It is not an easy task to totally “go green” in any office environment. However, if you are a WAH-Parent, you do have total control of what can and cannot be done.
Yes, another advantage to having a home office / working from your home — YOU are in charge! YAY!
Let’s not forget those that own their own brick and mortar shops, too!
It is so important to remember that you really do have the control when you own your own business.
Ten ways to help make your home office and/or business “Green”
- Use a hosting company that is using “Green Energy” — I use Dreamhost and they are certified Green, using wind energy — Hostgator and FatCow are also great hosting companies that are “Green”. (Please do your research. Many companies are just buying energy credits to reduce their carbon footprint.)
- If you have your own brick and mortar, whether you are leasing or straight out own the property, please do research and find out what you can do to set up solar and/or wind to help offset your energy costs. One of the best advantages to this is that you can sell back what you don’t use to your local utility company.
- When possible, use natural lighting. If you are a night owl, use energy-efficient lightbulbs. Contact your local utility company via phone or web for suggestions — they may even send you some freebies
- Recycle all paper — if it’s not double-sided, I use the back side for scratch paper and it also is great doodle paper for the kids! I have a recycle box to toss the paper in and when it gets full, I shred it. The shredder I purchased does criss cross cuts and makes small pieces. Perfect for packing material!
- Use recycled packing material, if you send out packages. — See, #4 — You now have a never-ending source of recycled packing material with all your shredded paper
- Plants — Plants — Plants! If you have cats that like to get into them or little fingers and hands from the toddler, invest in ceiling hooks and hang them
- Purchase second-hand items for furnishings in your home office: lamps, desk, tables, shelving, etc. Freecycle is a great website to start! And you can actually find some decent stuff on Craigslist, too. Or make them yourself. My husband made me this desk (see picture to the right) for my laptop from pallets that he collected at no cost! He also made one for each of our oldest kids for their computers.
- Start purchasing remanufactured ink cartridges for your printers. Some places also have programs that after purchasing X amount of cartridges, you get 1 free. So, check around at the office supply stores and ink stores for the best deals.
- Start using non-toxic or all natural cleaners — Okay this is good for your home use as well! Mrs. Meyers has great products — I love the lemon verbena, lavender and orange clove scents! I use the surface scrub, bathroom cleaner, countertop spray and all-purpose cleaners — and I LOVE them!!!
- Recycle broken equipment and donate equipment that you have upgraded. We have brought our old towers and monitors to the local Good Will. We’ve also been able to get rid of some of our old TVs as well
Okay some of this list isn’t just for your home office or business. After all, if you are a WAHM like me, your home is your office LOL What are your ideas of helping your home and/or office better for our environment? Please leave your comments below!