How To Make Your Home Office Green

Leave a Smaller Environmental Footprint, turn your Home Office Green!
Leave a Smaller Environmental Footprint, turn your Home Office Green! | Source

Your Home Office Energy Footprint

Working from a Green Home Office

These days tons of people work from home, even large companies have employees and staff working diligently from residential home offices, even if this is only on a part time basis. Don't forget that the miles NOT traveled during the commute to work help to keep the world a greener place! Often we read or hear about how the big industries are trying to modify the way they do business, taking into consideration the earths well-being; hopefully working hard to reduce their environmental footprint. What is found less in the discussion is how to reduce the footprint made from a Home Office. This is what we will be looking at today—Making your home office a Green Home Office!

The size of your carbon footprint can leave behind great environmental impact, for good or bad!
The size of your carbon footprint can leave behind great environmental impact, for good or bad! | Source

Save on Home Office Purchases

Purchasing The Things You Need

Buying new equipment for a home office has a significant impact on the environment. It takes energy to build it, and then to ship it, which creates pollution—more often in third-world areas— thus, expanding your home office footprint to the entire world. To reduce this condition, I decided to use my old equipment for another year or so, adding memory and an external hard drive (which can be used with new equipment later). In my mind, this is one of the biggest Green steps any home office user can undertake.

When I do decide it is time to purchase that new office equipment, I will be sure to pick-up machines that match thoroughly my personal office needs. A couple of other things I will do before making new equipment purchases are:

Buying New Office Equipment

When buying new office equipment, you want to check for a few things to make sure you are being as environmentally conscientious as possible. Think about things like;

Want to Get that Cold Room Warm?

Learn how to warm up the coldest room in your house quickly and for just pennies! Check out "10 Simple Fixes that Warm Up a cold Room"!


  • Checking environmental ratings on any equipment needed.
  • Buy only energy star gear.
  • Buy a Laptop, not desktop computer: Desktop computers use more power,—100 to 150 watt range, versus about 25 watts for an average laptop.
  • Be sure that at least 65% of any machine you buy will be recyclable. Use of recycled materials during manufacturing would be a real bonus point!
  • Only buy LED illuminated computer monitors. Traditional computer monitors use fluorescent lighting, which requires mercury—a deadly toxic heavy metal material that stays in the environment for very long periods of time— whereas LED illuminated monitors are mercury-free. This suites my personal beliefs when it comes to green living.

Controlling the power in your Home Office is vital to creating a green environment!
Controlling the power in your Home Office is vital to creating a green environment! | Source

5 Tips for a Eco-friendly Home Office Makeover

1. Control Your Power Adapters

  • Put all of your power adapters on a single power strip, or even two in-line power strips. This makes it very easy to shut them down in the evening with a single flip of a single switch. Use a different strip for charging gear at night (cell phone, iPad, electric toothbrush, etc). Be sure to flip this strip "off" during the day.

2. Use Natural Lighting in Your Home Office

  • Who wouldn't want an office with a view? Every business person seems to place high value on an office that has a window or terrific view, however when we set up our home office we forget about this wonderful aspect to doing business. Generally we pick a nice room, then close the drapes or shut the blinds on all of the windows. Instead, arrange your home office so you can enjoy and utilize the natural light without a blazing glare reflecting off of the monitor. This is easily accomplished by placing the back of the monitor mostly toward the window, with no reflective objects behind you.
  • Adding skylights to your home office area will bring a natural light that is very efficient and will also boost your personal morale!

3. Recycled Office Paper Goods

  • Buy printer paper that is made from substantial post-consumer scrap content. 100% recycled paper is always best, but any measure of recycled material helps green-up your home office, (and cost less too!).
  • Another way to save energy on your daily paper use, is to use the backside of pages that have been printed on when you are creating first drafts, and always print on both sides of the page when it is appropriate.

Natural light offers warmth, light, and cost nothing!
Natural light offers warmth, light, and cost nothing! | Source

4. Natural Light is Free Light

  • You don't need solar panels to use the sun's free and clean energy. (But, if you want full-on solar energy for your home, I highly recommend installing it!) When you are working in your home office during the cold season, it is easy to take advantage of passive solar heating. Simply open your curtains and blinds when the sun is up and shining through those transparent panes of glass. But, be sure to close them during other times to hold the heat in. You can actually save more energy by doing this than what your computer uses. NOTE: When the AC is on during the hot season, make sure those sun-facing blinds and curtains are closed completely.

