10 Sustainable Swaps for Your Home Office
If you’re remote working, you might be looking for ways to be more eco friendly. Working from home reduces your carbon footprint already, as you won’t be taking part in the daily commute – but what about your working from home setup? What sustainable ways of working can you implement so you can have a green home office?
Home Office Sustainability Ideas
Below are some eco friendly office swaps you can apply in your home office so you can improve your workplace sustainability.
Stop Using Paper to Take Notes
The average household in the UK throws away six trees worth of paper per year, and paper and card make up one-fifth of all the waste produced in the UK. One of the easiest ways to be sustainable in your home office is to ditch the paper and use a reusable tool instead, like the Leitz Cosy Glass Desk Notepad. This glass notepad is the perfect size to sit on your desk between your keyboard and monitor, so it’s always to hand and ready to use. It can be used over and over again, by using a dry marker to take notes and then wiping it clean when you’re done. It’s also highly resistant to stains, scratches, and dents, so it will always be pristine.
If you use sticky notes, swap them for a glass desk easel or glass whiteboard that can also be wiped clean and reused. Not only will this swap go some way to reducing your carbon footprint at work, it can also help to stop your home office from turning into a junk room, so you can work in a tidy and calm environment. Plus, by using wipe-clean tools, you never have to worry about safely getting rid of pieces of paper with confidential information on them, like phone numbers. Simply wipe them away when you no longer need the details.
Use Equipment Made from Sustainable Materials
If you already have stationery tools in your office, the best thing to do is to keep using them until they’re no longer in good working order, rather than getting rid of them and creating unnecessary waste. However, if you need something new for your home office, instead of going for the usual plastic tools, look for equipment made from sustainable materials. The Leitz Recycle CO2 neutral range features an array of tools for your home office which are all made from recycled plastic, are CO2 neutral and are also fully recyclable themselves.
Not only that but they’re designed and built to last. The Leitz Recycle Hole Punch, for example, comes with a ten-year guarantee and is fully recyclable just by breaking it down to its separate parts with a screwdriver. There’s also the Leitz Recycle Waste Paper Bin, made from 98% post-consumer recycled plastic. Get two bins for your home office and you can make sure you can split any waste into recyclable and landfill.
Swap Plastic Storage for Cardboard
Rather than filling your home office with plastic storage boxes, use cardboard instead. The Leitz Click & Store Cosy Storage Boxes come in a range of sizes to suit your needs. The Leitz Cosy Cub Storage Box has been designed to comfortably fit into most standard cube shelving units, and it comes in our three Cosy colours, so you can mix them up or make sure they all match.
If you want to organise and store smaller items, there’s the Leitz Click & Store Cosy 3 Drawer Cabinet. It’s made from durable, premium cardboard with a post-consumer recycled core. It’s constructed to even withstand heavier items, so it’s long-lasting and ready for whatever you need to store.
Swap to Energy Efficient Lighting
You should try to get as much natural light into your home office as possible. But if you’re working in the evening, you should use energy efficient lighting, like LED bulbs. LED lighting can be 80% more energy efficient than standard bulbs and will waste far less energy than other types of lighting.
The Leitz Style Smart Desk Lamp uses LED lighting and also has an automatic on/off, switching on when you’re in the connection zone and switching off when you leave it, so no energy is ever wasted. It also has an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness to each task you undertake, so it’s never brighter and using more energy than you need it to.
Use digital documents as much as possible, rather than printing. If you’re going to a meeting, see if it’s possible to view documents on laptops, rather than printing out copies for everyone. Rather than printing a document to sign it and scan it back to someone, see if you can digitally sign it instead.
If you have to print, make sure you’re printing smarter. Check the document before you print it and make sure you’re only printing the pages that you need. You should print on both sides of the paper wherever possible and always use recycled printing paper. If you do have any paper that you no longer need, make sure it’s recycled rather than put in the landfill.
Swap to Sustainable Printer Cartridges
If you have to have a printer in your home office, look for one that uses refillable printer cartridges rather than ones that need to be thrown away every time. If that’s not possible, always look into how you can recycle your printer cartridges – many printer manufacturers have a system in place so you can return empty cartridges to them, and they can recycle them. You should also look to purchase printer cartridges that are already made from recycled materials.
Use a Laptop Instead of a Desktop
Desktop PCs typically use much more energy than a laptop, so if you’re looking for a new device for your home office, you should look at laptops instead. Not only will using a laptop save energy it will also likely save you money on your energy bills.
If you already own a desktop, there are some things you can do so it runs more sustainably. Set it to go to sleep if you’re away from your keyboard for a few minutes and make sure it’s turned off completely at the end of every day, rather than staying in rest mode overnight.
Use Curtains on the Windows
It might be that you already have blinds on your windows in your home office, but you should also hang heavier curtains. Not only can this create a cosier working environment, but curtains can also help to insulate the room. Curtains can reduce the amount of heat that’s lost through the windows by around 10% to 25%, so they’re a great help in the winter months and a more sustainable solution than just turning the heating up more to warm up the room.
Stop Drinking Bottled Water
60 million water bottles are thrown away each year, going to landfill or being incinerated. The plastic bottles in landfills will take hundreds of years to degrade and will never decompose completely, just breaking down into smaller pieces of plastic. So, you should make sure you avoid drinking bottled water wherever possible.
If you like the convenience of a water bottle, look for a reusable bottle instead, ideally made from sustainable materials. Or if you don’t want to drink water from the tap, buy a filter jug to go in your fridge, so you can still drink fresh water without using plastic bottles.
Buy Second-Hand Furniture
When you’re looking for furniture for your home office, make sure to look at second-hand items, for example in charity shops or online marketplaces. It might be that for certain pieces, like an ergonomic office chair, you would prefer to buy new so it fits your needs. However, for items like desks, filing cabinets, and shelving units, always look for second-hand pieces. If you’re getting rid of any items of furniture that are still useable, you should also donate them or sell them on, to prevent them from going to landfill.
Leitz has many ideas and tools for your home office, so you can improve your working from home sustainability and create a cosy and productive working environment.
See below for more articles about how you can work more sustainably: