It’s not enough to want to be eco-friendly. In order to make a difference, you actually have to live a green lifestyle. This includes making smart and resourceful decisions in both your personal and professional life. And if you have a home office, this is as good a place to start as any.
What Makes an Office Green?
If we aren’t careful, the term “green office” can quickly become a buzzword that lacks any meaning or specificity. So before we really dive in deep and discuss some specific tips you can use to make your home officer greener, let’s make sure we have a proper understanding of what a green office is.
In the most basic sense, a green office reduces and/or eliminates factors that negatively impact the environment, while elevating and encouraging factors that positively impact the environment.
According to Sustainability Explored, the purpose of a green office is threefold:
- To reduce consumption of natural resources
- To mitigate climate change
- To facilitate activities that encourage sustainable lifestyles
At the same time, a green office must be conducive to productivity and focus (otherwise it becomes a detriment to your career). So as we consider the proper way to design a green home office, we have to give weight to both sustainability and focus.
4 Tips for a Greener Office
The beauty of going green is that you have plenty of room for creativity and personalization. Here are a few of our favorite tips:
- Choose Furniture that Lasts
Most of the office furniture you’ll find in stores and online is cheap. And we’re not talking about cheap in terms of price – cheap in terms of quality. IKEA-grade furniture scratches, chips, and breaks down quickly. In some cases, a piece of furniture from one of these big box stores will break in a matter of months. Then it goes to some dump. Low-quality furniture manufacturing is extremely wasteful and should not be rewarded.
Instead, opt for furniture that lasts. This might include vintage or antique furniture that’s been around for decades. Or, you could shop for high-quality office furniture from a reliable company like BTOD.com, which customers are quick to recognize for selling durable chairs and desks.
- Incorporate Plants
Looking for a way to purify the air in your office without having to purchase an energy-hogging air purification system? Let nature do the work for you. By incorporating a number of plants into your space, you can filter out toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and carbon monoxide. This leaves you with cleaner air to breathe.
As an added benefit, plants are known to boost moods, lower blood pressure, promote deeper thinking, and energize the mind. If you’re looking for a way to stay focused, plants are the answer.
- Minimize Artificial Light
Not only does artificial light hurt your eyes, cause irritation, and make it difficult to focus, but it also drives up energy consumption. One of the best things you can do is minimize artificial light by choosing a space that offers plenty of natural light.
If natural light isn’t an option – or if you don’t have enough to totally illuminate your office – make sure you’re choosing environmentally-friendly light bulbs. Incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs should be replaced with LED bulbs. Not only do they use less energy, but they last for years.
- Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
As you know, the three keys to sustainability are to reduce, reuse, and recycle. The more you can do of each, the greener your home office becomes.
When it comes to reducing, we recommend going paperless. As for reusing, everything from rubber bands to paper clips can be used again. And if you absolutely must use some paper, recycling ink cartridges is a huge help to the environment.
Try your best to do away with clutter in the office. Keep your office streamlined and minimalistic. Not only does this limit your impact on the environment, but it also eliminates distractions and leads to better focus.
Adding it All Up
While it requires more time and effort to design a green home office (as opposed to a standard home office), the benefits are clear. In addition to reducing your impact on the environment, you’ll also enjoy greater focus, health, and productivity. Start designing your home office today!