Have you ever thought about how you could implement a more circular or zero waste model to your home office setup? One of the toughest challenges that the world is facing is merging sustainability with the office setup. It involves a bit more than placing some plants around the office and having one recycling bin. Here are a few ways you can make changes in your home office.
Participate in an ink cartridge recycling scheme
All kinds of office jobs require some degree of printing. It’s likely that you will go through a few ink cartridges in the year. When disposing of your used ink cartridges, don’t place it in the recycling bin as it will go to the recycling distributor and then it will be sent to landfill as waste.
Used ink cartridges need to go to the right recycling manufacturer. You can partner with ethical printer recycler Cartridges Direct in their ink cartridge scheme or you can send in your used ink cartridges to Cartridges for Planet Ark, who will ensure that the ink cartridges will end up at recycling centres who can process them.
Mashable published a story in 2014 citing that the average U.S employee uses 10,000 sheets of paper every year. This is a staggering amount. Most of the paper that gets used ends up as waste in landfill sites. Providing recycling stations in your home office is a step in the right direction, however the quickest way to curb paper waste is by going paperless.
A lot of the work that’s done nowadays can be managed on desktops and mobile devices. There isn’t a real need to print a hardcopy like in the days of old. Prioritise habits where you can save, store or view content digitally to avoid any unnecessary printing.
Work in a space that maximises solar lighting
Maximise the feel good factor in your workplace by getting as much sunlight into your home office. Consider investing in large or accordion windows. If you are concerned that the windows will generate too much heat, then add interior or exterior blinds to minimise the heat and the amount of light entering the space.
Unplug unused electrical items
Hopefully you aren’t one of those people who leaves their computer on all night when it isn’t in use. Make sure you shutdown and turn off any electrical items that aren’t being used. Additionally, unplug the items to make sure they don’t draw anymore electrical current while they are still plugged into the socket.
Switch to LED office lights
Take a look around your office to see if your office setup is using energy efficient lighting. If you notice any incandescent bulbs being used, then it’s time to make an upgrade to energy-efficient LED light bulbs.
The light bulbs will draw up to 60% less energy than incandescents, significantly reducing your office overhead costs and energy consumption. You might even be eligible for some government incentives.
Categorise your waste
If you aren’t categorising your waste, then you need to make a positive change for the better. Setup containers within your home office where you can dispose your metals, plastics, glass objects, paper and cardboard.
One of the easiest actions you can take towards implementing a more circular model in your home office is by buying recycled products. Consider purchasing recycled goods or even second hand furniture or electrical equipment.
Avoid disposable items
One of the biggest waste problems comes from the use of disposable napkins, cups, cutlery and plates. If you do have any lurking around your office, switch them with reusable alternatives such as glass or plastic plates, cups.
Try to implement as many of these habits so you will make a positive difference to the environment in the future.