More and more of us are now digital nomads, working from home — and on the road, at the cottage, on the beach, at the coffee shop — and having a green office is one way we can reduce our carbon footprint even more. And as conscious entrepreneurs, it’s important for us manifest those wise words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Like many of you, when on the road, my office is essentially my laptop/iPad and iPhone but at the home office, there are a few changes I have made to #greenitup, which are easy to incorporate… if you haven’t already!
Stop feeding the energy vampires!
- Reduce energy consumption by using energy-saving settings on all computer devices
- Turn off devices overnight – easy if active hardware is plugged into a smart power strip with an on/off switch
- Turn off the lights when not using the office, and use energy efficient light bulbs
- Open a window instead of turning on air-conditioning or fans
Cut down on paper use… or even better, go paperless
- Opt-in for electronic billing and bill payments
- Subscribe to on-line magazines and news services
- Scan and digitally store important documents and files, preferably to a secure cloud location
- Use apps like Evernote and Expensify to scan & store receipts, business cards, and more
- Share, collaborate and edit documents online – so many choices (OneDrive, Google Drive, Asana and more)… and most have apps for iOS and Android devices
- View presentations on laptops, large monitors or screens rather than handing out copies
- Subscribe to an online service for getting legal digital signatures on contracts and documents (such as DocuSign). Not only are these services legal, they are FAST and can be routed through a chain of signees, providing each with digital copies
- Print to PDF, for e-sharing and filing
But if you must print….
- Use a multifunction energy star rated printer/scanner/fax to save energy AND space and be sure to POWER DOWN before pulling the plug to ensure healthy print cartridges
- Print only when you absolutely have to
- When printing from the web, use digital services such as Printfriendly or GreenPrint to minimize the number of pages being printed… or simply save as a PDF
- Use recycled printer paper
- Print double-sided and in “draft” mode
- Use refillable ink cartridges, where possible
- Repurpose those inevitable misprints – great for note paper, crumpling up for shipping box filler,craft projects and more…
Green Materials and Travel
- Sign up for online education (webinars, etc) rather than live events where possible and practical. Look at public transit options when you do travel (or get on your bike).
- Hold group meetings via conference call, Skype, Google Hangout, or other services such as GoToMeeting, etc
- Use green materials such as:
- Paper products (Toilet paper, tissues, envelopes)
- Cleaning products (environmental, biodegradable, use high rated eco -friendly products or make your own)
- pens and pencils can now be sourced with recycled materials
- Buy in bulk to reduce packaging materials