Creating a Green and Sustainable Home Office With Patrick Kozakiewicz
January 12, 2021 by Fergie Verantianes
Lowering our individual carbon footprints doesn't necessarily mean big gestures to save the planet such as cleaning the ocean or seeding a new forest. That undoubtedly will have a great impact, but we can also start with small changes that will also help our environment to heal.
If you are working from home, then you are already on the right path to greener living. Did you notice that by working from home you avoid the daily commute to your office? That means you are saving the environmental cost of transportation! It helps to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Pretty awesome, right?
You can step up your eco-friendly living game by setting up a green and sustainable home office. From the Team Challenge that we had with Patrick Kozakiewicz, we learned the tips and steps on how to set up a home office in a green and sustainable way. Keep reading while we let you in some of the important steps you can take today to set up your green home office!
Making The Most of Light
On Day 1 of the Team Challenge, we learned to make the most of light. There are two main ways you can do this: choosing a spot in your home where you get the most natural light and choosing the most eco-friendly option of artificial light.
Natural light is green because it comes from the sun, which of course has no negative impact on our planet. It is proven to improve our health. Working with natural light, you will feel more awake and it will also reduce your stress levels!
So, when positioning your home office, take into account where the most natural light is. If you are living in the northern hemisphere, the best location to set up your home office is the south side of the house, which gets the most sun exposure throughout the day. If you are living in the southern hemisphere then it will be the opposite, set up your home office on the north side of the house.
However, depending on house conditions, some of you might have limited natural light options. Probably you live in the lower part of a building, shadowed by the other buildings close to you. Or maybe, the structure of your home doesn't really support much natural light, such as a limited amount of windows. Don't worry, you can still opt for the second way of making the most of light: eco-friendly artificial lights.
Artificial green lighting can come in many forms, but the one that our coach suggested is to go with LED light bulbs. LED luminaires produce the least amount of carbon dioxide in comparison to other lighting sources due to their low energy consumption. As a comparison, the use of a regular incandescent bulb produces 4,500 pounds of CO2 each year, whereas LED bulbs contribute only 451 pounds of CO2 per year.
Going with LED lights surely needs an investment upfront, but it will save you more on your energy bill, and since LED lights last longer hours than incandescent ones, you will also save on replacement costs.
Green Friends For Your Home Office
On Day 3 of the Team Challenge, coach Patrick Kozakiewiczinvited us to literally "green" our home office. How? By adding plants!
Having more plants in your office benefits not only the environment but also you. Plants improve air quality by absorbing airborne toxins and increasing oxygen levels. They also help to control humidity, which in turn prevents the proliferation of mold and dust mites. While for your benefit, having green friends in your home office setup has been found to boost your immune response, as well as your productivity because they provide a more calming and stress-relieving environment.
Some of you might worry about the time and commitment to taking care of these plants, but you can start with the easiest plants to maintain. One of our suggestions is Sansevieria or also known as the Snake Plant. Sansevieria is an excellent choice of home office plants for beginners because while they provide all the great benefits of indoor plants, they are also very easy to maintain. They do fine even in low light and do not require much watering.
If you're looking for various easy maintenance options to make your home office corner prettier with the greens, you can check out English Ivy, Zanzibar Gem, Spider Ivy, Devil's Vine (Pothos), and Fittonia or also known as the Nerve Plant.
Becoming More Green And Sustainable At Work
The most important thing that we learned from the Team Challenge is that creating a greener impact with the home office is that it is anchored in ourselves; our choices and how we do things.
Be more mindful of your choices and things you do while working from your home office. One area to start is to look closer at how you use energy. Choose the most energy-efficient devices and take the extra gestures in making sure to turn off all the work equipment that you are not using.
Another aspect at work where you can be more mindful with your choices is the use of paper. Sometimes, it is inevitable to print some documents on paper. However, try to go for the digital options whenever possible. Technology has been a great help in making things easier at work, such as digital signing for legal documents instead of signing manually. So, always make sure you ask yourself (or your colleagues) twice, whether it is necessary to print and to use papers.
There are still a lot of ways in which you can be more green and sustainable at work, as well as setting up a green and sustainable home office. If you would like to get more eco-friendly living tips from our mindfulness coach, Patrick Kozakiewicz, stay tuned for his next Team Challengeor book a session with him now.