Go Green in Your Home Office

This post is a little belated, but inspired by Earth Day. I work with several eco-friendly and Earth conscious brands and I am always looking for ways to make my world a little more green. But one requirement for me is that it still has to be easy. Complete lifestyle overhauls are just not realistic for me and I always want to set myself up for success. Around the house we try to use green cleaning products and shop and eat local as much as possible. Beyond that, I thought I would share some tips for going green around the home office.

1. Print less: Only print when you really need to. Use a white board for to do lists and brainstorming. Save important docs on your computer (don’t forget to back up your machine), or email them to yourself for safe keeping.

2. Recycle and Reuse: Keep a recycle bin in your office. Almost all of my office trash is recyclable, so it makes it pretty easy.

3. Recycle ink cartridges: Not only does this help the environment, it also helps your bottom line. As a member of Office Depot’s Reward Program, I receive a $2 credit for each ink cartridge I return (up to 10 per month). I am kicking myself for not joining this program earlier.

4. Unplug: I am so bad about this. My computer is always on and plugged in as is my printer, phone charger and other plugs that I don’t even what they power. An easy switch is to use a power strip (which I already do) and flip it off when you “close” the office at night. Not only will this save energy, it will also save you money on utility bills.

5. Train clients to love technology. My clients are often non-techy, old-school business people. They leave the technology to me. But driving and flying to weekly meetings just isn’t efficient for me or the environment.  It is my job to train them to use the internet for meetings and reviewing projects. From GoToMeeting to ConceptShare and Basecamp, collaboration is only a click away. I even have some clients I have never met in person!

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