Three ways your home office could be made more eco-friendly
With the pandemic bringing a change to our working arrangements, professionals making the shift to home working have been given freedom over their office setup. For many people, this has given them the opportunity to personalise their working environment to suit their individual tastes and needs. But this new-found freedom to design your own space also presents an obvious opportunity to play your part in the fight against climate change.
If you’re passionate about the environment, there are so many different ways you can flex your eco-credentials from the comfort of your home office. Here are three things you can do to make your WFH space work for the environment.
Your home office’s carbon footprint will be affected by many different factors such as lighting, heating and the waste you produce. But did you know that your internet use may also be having an adverse impact on your WFH footprint? As reported in this guide to the environmental impact of SMEs, something as simple as sending an email can produce 4 grams of carbon, rising to 50 grams if you add a large attachment.
Whilst you might not have paid any attention to the finer nuances of energy consumption in a shared office space, at home you’ll likely want to do all you can to reduce your emissions. If this is the case, try and adopt more eco-friendly practices when using the internet. These might include closing tabs when not in use, unsubscribing from unwanted emails, or using an eco-friendly search engine such as Ecosia.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
As tempting as it may be to work from bed or the sofa every day, this probably isn’t conducive to a productive day’s work. Particularly if you’re set to be working at home longer term, it’s crucial that you invest in proper office furniture that will help you to maintain healthy habits away from the office.
Buying recycled chairs or desks that are still in good working order is a great way to not only create a more eco-friendly space, but you may even find you save money in the process. At the end of their use, or if you head back to the office permanently, be sure to recycle, sell or upcycle your furniture wherever possible, to avoid it ending up in landfill.
If you do decide to buy new equipment for your office, be sure to check its eco-credentials, and ensure it’s been produced in a sustainable way. Eco-friendly office furniture will typically be made using sustainable/recycled materials, so with a little research you can be sure to fill your office with furniture that both looks good and does good.
Cut back on waste
For your office to be truly eco-friendly, you’ll need to address the issue of waste. Business waste comes in all forms, from paper, to food to everyday items. As such, it’s important to be aware of how to properly dispose of these different types to minimise your office’s environmental impact.
On top of any physical waste you create, you should also consider how you manage your energy waste. Working from home invariably means you’ll need to use more energy to power your daily life, but by making energy efficient choices, this doesn’t mean your bills or carbon footprint need to increase. Simple things like sitting by a window to utilise natural light means there’ll be less need for artificial lighting during the day. You should also be sure to switch off your appliances like laptops or screens after the working day, to prevent any phantom energy loss.
To sum up
In summary, as we’ve discovered, you don’t have to undergo any major renovations to create a more eco-friendly working environment. However, if you are going to be spending more of your working week from home for the foreseeable future, you may look at ways you can take it to the next level.
This could include installing renewable energy sources such as solar panels to generate your own electricity, or modifying your windows or insulation to be more energy efficient. Whatever changes you make, large or small, everything will have a positive impact on your carbon footprint and the wider environment. Start by making a change today and the planet will be feeling the positive effects for years to come.