Eco-Friendly Home Office Makeover: DIY Tips for Environmentally Conscious Homeowners
Working from home can increase job satisfaction for many Americans. Not only does it help these employees to achieve a better work/life balance, but it's often a way for the employer to create a greener workplace. With fewer cars on the roads making the commute to the office, the organization can do their part to cut carbon emissions. And when all documents are created and shared digitally, rather than through paper printing and copying, the employer can increase sustainable practices through waste reduction.
That said, the employee may not always benefit from a greener lifestyle due to this change. They'll likely use more residential energy during the day, given the increased need for electricity and HVAC systems. What's more, the materials and decor used in the design of your home office may not support your desire to lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle. That doesn't have to be the case, however. Here are a few tips in mind to ensure your project is sustainable -- and that you'll get to reap the benefits once your home office is finished.
Choose the Right Building MaterialsBoth office buildings and homes may have environmental issues relating to indoor air quality. Since studies have found that levels of several organics can be two to five times higher indoors than outside (and can contribute to several health problems). While these volatile organic compounds can be found in a number of source materials, they often show up in the building supplies used during construction. Adhesives, carpets, composite woods, and insulation are just some of the materials that often contain high VOC concentrations. VOCs can harm both your health and the planet as a whole, so it's best to stay away from these options and choose those with minimal environmental impact. Do your research to ensure the building materials you use are truly green.
Pick Your Paint WiselyIn the same vein, you'll also need to be careful about choosing primers and paints to ensure they won't be harmful to you or the environment. Low VOC paints and eco friendly primers can alleviate the risk of negative health symptoms and hazardous emissions. These odorless paints can allow you to be in close proximity to your home office during the makeover process without experiencing headaches and other ailments. In addition, odorless paints like these are also just as effective as other paints on the market -- so you won't have to sacrifice on quality in order to embrace eco-friendly practices. Since you'll be spending so much time in your home office, air cleaning paints will allow you to work without worry.
Opt for Energy Efficient AppliancesAside from the environmentally friendly building materials and odorless paints you'll use during the initial stages of renovation, you'll also want to furnish your home office with energy efficient appliances. Whenever possible, choose lighting and electronics that align with your sustainability goals. Even swapping traditional light bulbs for LED ones can make a difference. You may also want to consider putting these home office appliances on a timer system to automatically shut off power when you're done for the day. Not only can this reduce unnecessary energy waste, but it can allow you to save on your monthly bills, too.
Upcycle Whenever PossibleYou don't necessarily need to buy all new furniture when creating an eco-friendly office; in fact, that may be one of the worst things you could do! That will cause your old furnishings to end up in landfills, which won't help the planet. While worn out items should be recycled if they can, you may be able to reuse items you already have instead of shopping for new decor. Wood furniture can easily renewed with odorless paints to create something special, while chairs can be reupholstered with fabric you have in your craft room. If you aren't using an accent table or lamp in the living room, it can work wonderfully in your home office instead. Don't be too quick to head to the furniture store!
By using eco-friendly building materials, odorless paints, energy efficient appliances, and recycled items, your new home office can better support sustainability. To find out more about our eco-friendly paint options, please contact us today.