Guest post by Diane Hoffmaster of Turning the Clock Back
Environmentally Friendly Office
When I went to get my taxes done back in February I had a long conversation with my accountant about what business expenses can be considered as a deduction and which ones couldn’t. Since I work from home, I wanted to know what the rules were for claiming utilities as a business expense. I was told that if I had a DEDICATED office space that was used only for work that I could claim a portion of utilities, house taxes, etc on my income tax. Unfortunately, I have yet to create my own personal office space and am still alternating between the guest bedroom and the living room to do my work. I decided that I really need to create my own office space and would really like to do it in an environmentally friendly way! So, what sort of decisions can a person make that would ensure a greener home office? Here are a few suggestions that you may want to consider to make an environmentally friendly office:
1. Choose Wisely: Furniture is probably one of the biggest expenses you will find in decorating your new environmentally friendly office. Make the decision to invest in quality pieces so you don’t have to replace them often. It may be cheaper to buy particle board shelves at big box stores but you aren’t doing the earth much good with this type of purchase. Alternative materials like bamboo, reclaimed materials, or FSC Certified Wood.are better. You can also buy second hand and save yourself a lot of money! Buying used is a great way to go green.
2. Save on Energy: Having a home office can really increase your utility bills. Computers, fax machines lights, printers, and other electronics can create quite a drain on your wallet. Choose fluorescent or LED bulbs instead of traditional ones to cut back on lighting costs. Turn off your computer when not in use to save on electricity and create less heat in the summer, which means less air conditioning costs.
3. Choose to Recycle: There are a number of items that are used in the home office that are easily recycled. Used printer paper can be repurposed as scrap paper for jotting down notes and when you are done, just throw it in the recycle bin. Most office supply stores will take back printer and toner cartridges for recycling and will often give you money back as a bonus! Many communities offer recycling of computers and monitors on certain days of the year. For dates and locations check out Earth 911.
4. Greener Décor Choices! Bringing plants into your office will make it look nicer and also remove toxins from the air. Plants produce oxygen, increase humidity, and just add a personal touch to your space. You can also find other cute accessories like business card holders made from stone or recycled metal to add a little bit of flair to your space.
5. Choose recycled office products: There are a number of environmentally friendly office supply stores online and many large chain stores are starting to carry ecofriendly options as well. 100% recycled paper is fairly easy to find as are pencils made from recycled denim or newspapers. Check out Eco Green Office for an amazing selection of products to choose from!
Have you adopted any ecofriendly choices in your environmentally friendly home office?