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Eco-Friendly Practices You Should Adopt in Your Home Office

Since the late 1990’s, more Australians are choosing to work from home. The advancement of the internet and web communications means employees can choose to work remotely from home or hot desk from their favourite café, restaurant or coworking space. However, many people that work from home start to adopt poor sustainability habits which not only impacts the environment. To avoid falling into this trap, we have provided the following suggestions.

Avoid working with artificial light during daylight hours.
Many people that work from home setup their office in a room that has poor lighting. This forces them to use artificial lighting, which increases their overall energy consumption costs. In Australia, many energy providers charge premium rates for energy that is consumed throughout the day.

A better solution is to setup your office in an area where you can get an abundance of natural light. Not only will it reduce the reliance on artificial lighting, but it will also help with productivity.

Avoid unnecessary printing.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of wasting paper and ink from unnecessary printing. To avoid this, try implementing paperless habits by saving documents on hard drives and encouraging any clients or colleagues to receive documents in an electronic format.

There will be times when you will need to print. To avoid wastage, make sure you print the correct documents to avoid duplications. Also invest in a good printer and ink cartridges that will minimize the likelihood of any print errors occurring.

Avoid unnecessary travel.
Even though you will reduce your travel commute to work, you shouldn’t substitute that travel to another location. Hotdesking at cafés and restaurants are great, however you shouldn’t substitute it as a place to commute to every day. Additionally, you should avoid commuting to unnecessary meetings and instead aim to conduct the meetings via phone or conferencing technology like Skype.

Avoid using disposable items.
One of the biggest culprits that leads to increased landfill is the reliance on disposable items. It should be easier to manage inside the home, since many items like plates, cups, towels and utensils are reusable. Some people try to make their place feel more like an office and then they may buy a coffee machine that uses disposable cups and wooden stirrers. This starts a habit, which will only contribute to litter and landfill disposal problems.

Avoid leaving electrical equipment turned on.
Don’t get into the habit of leaving all of your electrical equipment on all of the time. These items will still draw electricity, which will add to your energy bill. Even if you put these electrical items on stand-by, it means it will only draw less energy. Some things you should keep in mind include:

– Completely shutting down your computer.
– Turning off any printers.
– Turning off all of the lights.
– Unplugging any electrical items from the wall.

Get into the habit of recycling.
Recycling is a must if you want to maintain a sustainable office. Create bins where you can separate metals, plastics, paper, cardboard and other recycling items so they can be disposed correctly.

Furthermore, you should store stationery items in an area where they can be reused in the future rather than run the risk of them being disposed and end up as landfill.

When the climate changes, avoid using electrical items that consume a lot of energy.
When it gets hot during the summertime or cold during the wintertime, it is easy to turn on the electric heater or air conditioning to keep cool. Running these for 8 hours or more per day use up a lot of energy. Some alternatives would be to opt for fans and iced beverages when the weather is too hot. When it is too cold, to minimise any drafts coming through the property, using blankets to keep warm and hot water bottles.

There are several things that you can do to make your home office more eco-friendly. Take action today!

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