Greener Decorating for Your Office
With all the buzzwords and hype about eco-friendly products, many people don’t know exactly what they mean. Rather than being specialized products, eco-friendly items are simply those that don’t hurt the environment while they’re being made or are disposed. Something as simple as a marigold plant or as complicated as a biodegradable plastic bag is eco-friendly, and the demand for such items is on the increase. A 2007 survey showed that one-third of consumers were ready to buy eco-friendly products. Redecorating your home office is the ideal time to go green because it’s a smaller room that’s easy to decorate. But it’s used for a major part of the day, so your accumulated impact grows much quicker.
When it comes to covering your home office floor in eco-friendly goods, you can choose from a variety of products. Carpet manufacturers have jumped on the green bandwagon and created an ingenious array of sustainable floor coverings. Wool is a classic, old choice that is warm and natural. Mohawk Flooring makes EverStrand, a carpet made from discarded plastic bottles. If you don’t need to cover your entire floor, choose accent pieces made from sea grass or jute for a sustainable bit of decorating flair.
Any time you purchase a new product it has a detrimental effect on the environment. Recycling used products is the eco-friendly way to prevent this, and is especially true of big-ticket items such as office furniture. Give your home office some style by purchasing individual furniture pieces from thrift stores or estate sales. Instead of a cookie-cutter pressboard desk, you may find an art deco jewel from the 1930s or a piece with a modernistic 50s flair. By recycling, you will you give your office some panache without further affecting the environment.
Every office needs a computer, but it’s the type you buy and how you use it that determines its eco-friendliness. Always buy a laptop instead of a desktop model. Laptops use about 10 percent of the energy that a desktop model uses, and it takes fewer raw materials to create each one. Purchase a printer that prints on both sides of the paper, or reuse paper by putting it into your printer both ways. If possible, email information to clients and business partners instead of printing it and sending it through the mail.
Every window needs a covering, and using eco-friendly options is a great way to help the environment while adding style to your room. Look for natural materials like woven shades from The Shade Store. These shades are made from sustainable bamboo fibers, and have very little impact on the environment while giving your room a decorative look. If you want a softer approach, choose drapes made of cotton, from light and airy to heavier, darker styles for an eco-friendly solution with a pop of color.
Bob Murphy takes a practical approach to environmental issues. He tries to encourage people to make small changes in their lifestyles to help the environment.