by Harvey Bond
(San Diego, California, USA)
If you're working from home then the chances are that you're already helping the environment by avoiding the daily commute. However, there is always more you could be doing!
Here are a few simple energy saving ideas for cutting down on the electricity you use in your home office.
Buying Your Computer
If you ever need to buy a computer brand new then it will help to choose one with an energy efficient rating. Most computers now come with an Energy Star rating to help make your decision easier. In general, remember that laptops use less energy than desktop equivalents.
A lot of energy goes into manufacturing the computer before you even start using it. For this reason it's well worth buying a high quality computer now and taking good care of it.
Making sure that you get as many years out of it as possible before buying a new one will greatly reduce your carbon footprint.
Recycling Old Computers
Unfortunately we do all need to get rid of old models eventually. When the time comes, do your bit for the environment by recycling of the computer properly.
Most local areas will have some sort of computer recycling scheme that means any working parts can be re-used, and toxic ingredients can be disposed of safely.
Choosing The Right Power Settings
Other energy saving ideas include checking the power setting your computer is using. Most have options for you to turn down screen brightness, and to have sleep mode kick in after a certain amount of inactivity.
Set these to what you find comfortable for you - in most cases you don't need to have the screen at maximum brightness! Cutting down on the number of applications you run at the same time can also save energy.
Many people simply don't shut down their computers when they work due to the time they have to wait to start them up again. This is a huge waste!
If you really can't wait for it to load up in the mornings, make use of an application that can have it shut down and start up at specified times each day.
Turn Off Other Devices
Chances are that the computer isn't the only electronic device you use in your home office. If you use things like printers, make sure you don't constantly leave them on standby.
Turn everything off when you're finished for the day, or make use of an energy saving power strip with a remote control to make things easier.
Another huge thing you can do to make your home office more green is to reduce the waste you produce. If you have old paper, reuse it to make notes, or give it to the kids to draw on. Try to avoid printing altogether - simply keep digital copies of documents and emails.
Some of these energy saving ideas will save you money, some will simply help the environment. Whatever you do, even implementing small changes can make a huge difference.
Click here to read more about energy efficient & cost saving tips for the office