4 Ways to Green Your Home Office
Photo courtesy of Gregory Han at Flickr
Whether you work from home full time or find yourself bringing your work home with you on the weekends, having a dedicated office space with all the gadgets and tools you need makes life easier. Unfortunately, it also adds to your electricity bill and household waste. Follow these four tips to cut down on your energy consumption and waste levels.
1. Upgrade to CFLs
If you’re still using traditional light bulbs in your home office, its time to upgrade to compact fluorescent light bulbs. CLFs cost a bit more than standard light bulbs – about $3.00 to $6.00 a piece – but they’ll reduce your electricity usage as well as the heat output from the light. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that a CFL uses 75 percent less energy on average. 2. Plug in a Smart Strip
All of the small electronics in your home office continue to draw electricity, even if they’re not in use. You can eliminate this extra usage, known as vampire energy, by plugging your computer, printer, fax machine or any other electronic device into a smart strip. Smart strips – which range from $30 to $35 – sense when you’ve turned off a device and cut power to the electronic.
3. Switch to Recycled Paper
Recycled printer paper comes from recycled pulp, which is formed into new sheets. Recycled paper has a thinner texture than most printer paper, but will work for everyday needs. To get the most life out of a single sheet, and reduce your material and electricity consumption, set your printer to print on both sides of a single sheet.
4. Upcycle Your E-Waste
The ever-growing popularity of tech devices has made E-Waste a pretty serious problem in the United States. For example, Americans tossed about 2.37 million short tons of cellphones, computers, TVs and other gadgets into the trash in 2009 alone, according to the EPA. Most of those electronics were still usable. Anytime you upgrade a device in your home office, recycle the old one. The EPA has a list of places that accepts E-Waste for recycling or donation.