Tips for a Green Office

Green… Being Green… Living Green…  These phrases seem to be popping up everywhere.  As an interior designer I want to talk about how to be “Green” and help you stream line your office, making your life easier.

.

Here are some quick tips to start thinking of ways to “Save the World” and save your sanity.

Saving Energy + Saving Money = Happy Person!

  • Replace incandescent bulbs with cool looking compact florescent. (I admit it; I think they are kind of an interesting design. More modern, but still neat.) Note: In Michigan and a few other states it is against the law to throw any kind of florescent bulbs away. Good news: You can recycle them at most all hardware stores. For the shop tubes, or other shapes here is a great website to help you find a recycling location: http://recyclechicken.com/
  • If the space you spend most of your day is chilly, or downright cold, get a space heater. There are many choices in style/size and most of them are high in energy effectiveness.  Warming up only the space you’re in instead of the entire home will save money; it will also encourage you to stay in the office, continuing to work.  (Psychological benefit while saving the planet!)
  • Turn It Off — Turn off the lights when you leave the room for more than 15 minutes. Turn off the computer and the power strip when you leave for the night. Turn off the space heater when not in use.

Paper Mountain

.

Avoid the Paper Mountains! And, save a tree in the process.

  • Don’t print anything unless you truly need a hard copy document. Remember, once it is printed, you need a place to put it. (Besides on top of the pile at the side of your desk.)
  • Set up boxes for scrap paper. There are so many stylish boxes and baskets out there you can have fun while turning once land fill into something pleasing to look at. One box — next to your printer to use the blank side for printing.  One box — on your desk; cutting half-used paper in half or quarters make for great note paper.
  • Limit junk mail from even coming into your home. Put yourself on the Do Not Mail List. There are a couple of ways of getting on the list. Here are two websites to explain how to do it and where to go: http://www.ecofuture.org/jmusps.html#mail and http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs4-junk.htm

.

Save your sanity!

  • Live plants! When designing any room, especially offices, I am strong supporter of natural green plants (or purple, or red.) They are a living art sculpture. They also clean the air. Just remember to water them once a week till you see a bit of water in the saucer.
  • Flameless candles. Candles are loved by many, but  with asthma and fire hazards they aren’t always the best idea. There are new flameless candles, some are even made out of wax and have blow on /off sensor.  You can find them at grocery stores with room fresheners or in your local boutiques.

Remember to breathe, or nap

.

Take some time to look at your office. Can you find ways to be a more Green? What are some ideas you have? I would like to hear them.

Leave a Reply