For anyone who wants to do their part to preserve the environment, having an eco-friendly green office in your home can be a great place to start. By shopping for green office equipment and office furniture, you can help support skilled crafters, as well as avoid contributing to the waste of natural resources. Not only that, but green offices can also be tidier and less expensive to maintain. If you'd like to design a green office in your home, here's how you can begin planning.
There are 3 choices of materials to make most office furniture: wood, metal and plastic. Of these, wood is the most environmentally friendly since it comes from a renewable resource and is also biodegradable. Look for wood desks, chairs and tables to furnish your green office. If you don't mind paying more, you can even purchase your furniture from a crafter who makes it by hand rather than buying factory-made furniture.
For cushioning your chairs, you can look for cushions made from eco-friendly soy, flax or bamboo fiber. These fabrics are luxuriously soft as well as good for the environment.
Unfortunately, with some office equipment, you won't have the choice of purchasing a perfectly eco-friendly model. Items like computers and printers require plastic and metal, and you aren't likely to find anything that isn't made by a large manufacturer. However, you can look for printers which use a minimal amount of ink, and always recycle the ink cartridges when they are empty.
Non-electronic office equipment may be green, as you can get blown glass lamps and paperweights, wood pencils, recyclable or refillable pens, and recycled paper for your printer.
Even though your actual computer may not be green, it can be used to conserve other resources. Keeping records on your computer rather than printing them out saves paper and ink. If you are concerned about a hard drive failure, simply purchase an external hard drive to back up your records. A great deal of work can be documented on your computer, and it does not require physical paper records, which is a great way to conserve.
There are all sorts of little things you can do to help conserve resources while working in your office. If it is light outside, open the curtains or blinds and turn off your lights. In winter, you can get a small space heater rather than using power to keep your entire office warm. In summer, try opening the windows before you go to bed and closing them as soon as you wake up for natural air conditioning. The same green rules apply here as in the rest of the house: don't leave lights on if you're not using them, keep the thermostat low or off when possible, etc.
Be sure to place recycling bins in your office to conveniently place your paper and other recyclable items (and not be tempted to throw them away out of convenience).
Building a green office can be a satisfying experience that will give you a comfortable and environmentally friendly place to work.