Tag Archives: eco friendly home business

13 Eco Friendly Tips For Working At Home

13 Eco Friendly Tips For Working At Home

One of the things I like about working at home is that it’s a relatively eco friendly option. I don’t have to drive to work, so my van gets relatively little use. There are many other ways, however, that you can be eco friendly while working at home.

1. Reset Your Thermostat

Compared to a lot of people I know, I keep my house relatively cool in winter and warm in summer. My air conditioner doesn’t go off until the house is about 80 degrees F, and the heater goes off below about 68 degrees F. This saves a lot of energy.

While this may sound uncomfortable, it really isn’t. There is a ceiling fan in my home office, which uses much less power than an air conditioner. Moving air feels much cooler than it really is.

In winter, it’s a matter of dressing just a little warmer.

It doesn’t take much to get used to a house that is a little on the warm or cool side. The great part is that it makes it easier to go outside if you aren’t used to perfect air temperatures all the time. Use a programmable thermostat to make it easy to keep your home temperature just right.

2. Open A Window When The Weather Is Right

When the weather is nice enough, I open windows. The fresh air is good for the house, and it takes no power to open them up. When the weather is pleasant, it helps keep the house at a nice temperature.

3. Use Natural Light When Possible

Opening the windows doesn’t just let air in – it lets in light. You don’t have to open the windows to get light, however. So long as the curtains or blinds are open, you’ll get light.

If the weather is very hot and the sun comes in directly through that window, it may be more efficient to cover the window and use the lights in your house. Too much heat in through the window may make your air conditioner turn on more.

Make sure your light bulbs are CFLs or LEDs for the times you have to turn them on.

4. Print As Little As Possible

It’s amazing how little most people who work at home have to print. It’s very rare for me.

Most receipts and such that I get online and need to keep, I file online or on my computer. That way I’m still keeping track, but not using paper. When it’s no longer relevant, I need only hit the delete key, rather than recycle or shred the papers. It’s a much easier form of storage.

If you do have to print, try to use both sides of the paper. Some printers can handle this on their own for multi-page printouts. You can always save paper for printing on the other side regardless of what your printer can handle on its own. Anything that doesn’t have to be printed for someone else’s purposes can probably share the paper with another printout.

5. Let Your Computer Sleep

When you aren’t using your computer, let it go into sleep mode. Set the sleep setting for a reasonable time for the way you use your computer – 15 minutes is usually safe enough. You can let it turn off your monitor sooner than that if you like, but you’ll save the most if your computer sleeps when you aren’t actively using it.

6. Unplug

When your cell phone is done charging, unplug it if the charger doesn’t turn itself off automatically. Same for your laptop and any other rechargeable devices you have.

7. Recycle

When you have to use paper or other recyclable materials while working at home, make sure you do recycle them.

This is easy in my area, as we don’t have to sort recyclables from each other. We get a bin for trash, a bin for recyclable, and a bin for yard waste. So long as those are kept separate, and the recyclables are reasonably clean, further sorting isn’t necessary here.

Make sure you recycle your old electronics too. I’m hoping to be able to replace my iPhone 4 sometime soon, and it will be sent for recycling when the time comes. The big reason I want to replace it is that too many apps I use are losing compatibility with it – the OS is too out of date. That and a slight freezing up problem here and there.

You can often find electronics recycling events in your area. My favorite is when it’s a fundraiser for a local school, so that the students benefit. Try to be sure that it’s a reputable electronics recycling company, as some have very questionable practices. Be sure to wipe all data before sending any electronics for recycling.

You can also recycle ink cartridges. Some office supply stores take them and give you a discount on new ones.

8. Drink Water From A Reusable Bottle

Water is the healthiest and most eco friendly option you can drink. You can get it from your tap, although you may need a good filter in some areas to improve the taste and remove excess chemicals. It’s cheap when you drink tap water, and using a glass from your cabinet or a reusable water bottle, makes for very little waste.

I prefer my stainless steel water bottle to a glass of water because there’s no risk of spillage. It can be knocked over, and nothing will come out. Between kids, cats, and my own occasional clumsiness, that’s a good thing. Stainless steel lasts pretty much forever. I’ve dented my bottle, but it would take a lot to break it.

9. Buy Used Office Furniture

My office chair is absolutely wonderful. Comfortable and ergonomic. I got it for $5 at a garage sale. Lucky find, but seek such finds out when furnishing your home office. You’ll save a lot of money.

You can also shop thrift stores or Habitat For Humanity’s ReStore. I’m amazed at what they have every time I go.

