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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

4 Eco-Friendly Tips to Beautify and Personalize Your Home Office...surround your home business with a personal, earth-friendly image

Home officeHome office (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are a few very simple ways to add a personal touch to your home office—while doing your part to protect the environment at the same time! Multipurpose tools for your home office, such as sustainable products, recycled organizational baskets and office materials, and reclaimed office furniture can still serve as ideal office tools for brainstorming, posting to-do lists, organization and office decor, while doubling as eco-friendly tricks to cut down on things like paper waste and plastics use, and adding an eclectic, vintage feel to your home office.

Plus, if you want to convey an earth-friendly message, office tools like glass whiteboards and recycled paper and file folders will keep your office neat and organized, while boasting eco-friendly benefits over using multiple paper notebooks, chalk boards, and cork bulletin boards.

Check out the following 4 ways that can help you customize your home office with personality and eco-friendliness in mind:

1. Incorporate non-paper surfaces for brainstorming
Glass whiteboards, traditional whiteboards or chalk boards instantly remove clutter from your office space. You know what tends to happen when you work from home- the clutter in your small office space starts to make its way into other parts of your home (like your kitchen table and your living room)—and suddenly you can’t get away from work! Tools like whiteboards or chalkboards offer you a space to scribble all of your multimillion-dollar ideas, your appointments, goals, etc., and they also reduce paper waste by eliminating the need for paper notebooks and calendars, scrap paper, and even sticky notes. Large, mounted writing surfaces keep everything where you can find it, and when not in use, they fade into the background without cluttering your home office like a stack of paper or books would do.

2. Use technology to your advantage
The right technology will also help save paper waste, plastic waste and so forth in your home office. For instance, instead of creating paper charts, graphs and graphic images for your clients, try using video and digital files as samples. A digital file emailed to a shared server can serves as an instant collaborative medium, including project management software, like Basecamp, that features a shared calendar able to take appointments for all to see, a space for collecting and sharing valuable research notes, a video upload for sharing slide-show presentations and corporate videos. Not only does technology save space, it’s earth-friendly, and saves time searching for things that you need to do your job!

3. Use reclaimed office decor and furniture
Not only will clients instantly notice that your office uses reclaimed furniture and office supplies—like desks, chairs, lamps, computers or laptops, etc., but the use of recycled office supplies says: "my company cares about the environment"! Having a greener image is very positive as far as building your business persona. By incorporating recycled flooring, wall covers, technology, and office furniture into your home work space, you are building an office with an interesting and eclectic story, and you are telling your clients that you are a caring company that doesn't waste the earth's resources in order to pad your own pocketbook.

4. Utilize recyclable materials and technology
If you consider the typical office space, there is a ton of plastic and paper waste. Common office tools like traditional whiteboards tend to deteriorate after a few years due to a “ghosting” effect (or a chemical breakdown in the surface after extended marker usage) and cause chemicals to be released into the office air; however, swapping those for recyclable alternatives and utilizing environmentally-friendly gadgets, will ensure your home office is completely free of plastic, paint and chemical adhesives that emit toxic vapors over time. It will also ensure that when you are finished with office supplies, they are either passed along to another office or recycled completely. It's nice to know that our waste won’t end up in a landfill site, isn't it?

About The Author
Angela is a writer, guest blogger, loving wife, and mother of two beautiful twin girls and a standard poodle named Morty. She graduated with her Master of Arts Degree in English from the University of North Carolina. During her time at UNC, she wrote a number of children's short stories that focus on a set of curious twin sisters and their dog (go figure).

Elena White is the founder and editor of  Life The Green Way, corporate sustainability coordinator at her day job, and a "rurban" wife and mother.  Learn more about her here and follow her on Twitter at @Lifethegreenway.