Top 10 Tips to Make Your Home Office Environmentally Friendly

make your home office environmentally friendly

Are you creating a carbon report for your company and saw that home office accounts for a significant portion of your emissions?

Are you working from home and want to lower your carbon footprint?

Great! That’s what we love to hear.

With the rise of remote work, home offices have become an integral part of our daily lives. While this shift has drastically reduced our daily commute and its associated carbon emissions, the environmental footprint of our workspace at home often goes overlooked. From energy consumption to waste, there’s a lot to consider.

After all, decreasing carbon emissions, energy, and water consumption at home is equally important as it is anywhere else.

Whether you’re a business executive, a diligent employee, or a green-conscious professional, you can play an important role in combating climate change right from your desk.

Here are 10 actionable tips to greenify your home office:

1 Switch to Energy-Efficient Lighting

Traditional incandescent bulbs burn out quickly and consume a lot of electricity. LEDs, on the other hand, use about 75% less energy and can last 25 times longer!

The US government estimates that lighting accounts for 15% of an average home’s electricity use and thus has a large impact on your home office emissions!

Desk lamp next to iMac
LED lamps reduce energy consumption by up to 80%!

πŸ’š Why it matters: Traditional incandescent bulbs are energy hogs. LED or CFL bulbs consume far less energy and last longer. They are also far less likely to burn out.

Impact: This reduces energy consumption and consequently, your carbon footprint.

πŸ’‘ Potential Savings: Up to 80% reduction in energy consumption. Over a year, this can equate to roughly 150kg / 300lbs of CO2 saved for every ten bulbs replaced.

2 Power Down Devices at Night

Instead of leaving your computer or printer on standby, turn them off when not in use. If possible, plug devices into a power strip and turn it off to prevent “phantom” energy use.

Oh, and it’s also a lot better for your sleep when there are no annoying standby lamps blinking nearby!

πŸ’š Why it matters: Many electronics use energy even when they’re turned off. Known as ‘phantom loads’, these can account for up to 10% of household energy use.

Impact: By eliminating idle power consumption, you’re saving energy and money.

πŸ’‘ Potential Savings: Turning devices off or using a power strip can save up to $100 a year and prevent the emission of 500kg / 1,000 pounds of CO2.

3 Use Sustainable Office Supplies

Buy recycled paper, refillable pens, and other sustainable supplies. Consider supporting brands with eco-friendly commitments (that can be verified!).

From notebooks made of recycled paper to biodegradable pens, eco-friendly supplies are both functional and sustainable.

πŸ’š Why it matters: Each device and office supply carries an intrinsic carbon and energy value from manufacturing, shipping, etc. The lower this is, the more environmentally friendly your home office is!

Impact: This reduces waste and the demand for virgin resources.

πŸ’‘ Potential Savings: Using recycled paper can save 12 trees, 2,500 kWh of electricity, and 4,000 liters of water annually.

4 Regulate Your Room Temperature Naturally

Of course, we want you to feel well in your home office and there is no need to be too cold or hot for the sake of the environment.

However, it’s easy to save energy here by following a few simple steps.

Instead of over-relying on heating or air conditioning, use blinds to block or allow sunlight, and dress in layers to easily adjust to room temperatures. When you must use heating or cooling, ensure your systems are energy-efficient models.

πŸ’š Why it matters: Heating energy losses are one of the main drivers of domestic carbon emissions and utility bills.

Impact: This reduces energy use, carbon emissions, and your utility bill.

πŸ’‘ Potential Savings: Proper insulation can reduce energy consumption by 30%. Over a year, this can cut CO2 emissions by up to 1,200kg / 2,400 lbs.

5 Water-Smart Plants

Having plants at home is great! They provide cleaner air, look pretty, and will make you feel much better in your home office! However, they also consume water (albeit little) so be sure to not overdo the watering!

Plants like snake plants, succulents, or ZZ plants are not just great for improving indoor air quality, but they also require less water.

Thank you plant
Plants are fun. Plants are pretty. Plants are cool!

πŸ’š Why it matters: Low-maintenance indoor plants like succulents purify the air while consuming minimal water.

Impact: Reduced water consumption and a touch of greenery can enhance your workspace mood.

πŸ’‘ Potential Savings: Depending on the plant, you can save up to 13L / 3 gallons of water per week, equating to 700L / 155 gallons annually.

6 Digitize and Reduce Printing

So much paper!!!

If you have ever felt this way, it’s time to embrace digital notes, cloud storage, and collaborative online tools. When printing is necessary, use both sides of the paper.

Not only does it require less storage space, but makes sharing documents much simpler…and is great for the planet!

πŸ’š Why it matters: Think before you print. Can it be read or edited online? Make use of cloud storage and collaborative tools to minimize paper use.

Impact: Less paper means fewer trees cut down and reduced energy use in paper production.

πŸ’‘ Potential Savings: Avoiding one ream (500 sheets) of paper saves 6% of a tree, 2.5kWh of energy, and 5.2kg of CO2.

7 Recycle Your Waste

Plastic waste is a HUUUGE problem for the environment and costs us billions of dollars every year.

Designate bins for paper, plastics, and e-waste. Separate recyclables from trash to ensure materials can be reused.

