If you are a freelancer who works from home, have you ever considered the impact that your home office makes on the environment? How could you alter your surroundings or habits so that you make your home office even greener?
By not commuting to work every day, you are already reducing the amount of pollution you produce and fuel you consume – so you are off to a good start. However, there are a few other small changes that you can make that will really make a difference.
Internet pro’s iiNet, savvy about all things related to adsl2 and broadband internet office set-ups, suggests the following ideas for your small office.
Watch Out for Phantom Power Suckers
You might think that you conserve energy by turning off your computer at the end of your workday. However, did you know that your electronic gadgets continue to use electricity as long as they are plugged in, even when they are turned off? Watching out for this will not only cut down on power usage and help save the planet, it will also reduce your utility bill.
Invest in a multiple outlet power bar and plug all of your electronics into it. When you finish your workday and walk away from the office, just flick the switch to turn the power bar off. It’s a lot easier and faster than unplugging everything separately and after a while it will become a habit.
Don’t forget about your wireless routers and other tech devices. Switch them off if no one is going to be using them (especially if you go on holiday) and also look into making the systems run more efficiently to reduce power usage. Your net provider is likely to offer services to help with this, which comes in handy if you aren’t super tech savvy.
Re-Use as Much As Possible
Whenever you can, try to re-use something rather than throwing it away. When you are finished with a piece of paper, flip it over to the blank side and cut it into quarters. Use a bulldog clip to hold the scraps together and you will have a new pad for scribbling notes. You can even save envelopes that you receive and write notes on them.
Instead of buying a new set of pens, take a look around your office and your home. I’ll bet that you have at least a dozen working pens hiding in your kitchen drawers, under the sofa and in other odd places that you can use up.
Dress for the Weather
Heating and air conditioning use a lot of energy and have a major impact on the environment, but if you are dressed appropriately your office doesn’t have to be a climate controlled environment.
In the hot summer months, forget the air-con and instead dress in lightweight and loose clothing and drink lots of water. If the weather gets chilly, put on a warm and woolly jumper instead of turning up the heat.
Gradually Make the Switch
You don’t have to completely give your home office a huge green overhaul overnight, as this would require a lot of time and money and can be quite intimidating. The best approach is to make small and practical changes one at a time. This way, you won’t interrupt your workflow at all or incur any major expense. For example, next time you need to buy a new light bulb you can replace your existing one with an energy efficient one. Simple but still progress.
With each little change you make, you will be making your home office more eco-friendly.