For millions of people around the globe, the home office is one of the most frequently used rooms in the home. It can also rival the kitchen in waste production with shipping or packing waste and frequent printing. A few environmentally friendly alternatives to common daily practices can make a large difference in the individual’s footprint, while making an even bigger impact with wide-scale adoption of these alternatives.
Using Digital Files and Records
Instead of printing all paperwork, a digital filing system can be adopted. Papers can be viewed on the PC, mobile phone, or even on a tablet. Printing can be limited to only those documents that require printing, such as those that need to be placed within a binder or portfolio. This practice will greatly reduce paper and ink use, printing costs, and paper waste.
Eliminating Water Bottles
Water is important for staying hydrated and focused throughout the day. However, 4 bottles a day adds up to a lot of wasted plastic over the course of a year. Instead, a bottle-less water system, such as an Alpine water cooler, can be used to produce less waste. With a bottle-less water cooler and standard glasses, every cold drink of water is green and environmentally friendly. This system could be kept in the office, saving a trip to the kitchen, as well.
For the lunch leftovers and the paper waste that is left behind, composting is an excellent option. Plastic will still need to be recycled or tossed, but computer paper, shipping paper, cardboard, and mail can all be composted. An in-home worm composting bin is an excellent choice, as the worms will quickly process the waste. In the end, office waste will become rich, dark, and fertile worm castings.
Many plants are known to remove toxins from indoor air while also providing a lively pop of color to the office. These plants could be potted up with compost from office waste, and given light through a window or artificial indoor plant lights. Indoor plants will also improve the oxygen levels in the room, which offers many benefits while working.
A green office can lead to less waste, less clutter, and a healthier environment for people who work at home. Many of these methods are incredibly easy to implement at home.