Save energy when you work from home. Evelyn James presents seven easy eco-friendly tips for all you home workers out there
Eco-Friendly Work from Home tips
More and more people are ditching office life in favour of remote work. Working from home offers plenty of advantages, including greater freedom over your work schedule and no commuting costs. That said, it also means you are likely to use more energy, which is bad for the environment and your wallet! Luckily, there are plenty of ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save money on your utility bills. Here are seven eco-friendly work from home tips:
1. Turn the thermostat down
Artificial heating is often a must during the colder months and it can be difficult to conserve energy during winter. However, turning your thermostat down by just a couple of degrees can lower carbon emissions and cut your monthly gas and electric bills. In fact, turning your thermostat down by 1°C could slash your heating bills by 10% according to Ovo Energy. When you’re working from home, try wearing extra layers of clothing to keep warm instead of automatically turning the thermostat up. Installing a programmable thermostat can also increase efficiency and make it easier to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home office.
2. Make the most of natural light
When choosing a room for your office, try to pick an area of your home that has lots of natural light. This will reduce the need to use artificial lighting while you’re working during the day. Many studies have found that natural light boosts productivity levels in offices. Being exposed to more natural light can also make you healthier and happier. You can increase natural light in your office by positioning your desk next to a window, removing obstructions from windows, and using mirrors to reflect natural light.
3. Use sustainable materials
If you are renovating a space to create a home office, then make the project as eco-friendly as possible by using sustainable materials. Fortunately, there is a massive selection of green building materials available including bamboo and reclaimed wood. Buying second-hand or refurbished office furniture is another simple way to help the environment, reduce waste, and save money. You should be able to find plenty of pre-loved office furniture and supplies by searching on sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
4. Avoid using the printer
Storing files and documents electronically is an easy way to make your work activities more eco-friendly. Reducing your printing will also save you money on office suppliers like paper and ink cartridges. Before printing, carefully consider whether it is necessary to print the document. In most cases, documents can be stored and accessed securely online, without the need to obtain a physical copy.
5. Book a home energy audit
If you’re searching for ways to make your home office more energy-efficient, then booking an energy audit is a great place to start. Experts at epcforyou.co.uk explain how an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) “is a record of actual and potential energy savings of a property.” An accredited assessor will visit your property and provide your home with a rating based on its energy performance. You will also be given recommendations on how to improve your energy efficiency. This may involve installing extra insulation, upgrading old appliances, or replacing your boiler, for example. Completing these home improvements may seem expensive but you should quickly recover the costs through the energy-saving benefits.
6. Unplug devices from the wall
Did you know that electronic devices still use energy when they are plugged in but aren’t being used? Leaving devices plugged into the wall is a huge waste of energy and can increase your electricity bills. It also creates harmful emissions and puts unnecessary stress on the environment. Make your office as sustainable as possible by ensuring that electronic devices like your laptop, computer monitor, and printer are unplugged from the wall when not in use. You should also make sure that devices are in the most eco-friendly setting. For instance, turn your screen brightness down to save energy.
7. Buy eco-friendly office supplies
The average officer worker produces around two pounds of waste every day. Fortunately, there are a huge variety of eco-friendly office supplies that can help you reduce waste and improve efficiency. Try to look for office supplies that are recycled, waste-free, or biodegradable. For instance, paperless notebooks allow you to erase notes and reuse your notebook for different tasks and projects. This is far more sustainable than using a traditional paper notepad and replacing it once it’s been used. There is also a great selection of biodegradable pens that are made from recycled materials like plastic or cardboard. Try to choose the most eco-friendly options when searching for supplies for your home office.
Evelyn James a freelance writer who focuses on environmental issues and sustainability
Ovo Energy, How to Reduce Electric and Gas Bills: ovoenergy.com/guides/energy-guides/how-to-reduce-electric-and-gas-bills
New Day Office, Benefits of Natural Light in Workplaces: newdayoffice.com/blog/benefits-of-natural-light-in-the-workplace
Corporate Spec, Why you Should be Buying Refurbished Office Furniture Over New: corporatespec.com/why-you-should-be-buying-refurbished-office-furniture-over-new/
EPCFORYOU, EPC London page: epcforyou.co.uk/location/epc-london/
RoadRunner Recycling, The Facts: Office Workers and Their Waste: roadrunnerwm.com/blog/office-worker-waste-generation