WFH The Green Way: Reducing Waste In Your Home Office
by Laura Barns
After what feels like a zillion years, we’re well into the swing of working from home now. And whilst it still might feel a little uncertain about how long this long haul we’re in for really is, prepping for it to continue is always a good plan.
That’s why we’ve put together a load of resources for working from home, including the best vegan lunches to enjoy, why you should work out on your lunch break (including some exercises you can do from your kitchen) and how to get the most out of your WFH lunch break.
And now we’re thinking with our planet hat firmly on (but let’s be honest, it’s a good hat, we never take it off), and have taken a look at some ways to make our home office greener. Enjoy!
1. Go paperless (or less paper, at least)
Over 40% of wood pulp is used for paper production, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The pulp and paper industries are global; your paper could originate from forests located in Canada, South America, Africa, China, or many other places.
Thinking back 10 or maybe even five years ago, this idea of going paperless would have been sheer madness. But now, thanks to loads of new technologies, this is a breeze.
Here are just a couple of services that we use to help us reduce our paper usage at allplants :
- Dropbox: Store documents, projects. and images in digital “folders” and share those “folders” with colleagues
- DocuSign: A paperless way to sign documents and contracts
- Slack: message your colleagues, save and share ideas, all without a single piece of paper in sight
2. Invest in some planet-friendly furniture
Now we know it’s worth spending a bit of cash on our home office supplies, it’s a good idea to invest in pieces that you know will last, that won’t harm our world. We love this round-up by Stylist of the UK’s best sustainable design brands, packed with great homeware and furniture brands to check out, who all have sustainability at their core. Absolutely feel free to stock up on ‘essentials’ like fancy pen pots, candles and plants, too.
3. Let the outdoors in
Speaking of plants, adding some greenery to your home office is a great way to make it greener (literally) as if you choose the right plants, they can be really great for cleansing the air. Because pollution isn’t just outdoors. According to Patch plants; ‘You may think you’re safe when you’re shut up inside your flat, but studies have shown that indoor air pollution can actually be 2-10 times higher than outdoors. These harmful indoor pollutants are made up of outdoor-derived compounds like CO2 (carbon dioxide) floating around inside, dust-like particles, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emitted from furnishings, paint and detergents, and other common household objects. As a result, 4 million people worldwide die prematurely due to indoor air pollution.’
One good way to reduce this? Plants. ‘Lots of science has shone a light on the cleansing power of house plants; one study, for example, found that the harmful side effects of indoor pollution - such as itchy eyes, respiratory problems, and asthma, to name a few - were drastically reduced by the addition of house plants in a Delhi office building.
Others have shown that, in an average living space, 5 medium-sized plants can increase air quality by around 75% and mental health by 60%. And it's not just the studies - surveys of Brits also show that plants have a remarkable effect on our own health and wellbeing. 43% of Brits say plants make them feel calmer, and 35% report a higher sense of wellbeing. Clearly plants are helping to combat the stress of urban living, with 65% of Brits reporting that gardening makes them feel relaxed.’ Here’s their full guide to plants that purify the air.
4. Switch off your appliances
Ok, without sounding too much like your mum, this is really important for not only reducing the electric bill, but also for reducing your carbon footprint.
Unsurprisingly, our laptops and PCs are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to carbon usage in our home office. There’s a really handy guide here by PC Mag that shows you how to measure your PC’s electricity usage, as well as how to reduce it.
Do you have any tips to add? Share away in the comments!
By Laura Barns
Laura is our Copywriter, who is obsessed with the Hearty Roots Stew (and has been known to eat a double serve for lunch on more than one occasion). On her day off you’ll find her walking her puppy Ralph, stopping off at bookshops and cocktail bars along the way.