The decision to decorate/design your home office using environment-friendly methods is needed to help preserve our environment. It does not require expensive materials or become a time-consuming experience. It can be done in an afternoon. Once you have established a small budget, you can follow these 10 steps:
- Review your current home office equipment and make a list of what you may want to keep, what you want to exchange with another person, and what you want to donate/throw away. This will provide you with a clear understanding between your wants and needs.
- Your computer/printer/telephone/desk/chair/ are primary so before donating any old computer remove any sensitive information from the hard drive such as banking/financial/legal/medical documents. You can find a professional for help.
- Use the Internet and research material to find and compare energy star rated equipment. Also, powerstrips should be used to turn off all equipment after finished.
- Reuse paper from faxes, e-mail and hard copy mail (Use both sides). Likewise, minimize printing by reviewing a draft and consider using a free program to send invoices weekly/monthly. If a company insists on a hard copy, make sure all work has been finished before sending to prevent unneeded invoices from being mailed.
- Consider purchasing from flea markets/garage sales/estate sales for bargains such as computer desk, couches, and file cabinets. Check the furniture for safety such as loose screws, unstable wheels, and frail wood.
- Trade items with fellow home business owners or barter. People make fast purchases for equipment but change their minds after the time frame for an exchange/return has ended so you can find bargains.
- Make sure that you maintain a binder with clear sheets for all instructions, receipts, and warranties. You can use this binder for holding/storing small, thin manuals for your computer, telephone equipment, furniture, and printers. Keep this binder in a convenient location.
- Try to maintain one computer for the household. If this proves difficult, keep the new computer for your business/household activities and give the old computer to your children for games. Likewise, speak with people in your current profession to verify the basic software to perform your job.
- Maximize the use of your equipment and do not worry about every update like the newest software versions. Consider what you needs are and stick with them.
- Update your home insurance policies as needed.
Maintaining an environmentally-friendly home office takes a realistic understanding of how you plan to use your supplies/equipment while saving our planet for future generations.