax that allows you to send and receive faxes through your computer.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
The familiar saying, “Reduce, reuse and recycle” applies in your home office, too. Use less when you can. Think before you print something out. Save your scrap paper and let your kids color on the other side of it. Recycle what you can. Choose refillable pens and ink cartridges.
Eliminate Toxic Chemicals
Instead of chemical air fresheners and cleaners, use natural alternatives. Keep live plants in your office to help clean the air. Use a reed diffuser and essential oils to scent your space instead of chemical air fresheners. Open your windows and let in the fresh air.