The concept of sustainable living has made a long way over the past several years. Only recently, it was a trendy idea and a personal choice of environmentally aware people. Today the principles of sustainability and ethical standards determine policies of numerous world-leading brands, companies, and whole industries.
Fashion and design brands worldwide are adopting the standards of sustainable operation today using more ethically sourced materials and encouraging recycling and zero-waste technologies to minimize landfills and their impact on the environment. More and more cosmetic companies proudly call themselves cruelty-free, rejecting animal testing and focusing on vegan ingredients.
Sustainable practices have become an integral part of our everyday living and work. Modern offices encourage their employees to recycle, use the resources mindfully, and repurpose office equipment and furniture to prolong its lifespan and keep it off landfills.
With so many employees moving to Home Offices due to the quarantine restrictions caused by the Pandemic and so many of them deciding to stick to this style of working even in the post-Coronavirus world, it is pretty natural that people are curious how to create efficient yet ethical and sustainable office setup at home.
In this article, we shall describe 5 steps you can take today to make your Home Office more ethical and sustainable and contribute to environmental protection.
Step 1 – determine a sustainable home office.
To create a genuinely ethical and sustainable home office, it is essential to understand what you aim for.
Technically, an eco-friendly home office setup is the one that has interior, appliance, stationery, and other essential details that have a minimum negative impact on the environment. At the same time, a truly ethical home office can even have some positive effects through its operation, rational use of resources, recycling, etc.
Here are some key features that will make your home office green:
- Efficient use of energy with a focus on natural lighting or solar batteries rather than the electric system;
- Mindful use of resources that will reduce waste;
- Using mainly ethically sourced and recycled materials, furniture, equipment, etc.;
- Introducing plants and air moisturisers and adjusting the ventilation system to improve the quality of air in your home office and reduce the use of AC
Step 2 – Make your home office green… literally!
Introducing plants into your home office may instantly improve air quality and eliminate numerous problems, making your workplace safe, comfortable, and healthy.
Plants filter the air, reduce toxins and free radicals, and other potentially dangerous factors associated with spending all day in front of a computer screen, using mobile gadgets, etc.
Some plants can boost your mood, normalize blood pressure, help you concentrate or reduce stress, etc.
Step 3 – Reduce energy consumption.
Office equipment needs power, and you can`t do anything about it. However, there are several ways to minimize power consumption in your home office:
- Use natural light as much as possible. Try to place your desk and arrange the workplace the way you will manage to avoid turning on electric lights;
- Replace your light bulbs with the Energy Saving and LED lights. They are 80% more energy-efficient;
- Set timers on air conditioning, heaters, and other devices.
Step 4 – Replace-Recycle-Repurpose
This principle has helped numerous companies go eco-friendly seamlessly. It can also work perfectly for your home office.
- Replace – the first step is to replace all disposable and wasteful items with multiple-use or sustainable analogs. Get rid of plastic cups and straws, disposable pens, tags, and other items that go into the garbage right away;
- Recycle – going zero-waste in the home office is not that hard! Food scraps and paper, and some stationery items can join your home compost bin. The electric appliance, as well as batteries, plastic, metal, and glass items, will become a part of your standard home recycling routine;
- Repurpose – from a piece of paper to a chair or bookcase. There is a way to repurpose and reuse almost any item in your home office.
Step 5 – Discover eco-friendly office products.
You will have to make many decisions to turn your home office into an ethical, sustainable workplace. To make those decisions justified and informed, you may need to do some homework and learn more about materials, their sourcing, and recycling perspectives.
You can do your first steps by choosing 100% recycled paper or getting rechargeable cartridges for a printer with non-toxic ink.
There are also eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning liquids, sanitizers, and other products that will keep your home office safe and healthy even during the ongoing Pandemic.
Transformation of your home office into a sustainable workspace may take some time and effort. But it is an investment that will pay off with a healthier work environment, higher efficiency, and satisfaction from the process.
Making your home office green, you create a unique microclimate for yourself and contribute significantly to the shared mission of preserving our planet for future generations.