While working for yourself from home gives you more flexibility and time to spend with your family, there are some additional perks of being a freelancer and setting your own hours. Being more eco-friendly in your home office and your house as well can come naturally, when you work from your home. Below you will find a few tips on making your home and office more eco-friendly, and taking advantage of the perks of the job.
No Commuting Means Lower Carbon Footprint
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If you are not sitting in peak traffic for hours each week, you are already making a change long term. While you will still have to take the kids to school and do your shopping, you can make greener choices. You will have time to cycle to school with the kids, encouraging them to look after their environment, and exercise at the same time. As you don’t have set hours, you can get back to work whenever you want in the morning. Likewise, when you do your shopping, you can take advantage of the late opening hours, avoid traffic, and save fuel as well as time.
Your Own Solar Power
As you are not in the corporate world any more, you will have the freedom to compare different energy deals, and choose a greener source of energy. While some solar panels can be installed by homeowners, you might want to get an expert opinion. If you have a garden office that needs a separate power source, you might simply install solar panels on it and feed the excess back to your home. This will save you money long term, and make your business greener at the same time.
Growing Your Own Vegetables
If you spend a large proportion of your time in front of the computer, chances are that you will need regular distraction. Take your office to the garden in the summer, and take advantage of the natural light and heating. Set up a vegetable patch, and reduce your carbon footprint by sourcing your own food as much as you can. If you have enough time, you can even get some beekeeper supplies and start a new hobby. As you don’t have to be in the office 9-5, you can get closer to nature and spend more time on what you love doing.
You can create a greener office by using a timer each day that turns off the electricity and heating every night, even if you forget about it. You might want to get a carbon footprint monitor installed in your home office, and set monthly or quarterly targets for your family and your business as well. Timer switches installed can save you a lot of money, as computers use electricity even when they are on standby.
Green Office Supplies
If you would like to transform your business into a green venture, you might want to switch your office supplier. There are several companies offering green and recycled products for your business. Whenever you have to use letters and invoice pads, you need to consider the environmental impact of your paper use. If you absolutely must print, try to recycle your cartridges by sending the empty ones back to the manufacturer.
Go Completely Paperless
Thanks to the development of cloud computing, you will no longer have to rely on files and paper documents. You can get Google Suite set up, and collaborate with your clients and colleagues through the internet. You can send and receive files, and request edits. Some plugins will even allow you to get documents signed online, and the identity of the person verified. A paperless business can help you lower your regular expenses and increase your reputation. You might need to educate your clients about the online tools available for collaboration, but your job will be much easier long term.
Take Advantage of Natural Light
When designing your home office, have the green principles in mind. Install large double-pane windows that give you plenty of natural light, so you don’t have to have the light on all day. At the same time, if you are lucky enough to have picked a sunny spot, you can have portable solar chargers that are fuelled by the sun, and use them to power your laptop and desk light. This way, you can minimize the cost of running your own business, and enjoy free electricity. Natural light is also much better for your eyes, when you use the computer for long periods of time.
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If you don’t have enough space inside the house, you might opt for building a garden office to accommodate your business. Using sustainable materials will help you maintain your green rating, and come with several benefits. Your material can be recycled wood or bamboo, which has great insulation capabilities. Make sure that you can safely dispose of every part of your building, should you choose to move or change your business profile.
Energy-friendly Office Items
From monitors to printers; all office equipment has its own energy rating. If you would like to keep an eye on your carbon footprint, you should consider asking for expert advice. By simply getting a multifunctional printer, you can reduce the waste created when you change it to a newer model. Likewise, if you have an energy saving monitor installed that switches off automatically after there is no activity for a certain time, you can save money and reduce the environmental impact of your business.
Working from home is a greener option by itself than commuting to work every day. You will have more time on your hands when you need it, and pay attention to details when designing your building and creating your office. Try to use recycled and refurbished equipment, and take advantage of green technologies available. Create a cloud-based collaboration platform, so you don’t have to print documents, and encourage your customers to go paperless with you. Use eco-friendly and recyclable materials, and you can make a small change every time.