Travel insights from Jenna Buege, associate editor of The Compass

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Home-Based Business More Eco-Friendly

Are you feeling the call to be more eco-friendly while working from home? Making the switch to a green-friendly business approach doesn’t happen overnight, but it doesn’t have to be difficult either. Here are five easy things you can do to make your home business more eco-friendly.

  1. Go paperless

    Embrace technology by moving your documents, storage and billing information to an online platform. Not only is going paperless an easy way to reduce office clutter, it’s also an easy way to make your business more green-minded. Don’t worry if the thought of parting with your folders, file cabinets and drawers seems daunting; there are services like cloud storage and Google Drive that make it easy to organize all of your files with the click of few buttons. And don’t forget about mailing lists. Digitalize any updates or deals that you want to share with travelers with a recurring business email through services like Mailchimp to keep you and your agency top of mind.

  2. Buy refurbished

    Newer isn’t always better. At least, not when it comes to electronics. Make Captain Planet proud and purchase refurbished, aka previously used, tech for your home office. Sure, you might not get the newest craze from Apple, but refurbished products are often in great condition and can cost you a fraction of the price. If this sounds like something you want to do, a simple search for “refurbished tech” will turn up a number of reliable retailers. P.S. Remember to recycle any electronic waste like old cell phones, tablets, computers and TVs at the nearest e-waste recycling location in your city.

  3. Shine some (natural) light on the situation

    Another quick tip to conserve energy is to cut down on your electricity usage by being conscious of your lighting situation. If possible, build your workspace in a bright and sunny area of your home to help utilize natural lighting during working hours. If that isn’t possible for you or if sunny days are hard to come by (hello, winter), purchase a couple of energy efficient light bulbs for your office area to keep things as eco-friendly as possible. And if you’re really serious about lighting, you can invest in motion-sensor timers to ensure no beam goes to waste.

  4. Eat mindfully

    People love convenience. Unfortunately, it’s that same convenience – grabbing a cup of coffee at the nearest Starbucks, picking up fast food for lunch and drinking out of single use water bottles – that results in literal tons of solid waste in our landfills. Curb the amount of trash that you produce at home by being mindful of what you consume throughout the day. Make your own coffee (and please use a reusable K-cup if you own a Keurig), cook a homemade meal for lunch (maybe even take up composting scraps) and remember to purchase a refillable water bottle to use at home and on the go.

  5. Ask the professionals

    Do you want to get really serious? Do an energy audit on your home. During an energy audit an inspector comes to your home to assess the energy flow and conservation or the building. Yes, this option requires a little more work (and cash) than the others, but it will set you and your business on the right track to long-term sustainability.

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