Green Home Office Poll

Would you like to create a Green Home Office to work from home?

See results without voting

5. Energy Efficient Lighting

  • Replace those old incandescent light bulbs with modern and very efficient LED lighting. These LED lights save money in power usage (lowering your home office power bills) as well as reducing maintenance cost (and as mentioned before, LED lights are mercury-free). LED lights last far longer than do incandescent lamps, making them overall a very earth friendly and economic lighting choice for any office or factory location.

Ecologically Friendly Home Office Ideas

To go through the tasks of managing the set up of a home office with everything "green" in place has real merit. But know that all of your efforts will fall away if you neglect to take care of basic energy saving techniques throughout your home beforehand. So, make sure you have done the easy stuff, like:

  • Replace weather stripping throughout the home.
  • Install LED lighting throughout the home.
  • Clean air filters in the HVAC system.
  • Keep refrigerator coils wiped clean.
  • Caulking any gaps around incoming plumbing pipes and electrical fixtures.

Getting these simple energy saving projects complete before setting up a home office can make all of the difference in just how green your office can actually end up.

Recycled & Renewable Energy Products

Looking for a great resource to find recycled office products? Check these guys out;

The Cost Of Living Green

Living Green Pays Off

If you have ever doubted that reducing your carbon footprint will really make a difference, check out the chart below. You will see how significantly making a few changes for the well-being of our green planet, can also leave significantly more "green" in your wallet!

Green Home Improvements Return (%)

(click column header to sort results)
Home Improvement Project  
Estimate Cost ($)  
Estimated Investment Return  
Air filter replacement
$76
284%
Install low-flow shower heads
$119
156%
Plant Indigenous trees and plants
$141
284%
Install programmable thermostats
$146
170%
Use auto turn-off power strips
$163
131%
Install LED light bulbs
$167
128%
Caulk windows and doors
$169
185%
Arrange furniture for energy savings
$223
199%
Paint with VOC paint
276$
94%
Information derived from Home Gain Green Real Estate

More by this Author


Comments for "Green Home Office" 28 comments

Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Great tips on how to save money on utility bills and have a green home office. Very useful on all counts. Voted up!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Stephanie Henkel~ This means a lot coming from you! Sure appreciate that you shared your thoughts on my little green home office hub. Sounds like you have one lucky cat,... my cats still prefer the window landing in the dining area over my office--thank goodness! Thanks for stopping by!

HubHugs~

K9


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

These are such great tips for making our homes and home offices more energy efficient and environmentally friendly! We're already following many of these practices- even my cat enjoys the solar heat and light we let in each sunny day by opening all the curtains and shades on the sunny side of the house!

We've already replaced most of our light bulbs with CFL's, but eventually will go with the LED lights, which are are so much better. Great Green hub!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Eiddwen~ What a surprise to see you in the comment section today! Bonus for me! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on a Green Home Office, Eco-Friendly and cost efficient at work and home! I appreciate that you made it by.

HubHugs~

K9


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A great hub which I am sure will benefit so many.

An up up and away for sure.

Take care and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Flora~ How nice to see you in the HubHood this fine Monday! BC Hydro is making a long life light bulb that has mercury in it? That's just crazy in this day and age! In my opinion the only way to Go Green is to Go LED. Being mercury free just makes me feel good about my service to the environment. Although those years of long life light bulbs may temp even the greenest of greenies!

Thanks for sharing your input! I always enjoy when you visit.

HubHugs~

K9


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Simone~ How wonderful to find your remarks here today! I was pretty amazed to see just much payoff there is in making ones home office as Eco-friendly [renewable energy efficient]as possible. Most of the cheap natural changes give around a 200% return on your investment! That's just good sense and economical thinking. Who wouldn't want to reduce that monthly energy bill and general overhead cost of doing business!? I sure am grateful for your comments Simone, and your support is priceless!

