There’s never been a better time to give your home office a good green rinse.
We hit up Robin Mellon, CEO at Supply Chain Sustainability School, for his top tips.
1. Turn the power off
The first step to up your green game? Pull the plug on your power usage.
“Turn things off – fully off, not just on standby – when they’re not being used,” Robin advises. “And look at the lighting you use and the impact it has on your bills. Apps and systems such as Numen or Nest can help you analyse your energy use to see when your peaks and troughs are.”
Plus, with proper insulation – such as double-glazing on windows – you can totally nix the need for artificial heating and cooling. You’re welcome, bank account.
Turn things off – not just on standby – when they’re not in use. Picture: Getty
2. Skip single-use items
Move over disposable office supplies, and instead, choose to reuse.
For sustainable stationery, think recycled pens, refillable ink cartridges and like-magic staple-less staplers.
And for furniture? Not-for-profit services like the Bower Reuse and Repair Centre are the ultimate for scoring salvageable pieces at pre-loved prices. The Bower can also repair pre-loved pieces and there’s a workshop on site for DIY touch-ups on your old stuff.
It doesn’t get more sustainable than pre-loved furniture. Picture: Getty
3. Save paper where you can
You don’t have to be a tech ninja to go paper-free.
Using foolproof software like Adobe Reader, Xero and Google Drive you can easily sign forms on-screen, convert documents to PDFs, crunch numbers online and access all of your files on the go.
And if printing is non-negotiable?
“There’s a lot of recycled and more ‘responsible’ choices out there,” Robin explains. “You can choose paper from FSC-certified sources, Planet Ark 100% recycled paper or a mixture of products for different purposes.” Noted.
You don’t have to be a tech ninja to go paper-free. Picture: Getty
4. Add plants to your home
Not only do indoor plants give your space serious style cred (hello there, monstera), they actually purify the air.
Some varieties even reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as well as removing nasty airborne toxins (from plastics, paint, carpets and cleaning products) that you’d otherwise be inhaling.
But the best part? Studies suggest indoor plants decrease stress and increase productivity too – perfect for those times you need to get the job done fast.
What does an inner-city apartment with over 100 indoor plants look like?
5. So no to waste
FACT: the average lifespan of a computer and other electronics is just two years, which means that an estimated 50 million tonnes of electronic waste will end up in landfill this year. Yup.
50 million tonnes of e-waste will end up in landfill this year alone. Picture: Getty
The good news? There are several companies out there (such as TechCollect.com.au) that will recycle your electronics for you (including computers, printers and smartphones).
But if you’re keen to save a heap of coin, renting is the go. This guarantees you the latest gear without the e-waste. Win-win.