How To Green Your Home Office

How to green your home office

It seems like every home has a “home office” these days. For some, it’s their sole place of employment, for others it’s simply a place to pay the bills, surf the computer, and help the kids with homework. But whether yours is a dedicated room, a corner of the kitchen table, or just a state of mind, there are lots of things you can do to make it a greener and cleaner place to take care of business. Here’s how to green your home office:

Install CFLs: Replace traditional light bulbs with long-lasting and money-saving compact fluorescents that are better for the planet and better for your wallet.

Go Paperless: Hide the paper in your office so you have to think before you print/doodle/or write yourself a note. Use email and text messages to distribute memos or customer newsletters. Share and edit documents using a wiki program. Skip the cover sheet on faxes, and instead print the correspondence information directly on the first page of the document. Use virtual post-it notes (try Stikkit) to track important info and online calendars like Google Calendar or Famundo to manage your family’s schedule.

Recruit The Stars: If you’re in the market for new gadgets, look for products that carry the Energy Star label (which means they use less energy than comparable models). Many Energy Star machines, such as laser printers, copiers, and faxes, also have an automatic standby mode that saves energy when the machine is not actively in use.

Stock It Green: Stock your office with green office supplies such as recycled paper and re-manufactured toner cartridges. Skip disposables and choose reusable pens, pencils, and staplers. And buy products in bulk whenever possible to reduce costs and packaging.

Read more from Jenn in her book, The Green Parent: A Kid-Friendly Guide to Environmentally-Friendly Livingor her blog The Green Parent.

Original 5 Minutes for Going Green post.

8 Responses to How To Green Your Home Office
  1. Donielle @ Naturally Knocked Up
    September 4, 2008 | 10:29 am

    Great ideas!

    I haven’t gone totally paperless, but i do use cut up scrap paper for all our notes. And along with our cfl bulbs we turn off the computer when it’s not in use or at least every night. Helps save us a few dollars in energy savings too!

  2. Capitol Web
    September 4, 2008 | 11:16 am

    Great timing on this article as I was just thinking about this very topic this morning!

    I do have some thoughts about the CFL’s though… with everything else, there is always a trade-off involved. The trade-off in the CFL’s is mercury, which is the 2nd most toxic substance on this planet. So you save more energy by going CFL, but you end up putting more mercury in the environment when eventually that CFL ends up in the landfill/recycling center.

    For me, I’m sticking with the incandescent bulbs since I’d rather use up more energy than stick more mercury in the environment. A better alternative is LED lighting, but they are not widely available yet.

    Of course, I always use natural lighting first (ie – the sun)

    (ps thanks for the great stikkit tip!)

  3. Jenn (The Green Parent)
    September 4, 2008 | 12:40 pm

    Thanks for your comments folks!

    Lisa, check out my post on safely recycling CFLs:

    Your absolutely right to be concerned about the mercury, but I still think the energy savings is worth it, as long as the bulbs are recycled safely. And one thing to remember is that CFL last so long you won’t have to replace them (and recycle them) as often as incandescents.

    But you’re right…sunlight is tops! ;)


  4. sonnjea
    September 4, 2008 | 3:01 pm

    I use virtual “stickies” (Mac), but can’t manage with the virtual calendar. I compromised by printing one of my own making on the backs of used paper. I now have a “real” calendar I can write on but used no new resources or money to make it … well, maybe a little toner.

  5. Stenographer
    September 4, 2008 | 3:33 pm

    I have a few friends who use Qlubb (sp?) and it saves a lot of paper when it comes to managing groups. I thin it’s She’s moved the newsletter to email, the signup sheets to virtual and club announcements and reminders to all email and the RSVP’s to the web which has saved a huge amount on printing and postage. Not everybody is online though and that presents a problem (a few phone calls are necessary) but the printing cost has been dropped down to about 10% of what it is. We just print out the online stuff and give it to the folks without internet access. Doesn’t look pretty but gets the job done.

  6. The Green Parent Roundup | Go Green Living
    September 7, 2008 | 12:24 am

    […] In a guest post for 5 Minutes For Going Green, The Green Parent’s own Jenn Savedge says Eat Your Greens!, and she plus showed parents How To Green Your Home Office. […]

  7. Buy xanax.
    August 20, 2009 | 1:01 pm

    Buy xanax….

    Buy xanax….

  8. green design blog
    February 15, 2011 | 2:56 pm

    Less printing, less AC, less electricity!