Huge HubHugs~

K9


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Funny thing about lighting. Regular light bulbs are being phased out for a certain type of light bulb that is longer lasting and uses less energy - years longer. BC Hydro is behind this. Problem is that these new light bulbs are made with mercury. Catch 22.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

dishia ~ Glad you found the hub worthy! Keeping things green at home, office and especially Home Office can make a huge impact on our environment! I appreciate that you shared your thoughts here.

Cheers~

K9


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

I absolutely LOVE the idea of making one's home office green! When getting set up at home, I bet a lot of folks don't think about these details, though as you've pointed out, it really pays off to do so!


dishia profile image

dishia 4 years ago from nigeria/ rivers state

Thanks for such a wonderful and educative piece of work. thumbs up.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

@ tlpoague and dWillians~ Thanks for the comments. Anything we can do to reduce our cost for energy use [cost of a healthy environment included] in business pursuits just makes good sense. And our home office is a perfect place to begin the effort! I appreciate your support.

HubHugs~

K9


d.william profile image

d.william 4 years ago from Somewhere in the south

excellent article with helpful and practical advice. thanks for sharing.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA

Great tips! I am following most of these already. I am lucky enough to be married to someone that rebuilds our comps. (The downside is that I drive him nuts with questions...LOL!) I will have to keep your chart in mind for the next time I want to upgrade my office. Thanks for sharing this helpful information.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Cardisa~ Solar is costly up front I agree, but I read a hub recently that talked about "solar leasing" [you can find it among the WTI forum that Simone has going this week]. Might be something to look into? ;)

Thanks for sharing your comments here, it is always a joy to see you have stopped by! Wishing you a joyous 2012 my friend--

HubHugs~

K9


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica

I have been thinking of going solar but it's quite expensive here in Jamaica so will have to plan for it. Electricity is so expensive here. I love your tips, they actually save money! And those figures in the table are, wow! I hope I can save on electric bills soon.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

alocsin~ Well-done! Having all of these little Eco-friendly Home Office tasks in order puts you ahead of most of us! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments.

Cheers~

K9


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Excellent ideas -- I should know since I've implemented all of them. Voting this Up and Useful.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Suzie ONeill ~ Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Cheers~

K9


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Nancy Owens~ You are welcome. I enjoy natural light very much; in everyday life, and in my photography. It not only helps to keep a home office warm and bright, but natural light has a very real effect on our mood. So I try to get as much of mother natures light streaming into my work space as possible. I find my work days are a joy to encounter in such bright energizing conditions! Thank you for leaving your comments!

Cheers~

K9


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

cclitgirl~ Boy are you right, keeping a home office green IS an evolutionary endeavor. But how great that once the main set up is done, it is pretty much simple daily tasks that help us to reduce our personal environmental footprint. A little effort goes such a long way! Thanks so much much for leaving your thoughts here today!

Cheers~

K9


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

jesimpki~ Hey thanks! After reading your really cool Solar Kit hub, I a lot to live up to. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Cheers~

K9


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

stephhicks68~ Thanks so much for sharing your review of the hub! You are very right, turning a home office green is not very difficult at all, and the rewards are so huge. Glad you like the ROI chart. Sure appreciate your support!

HubHugs~

K9


Suzie ONeill profile image

Suzie ONeill 4 years ago from Lost in La La Land

Great hub with some great advice! Voted up, useful, and awesome!


Nancy Owens profile image

Nancy Owens 4 years ago from USA

This is a very useful Hub. I also work in natural light as much as possible. In addition to helping the environment it seems to be much easier on the eyes! I like that I can save money and help the environment at the same time. Thank you for including the section about home improvement projects and that you included planting indigenous trees and plants. They not only shelter your home and garden, but grow with less artificial "Help".


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Love this! I aim to make my space more green...and continue to strive to be green. It's an evolving, continuous endeavor. Thanks for sharing - I learned a few things!


jesimpki profile image

jesimpki 4 years ago from Radford, VA

Awesome tips! And great table showing the estimated ROI. Voted up!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Lots of great tipe = creating a green home office is not that difficult or expensive. Love your chart breaking down the ROI for each individual action you can take for renewable energy practices at home. Rated up!

Submit a Comment
New comments are not being accepted on this article at this time.
Click to Rate This Article
working