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Working from home is the new normal, whether we like it or not. Here at Staiy we have created the ultimate guide to help you improve your wellbeing, working conditions, and to make your working space sustainable. Here are 5 tips to create a Sustainable Home Office!

Words By Jen McDonald

January, 22nd 2021

Apart from trying to keep sane in isolation, the reality is that living and working from home is the new normal. There are lots of advantages to these new working conditions; you can watch Netflix and chill on your lunch break or do a half an hour yoga class to relax and unwind. These activities are all good for your mind and your soul. They will help keep your mental health in check and reduce that cabin fever! 

Our social lives might be non-existent at the moment but working from home is helping save the planet. Not commuting to the office daily means a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuels consumption, air pollution, paper, and plastic waste. However, as individuals, we can always do a little more to help the world. 

If you want to make a difference, then just be conscious of your daily routine, it is that easy. Be aware of your own actions and how they will impact the environment. Look at these 5 tips to create a Sustainable Home Office and your life will be different! Not only will you feel happy, as kindness releases all those feel-good hormones, but you will be protecting mother earth. What could be more convenient than being environmentally sustainable from the comfort of your own home!

1. Use natural lighting 

When setting up your home office, find the best spot in the house that has natural light shining through. It saves energy costs as it heats and brightens up your desk. If you don’t have a perfect spot in your house, a good tip to catch that sunshine is to have one or two mirrors in a room. 

Mirrors will reflect more sunlight inside a space, which will also make it look brighter and bigger. A mirror will harness any daylight (no matter how gloomy the sky is outside), so the bigger the mirror, the brighter the space. Mirrors effectively double up your light sources. Exposure to natural light is so important as it helps your body produce vitamin D which will make you feel on cloud nine. It helps us to stay focused and in turn increases productivity. Ensuring we get enough vitamin D is vital to our physical and mental wellbeing. 

A study revealed that Vitamin D deficiency is a global public health issue. About 1 billion people worldwide have vitamin D deficiency. If you feel that you are not getting enough even with that mirror, mirror on the wall, then you might want to start taking vitamin D supplements.BetterYou, offers a great oral spray which is organic and comes in a sustainable packaging made from Ocean Waste Plastic.

LED lights are also a must-have to make a sustainable home office, as they are the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly lighting out there. They act as a therapy, as they produce the same effects as sunlight.

2. Be energy efficient

With more and more time spent in your home office, it is important that you are aware of your energy supply. We can all help by taking small steps to improve our daily habits. How can you save your energy? Well, it can be as easy as turning off the lights when you are out of the room. By hitting the switch, you could make a huge impact.

 It is also important to turn off your laptops or other electrical equipment when you are not using them. Not only will it reduce your energy bills, but it will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. 

In the winter months most of our houses are colder but instead of turning on the heating why not put on an extra layer instead. With no dress code at home, no boss, or colleagues around you can throw on as many layers as you like! Get your beanie hat, woolly overalls and that scarf wrapped around your neck, and you will soon warm up. If you are still freezing, then why not warm yourself up with a hot chocolate or cosy up with a hot water bottle. If we all take these small steps, we can prevent unnecessary use of energy and resources.

3. Invest in plants

Your Sustainable home office would not be complete without surrounding yourself with plants. Your environment has a massive impact on your own productivity, stress levels and the environment. If you invest in plants for your home office, it will increase your mood and your productivity. Plants act as a natural filter to indoor pollution; it has been scientifically proven that they can improve the air we breathe, as well as reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. They absorb carbon dioxide and indoor plants have been shown to reduce CO2 levels. High levels of carbon dioxide are bad for your health and can cause symptoms such as headaches, drowsiness, and even difficulty concentrating – brain fog. A NASA study explains that even a small plant in your home can help remove at least three household toxins (benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, which are chemicals commonly found in indoor environments). 

Plants that are great for purifying the air are: Spider Plants, Peace Lily and Bamboo Palm. Spider plants clean the air but also give off high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin C, making it a powerful antioxidant. Peace Lilies are not only the purifying princesses of all plants, but they even let you know when they are thirsty, as the leaves will droop. The Bamboo Palm not only has that tropical vibe, but it is also best for removing benzene and trichloroethylene chemicals from the air. So why not revamp your office with some green friends and feel revived!

Photo by Shelby Miller from Unsplash

4. Office Supplies

Whilst working from home try to make good environmental choices. Be eco-friendly, go greener by cutting down on unnecessary office supplies. Instead of rushing to stock up on posts it notes, or paper, why not go paperless and take notes digitally. There are so many great writing apps out there like Evernote, Google Doc, Ulysses and Microsoft OneNote. These apps are all quick and easy to use, creating a seamless writing experience. If you really can’t get your head around apps why not use scrap bits of paper to write notes. You can reuse old envelopes or letters or use pens that are made from 100% recycled plastic and refillable. 

Why not invest in a pen from A Good Company? These pens are high-quality, eco-friendly, completely safe, and non-toxic. Just remember these three words in your home office: repurpose, recycle, and reuse. If you are looking to get kitted out when it comes to desk supplies, why not use objects like jam jars as stationary holders or use hair clips as paper clips. There is no point in buying new items when you can reuse what you have in your house. Think outside the box and get creative!


5. Take breaks and eat well

When working from home people tend to work for longer and avoid taking mandatory breaks. However, for your own mental well-being you should take a lunch break to relax, watch Netflix, or go for a walk to get your daily dose of exercise.

 In the past when you were in the office on your lunch break you might have noticed that the bin in the kitchen was overflowing with unnecessary plastic waste. Well, now that you are in your own home office you can eliminate these issues. Instead of buying all ready-made meals or ordering in, why not master new recipes? This will save plastic consumption, you will be eating healthier, and you will also be learning new skills. You never know, you could be the next Gordon Ramsey!

When grabbing for that water bottle, think twice, why not get a metal flask and use filtered tap water. Buying plastic water bottles increases plastic consumption and is unnecessary. You can also reduce your carbon footprint by following an eco-friendly diet. Now you have more time on your hands it might be a good idea to reduce your meat consumption, albeit you don’t need to go cold turkey! But eating organic and local products is great for your diet and the world.

Having a sustainable home office doesn’t need to be expensive, you just need to be more considerate and think before you act. If we all take small steps, we can improve the world. If you enjoyed our article, why not take a read at 5 WAYS TO IMPLEMENT HYGGE IN OUR STAIY-AT-HOME LIFE.