How to Be "Green" in the Home Office

Working in your home with the planet in mind isn't as hard as you might think. Try to implement one of these small changes into the way you work in your home office.

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Paper

Good: Print and copy on both sides of the paper.

Better: Use tree-free paper and recycle.

Best: Go as paperless as possible: send e-mails with attachments, write notes on a white board or in a computer program.

Bonus: Shred waste material for packing.

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Computers

Good: Use the energy saver settings on your computer and printer.

Better: Turn off your computer at the end of the day.

Best: Unplug your computer (and other electronics) to keep them from leeching "phantom" energy -- electricity they draw even while turned off.

Lighting

Good: Turn off all lights when you leave the room.

Better: Replace your lightbulbs with compact fluorescents or LED lights.

Best: Paint the walls of your office a light color to take advantage of natural light, preventing you from turning on the lights in the first place.

The Little Things

Good: Reuse paper clips or at least recycle them, otherwise all the extra metal goes straight to the landfill.

Better: Don't use rubber bands anymore -- they're made from crude oil and have serious health effects when they're incinerated at the landfill.

Best: Refill ink cartridges rather than buying new ones.

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