Make sure to periodically dispose of them at proper recycling facilities and remember to check local recycling guidelines.

πŸ’š Why it matters: Recycling is the first step to less trash and a more healthy planet.

Impact: Recycling diverts waste from landfills and conserves resources.

πŸ’‘ Potential Savings: Recycling paper alone can save 60% of energy compared to making it from raw materials.

8 Use Water Wisely

Water is scarce. Many regions around the world limit their water supplies already and it is estimated that by 2030, 40% of the world will exceed drinking water supplies.

Conserving water is therefore a top priority if we want to keep proper living conditions on our planet for everyone.

If you have a home office bathroom or kitchenette, install low-flow faucets and toilets. Repair any leaks promptly.

Washing hands over faucet
Low-flow faucets can reduce water consumption significantly.

πŸ’š Why it matters: Water is scarce. Conserve it, please!

Impact: Huge water savings over time, leading to both environmental and financial benefits.

πŸ’‘ Potential Savings: Low-flow faucets can conserve up to 40% of water, potentially saving over 11,300 L / 2,500 gallons of water annually.

9 Opt for Eco-Friendly Furniture

When setting up or refurbishing your home office, consider furniture made from sustainable materials or sourced second-hand.

Doing so means fewer trees cut down and we all know that’s a good thing!

Seek out furniture made from bamboo, reclaimed wood, or recycled materials. Alternatively, purchase second-hand or upcycled pieces.

There is even some great furniture from recycled plastic!

πŸ’š Why it matters: Fewer trees cut down means less carbon in the atmosphere.

Impact: Reduces the demand for new resources and supports a circular economy.

πŸ’‘ Potential Savings: Choosing sustainable furniture can prevent the felling of up to 1,000 trees annually, depending on your selections.

10 Use Sustainability Software to Take Climate Action

If you are a business leader, CSO, or other executive, you have a lot of influence to reduce the environmental impact of your employees’ home office.

Use a climate software management platform like our Eco Hub to get more personalized action plans to decrease emissions, energy, and water consumption in your company.

πŸ’š Why it matters: Makes management easy and helps spread the message.

Impact: Leads to climate action throughout your company.

πŸ’‘ Potential Savings: Our customers have achieved up to 20% reductions in emissions when following dedicated action plans.

Bonus: Educate and Advocate

Protecting our environment requires teamwork from us all. Share your green practices with colleagues, friends, and on professional networks. Encourage businesses to adopt green initiatives and appreciate those who do.

If you are an executive, provide training and seminars on climate action for your employees and invest in a climate management software like Reegy!

People collecting plastic waste at river
Everyone can make a difference!

πŸ’š Why it matters: We can only protect our environment together.

Impact: Multiplying your efforts can lead to a significant combined impact.

πŸ’‘ Potential S: Indirect, but substantial. If you influence just ten people to make similar changes, the combined impact can be significant!

Why you should make your home office environmentally friendly

The environment is a shared responsibility, and our home offices are no exception. Not only can you decrease your personal carbon footprint significantly, it will also save you money within a short time-frame.

There are plenty of tangible benefits to making your workspace eco-friendly. Here’s why you should consider greenifying your home office:

  1. Reduce Carbon Footprint: Every kilowatt-hour of electricity saved reduces the carbon emissions associated with power generation. By making conscious decisions in your home office, you’re directly contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases.
  2. Save on Utility Bills: Eco-friendly choices often translate to energy and water savings. Over time, these reduced consumption levels can lead to noticeable savings on your utility bills, making it a win-win for both the planet and your pocket.
  3. Enhance Productivity: A green office can also boost productivity. Natural lighting, for example, has been shown to increase alertness. Similarly, indoor plants can improve air quality, potentially enhancing cognitive function and reducing fatigue.
  4. Long-Term Cost Efficiency: While some sustainable products may have a slightly higher upfront cost, they often last longer and perform better, leading to savings in the long run. For instance, LED lights, despite being pricier initially, have a longer lifespan and consume less electricity than traditional bulbs.
  5. Positive Brand Image: For professionals and executives, showcasing a sustainable home office can bolster a brand’s image. In today’s environmentally conscious market, businesses and leaders that prioritize green practices often resonate more with clients and partners.
  6. Contribute to a Larger Cause: Every small action contributes to a broader global movement. By adopting eco-friendly practices in your workspace, you join a community committed to safeguarding our planet for future generations.

Making your home office environmentally friendly is more than just a trendβ€”it’s a conscious choice that brings about a cascade of benefits, from the personal to the global scale. So, when setting up or refining your home workspace, consider the long-lasting impacts of your choices!

If you have any questions or want to work with us to make your (home) offices greener, talk to us!

©2024 Reegy. All rights reserved. The content presented here is the exclusive property of Reegy and may not be copied or distributed, in whole or in part, without the express permission of Reegy.

Reegy is a complete software solution for ESG & Carbon Footprint Management. Our Reegy Eco Hub enables enterprises, financial institutions and governmental organizations to manage their climate action in one central location along the entire value chain. Track, measure, reduce, and offset your carbon emissions, disclose them to regulators, stakeholders, and customers and lead your company to Net Zero on autopilot!

Make your organization carbon-neutral on autopilot

In just 5 minutes, your company could be on its way to Net Zero and more customers!

Sign Up