1) Your computer is the heart of your office. The next time you are in the market for a new laptop or desktop, look for those that are Energy Star-certified. Certified computers are proven to use energy more efficiently, helping them last longer and save you money (up to $100 every year!).
2) Install the GreenPrint software on your computer. Available in 3 versions, the free software does exactly what you need it to do: remove unnecessary pages, text, or images from all your printing jobs. You’ll save paper, ink, and the electricity used to run your printer.
3) When you do print, buy and use 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Just as strong and attractive as “regular” paper, zero trees were cut down to make your 500-sheet ream. The usual office supply stores (Stapes, Office Max, Office Depot … etc.) all sell 100% post-consumer papers, but you can also buy them from specialty eco-paper companies and shops like New Leaf and Eco Green Office.
4) While were on the subject of paper, stock up on other eco-friendly office supplies too! Pens, pencils, paper clips, staples, push pins, sticky notes—all your basic office supplies have more sustainable versions available at almost identical prices (you’re writing-off your supplies on your taxes anyway, aren’t you?).
5) Beware the particleboard! Cheap office furniture is tempting, but it is often produced at the discount of the environment. If you need a new desk, shop for a vintage or second-hand piece. No only will be likely be more affordable and long-lasting, older desks have a lot more personality (and, therefore, inspiration).
This is just the tip of the eco-home office iceberg, but the key is getting started. Take that first step to run a more sustainable office, developing planet-conscious habits each time you turn on your computer, print a manuscript, or stock up on supplies. To help integrate sustainability into even more areas of your life, 48 Things to Know About Sustainable Living is the only guide you need.
Adapted with permission from 48 Things to Know About Sustainable Living by Victoria Klein ©2010 by Victoria Klein.
Victoria Klein is a freelance writer and yoga practitioner who also dabbles in photography, crafts, and running. Her 2nd book, 48 Things to Know About Sustainable Living, was released October 2010; 27 Things to Know About Yoga is her 1st book.