Creating Your Very Best "Green" Office

Some 42% of all trees harvested are used to make paper, using our precious resources such as water, energy and trees. It is estimated that each person in the United States uses 580 pounds of paper per year. Destroying the forests can also remove wildlife habitats in the process, making for a very compelling reason to use recycled paper in your home office. Look toward a mostly paperless office by paying bills online, not printing out e-mails and using your computer calendar rather than a paper one. In addition to saving paper, thus trees, there are many other ways to "green" your home office. The simplest steps you can take are to re-use and refill-think re-fillable pencils, refillable ink cartridges and recycled notebooks and binders. You can also work on reducing your home energy bill by ensuring you are using the best energy saving tactics such as adjusting your office lighting or unplugging printers and fax machines when not in use. Try Your Greener Office Center at your local Home Depot for the best in eco-friendly office supplies.

Green Office Furniture

Consider purchasing recycled office furniture-this means that no new or finite resources have been used to construct the furniture. Think about buying used office furniture as well. Many times, if you spend the time poking around your local thrift stores or antique stores you can find really nice office furniture at a discounted price. Buying a used desk, bookcases or office chair both protects the forest from being destroyed, but reduces the energy required to create a new desk in a factory. Because the average piece of office furniture is used less than ten years before being discarded, buying extra-sturdy office furniture which can be recycled is a socially responsible move. Green office furniture should also be free of volatile organic compounds (VOC's). If you want an environmentally friendly office as well as a healthy home, always choose office furniture which is formaldehyde-free and contains no polyvinyl chloride (PVC). When looking at office lamps or other lighting solutions, try to purchase devices that work on less energy than compact fluorescents. Some lights work on as few as eight or nine watts of power-nearly fifty percent less than compact fluorescents.

Green Computing

Your home computers can not only suck tons of energy but their parts are seldom earth-friendly. If you can, use a laptop more often than a desktop as it uses less energy, and if you are in the market for a new computer, make sure it bears the Energy Star label. Turn your computer off when you leave the room, or, even better, unplug it completely. You can also pre-set many computers to turn themselves off or go to "sleep" after a set amount of time with no use. Try to buy only recycled or reused computer equipment whenever possible. When you are upgrading your computer, recycle it by donating to a worthy organization. You might consider investing in one simple power strip like the Eco-strip which will allow you to simply turn off the power strip rather than unplugging each cord individually.

Greening your office can be relatively easy to do, and can offer health benefits to you and your family, lower energy bills, and a smaller carbon footprint as well-all worthy goals.