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In honor of Earth Day, here are six easy-to-implement ideas for a more earth-friendly home office.
Add a plant to your office
You can literally make your office greener by adding a new plant friend! Plants not only add visual interest to your home office, but they directly help the planet by cleaning the air.
If you’re not really a plant person, or if you have a history of plants not surviving while under your care, one of these three varieties are good options to start with. Plus, all three of these plants have the added benefit of needing less water, increasing their earth-friendly benefits.
3 easy-to-care-for plants:
Cati & succulent plants
Air plants in glass bottles
Go 100% paperless for a day
The majority of us are already mostly paperless, but can you make a conscious effort to be 100% paperless for an entire day? Here are a few ideas for upping your paperless practice.
Don’t use any sticky notes for the day
Share a digital business card
Take notes on your phone
If you’re still swimming in paper and want to make a long-term change to an almost paperless office, consider spending a few days purging (and recycling) old documents and papers that might be in your way.
Guess what??? You can get it done in just three days! It’s super easy! Take my 3-day Paper Declutter Challenge.
Declutter and recycle old electronics
Collect all your old cords, computers, software, old headphones, tablets, iPods, floppy discs (yes, some people still have them), old zip drives, cd’s and DVDs.
Where’s the best place to recycle old electronics?
There are many options, but the easiest for most folks is Best Buy.
You can take three items per household, per day. Check the website for items not accepted.
Start recycling ink cartridges
Recycle used ink cartridges and you’re not only doing something nice for the planet and future generations, but you’re also getting money back in your pocket. Check out Office Depot and Staples for current recycling programs.
Staples Recycling Program: If you’re a rewards member, you get $2 for every ink cartridge you bring in. You can bring in up to 10/month for a total of $20/month. They will send you a coupon to apply to your next purchase of $30 or more. It’s a pretty good deal and good for the planet too!
Reduce emissions, work virtually
Take a meeting or two virtually, or work the entire day remotely. According to the EPA, transportation is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases. While folks who work from home might not commute to an office every day, we often have meetings we attend outside of the house.
Here are some ideas to add more virtual work to your routine:
Implement a Designated Desk Day. Don’t leave your home office for the entire day. Focus on administrative tasks or projects that have been on your to-do list.
Conduct networking one-on-one and initial consultations virtually.
While we all might be sick of working remotely, it’s nice to appreciate its eco-friendly merit and consider mindfully integrating it into our schedules post-pandemic.
Adjust the temperature
According to the EPA, electricity is not far behind transportation as one of the leading contributors to greenhouse gases. While you might be getting cool or cozy inside your home, the world outside is getting hotter.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends setting your thermostat around 70 degrees when you are home and awake.
Strange benefits of lowering the temperature that may motivate you to do it:
Losing weight – Did you know that you burn more calories when the temperature is lower? If you turn your thermostat below 70 degrees, you can burn up to 100 more calories a day!
If your home is cooler, other cooling appliances like your fridge and freezer don’t have to work as hard which means lower energy bills.
Plants thrive when the temperature is under 75 degrees. Keep your new office friends alive and well!
Lowering the temperature while working from home can help you lose weight
Ideas to compensate for a higher or lower temperature on the thermostat:
To stay warm:
Keep a blanket near your desk in a basket or on a blanket ladder
Place a sheepskin (here’s an animal-free sheepskin from Ikea) on your chair
Use a space heater for intermittent heating
Keep throw blankets nearby on a blanket ladder
Throw blankets can also be rolled and stowed in a decorative basket
Throwing a sheepskin on your office chair keep you warmer while working
To stay cool:
Work in a cooler area of your home for the day – like your basement
Take a cool bath or shower before you begin your day
Have an iced coffee or cold brew instead of a warm cup of joe in the morning
Keep cool in the summer months with an iced coffee
These are just some easy ways to improve your home office for a more earth-friendly workday. Read more about how to improve your office if you’re feeling inspired. If you aren’t sure what your home office needs, then GetReorganized.com can help. Check out some of the services I offer or schedule a 20-minute Discovery Call.
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