How to Make Your Home-Office Environmentally Friendly


Recycling

Recycling is one of the best ways to minimize the effect that anything has on the environment, but it is especially good for home-offices. You throw away so much paper while working, so why not get a separate bin for waste paper. Having only one waste-paper bin means that you will put non-recyclable things such as plastic wrappers and dead batteries in it.

Recycle used envelopes and scrap paper. Instead of buying sticky notes or notepads, you can use used envelopes and paper to write notes.

Printing

Most people will print off more things than they need to. Do you really need to print out every email you receive? If you want an extra copy of your received emails you can save them to your computer as word documents as PDF files.

Also, lots of paper is wasted when you print something that has a mistake on it. Always print preview everything you print to minimize the chance of having to reprint it.

Using the duplex printing option on your printer will also halve the amount of paper you use. For those of you who don’t know, duplex printing is where the printer will print on both sides of the paper. Don’t use this all the time as it looks very unprofessional, but if you are printing off things for your personal use it works very well.

Electronics

Computers and other electronic equipment (e.g. screens) use up lots of energy. Overnight you should turn off all electronic equipment and if you’re taking a break longer than one hour you should at least turn off your computer. Also, when you leave the room turn off the computer screen. Even a screensaver on your computer will use up heaps of energy. Apart from having a good effect on the environment, this will lower your power bill, so it’s a win-win situation.

If you are buying a new computer, a laptop is better than a desktop PC. Not only will it use less energy, but it is also portable. It is estimated that desktops use 4 times more energy than a laptop which if you are using it for 8 hours a day adds up to be a lot. Another advantage is that you don’t necessarily have to stop using a big screen. Most laptops have a VGA output so that you can use your laptop through a normal CRT/LCD monitor.

Also, remember to recycle all of your electronic waste. Most cities have places that will take your old phones and computers. If you are lucky, some places will buy old computers off you to harvest their parts.

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About the Author: Marie Mayle is a contributor to the MegaHowTo team, writer, and entrepreneur based in California USA. She holds a degree in Business Administration. She loves to write about business and finance issues and how to tackle them.

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