Green Home Office – Creating a Green Work Space at Home

By Steve Stillwater

The economy, it is a-changing. Green lifestyles are in. Higher costs for energy and waste disposal are driving a shift toward conservation and green living. In addition, the not-so-subtle moral peer pressure to live in a more environmentally-friendly manner commands a higher respect for our resources and a push to use them more efficiently.

This is not an inconvenient truth; it is a fact. You must adapt or you will inevitably be left behind. And the shift toward greener lifestyles affects not only your home life, but your work life as well.

For those who work at home-and it is an increasingly large segment of the population that now work at home at least part of the time-going green means also creating a greener home office. Does this mean making sacrifices and adding a layer of inconvenience to your work at home? Not at all.

Creating a greener work space and a greener work style will both make you more efficient and save you money.

Here are three simple ways to accomplish this.

1. To the extent possible, go paperless.
No one can eliminate the need for paper. Certain records must be kept in hard copy form: certain accounting records, tax records, contracts and agreements, client files, and the like. But a lot of data that used to be filed away in Steelcase Cabinets no longer needs to be. In this high tech era, digital media is in, and paper copies are on the way out. For example, there is no need to keep a paper copy of emails. Store those that must be kept as an electronic archive. Many documents that you create and e-mail to colleagues or customers never need to be printed or filed. The electronic file on your computer is perfectly acceptable as a record. Keeping these records as computer files takes less of your time, and also saves paper and printing supplies. Just remember to forget to keep a backup file separate from the one on your computer in case your hard dives melts down. Today, offsite file storage services such as Carbonite exist to protect you and your business from the loss of files due to computer crashes and malfunctions.

2. Save energy. Saving energy is central to having a green workspace, and it is easy to do. Switch lighting from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) if you have not already done so. The reduced heat and increased energy efficiency will save you money from day one. Whenever possible, buy energy efficient printers and other necessary office machines, And make sure to use switchable power strips for shutting down your office equipment completely when the work day is over. Otherwise, even is sleep mode these devices will drain power continuously-the so-called c\vampire power-creating a constant, unnecessary electricity draw. Since these power strips also double as surge protectors, you will also help to protect your computer and other electronics from unexpected power surges.

3. Go wireless.
High-speed wireless routers are inexpensive and easy to set up. You will eliminate a lot of cables and cords and simplify your working environment. In particular, take advantage of wireless technology for networking computers and printers and internet access.

Taking these three simple steps will create a greener home office and save you money in electricity and office supplies.

Want more ideas about how to live a greener lifestyle and save money? Go to Steve Stillwater’s web site at Steve offers to easy-to-implement green living tips and ideas that allow you to live green and save money. Better yet, sign up for his free newsletter which gives you regular updates on green news and information you can use, and get 2 Free Bonuses just for signing up: 1) 10 Easy Ways to Save Gas and 2) 2010’s Top 20 Fuel Efficient Cars. Take an easy step toward a greener lifestyle at

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