10. Repair Things

If something breaks, see if it can be fixed. My husband’s office chair had a wheel break recently, and he was complaining at first that he didn’t want to spend money on a new chair, but thought we would need to. I hopped onto Amazon, and found new wheels for the chair. The switch was incredibly easy to make, taking only a few minutes once the new wheels arrived.

Computers and other office gear can be harder to repair, but it is often possible. Some jobs may require very up to date equipment, but keep your electronics as long as you can rather than buying new every chance.

11. Make Your Own Lunch And Snacks

It’s not that hard to make your own lunch when you work at home. Keep some basic supplies around, and you can have a good lunch without a lot of waste.

I package dinner leftovers for easy lunches. They’re almost as easy as microwaveable lunches, but without the leftover packaging. I also keep easy foods to make for lunch around.

Do something similar for your snacks during the day. Having a supply of chopped veggies, for example, makes it much easier to grab a healthy, low waste snack. If you want chips or something less healthy, decide if your self control will let you have the big bag in the house to decrease the waste, while limiting your serving to an appropriate amount in a bowl.

12. Add Some Plants

Adding a few houseplants to your office makes for some nice scenery and can help clean the air. I like growing orchids. They’re just a little something to brighten my day.

13. Consider Solar Power

If your power bill is high enough, solar power may be a good option for you. How well solar will do for you depends on your area and electricity usage, but some people find paying for the panels cheaper than their electric bill had been. It’s still not cheap, but it might be your best deal.

Do you have any other tips for having an eco friendly home office? What works best for you?

7 Eco Friendly Home Business Ideas for 2013

I think it’s important for stay at home moms to earn money when possible. Doing this has gotten my family through some tough times in much better financial condition than we would have been in if we had relied on my husband’s income alone, especially when he was laid off a few years back. He found work again after a few months, but it would have been pretty awful if I hadn’t had an income to contribute.

7 Eco Friendly Home Business IdeasIf it’s an eco friendly model you’re after for your home business, you have to plan carefully. It’s not enough to start a business and have a few things be green about it – you need to think about what you’re doing overall. Otherwise the not-so-eco-friendly parts of your business can outweigh the more eco minded portions. Here are some ideas you can consider for 2013 and beyond:

1. Blogging

At first glance, it’s pretty easy to make a blog eco friendly. You can even choose a hosting company that uses renewable energy or otherwise makes an effort to be environmentally friendly. Beyond that, it’s the computer you use, and not much other equipment most times.

But if you get to where you can earn money from your blog, the next aspect comes into play: keeping your product recommendations green. There are plenty of companies you can choose from. I usually sign up through affiliate programs and choose companies that focus on eco friendly products, or carefully chosen products on Amazon, that being the biggest selection. Especially if you’re blogging about being eco friendly, it’s best to lead by example.

Will you get it perfect? Probably not, but you can put in your best effort.

2. Affiliate Marketing

You don’t have to run a blog to be an affiliate marketer. You can set up a website and just list eco friendly products for sale. You will want to make sure that your site stands out from others – using the same description as everyone else won’t make your website stand out from others.

3. Eco Friendly Network Marketing Companies

Now this one can get really tricky. You wouldn’t necessarily think so, but sometimes it’s really hard to be certain that a company that claims to be environmentally friendly really is, especially when it’s hard to find out what ingredients are in their products.

Here are a few companies to consider. Review them for yourself and see which meet your needs best. There are of course many more than these.


4. Sell Repurposed Products

If you’re good at repurposing old stuff, you can sell it. Etsy and eBay are easy choices, but you can also open your own online store using PayPal or another payment processor. If things take off for you, you will need to find resources for items to repurpose.

5. Sell Crafts

Use eco friendly supplies, and make products you can sell. Once again, Etsy and eBay are pretty good choices. You can make just about anything, depending on your skills – clothes, toys, reusable bags, and so much more.

6. Sell Local Produce

Here’s for you gardeners. It will take some time to find out what rules you’ll need to follow in your area to legally sell produce, but if you have a really successful garden you may be able to sell your excess. Farmer’s markets can be a great choice.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be fresh. If you make jelly or preserve your produce, you can sell that too. Make sure you know the food safety laws for your area. You’ll probably have inspections to deal with and may have to rent a special kitchen to work.

7. Be a Green Consultant

You can help others go green. A green consultant can help businesses or individuals find ways to be more eco friendly. You might check buildings to see if they’re energy efficient and recommend products. You might even help them plan events. This may take some training, as you probably can’t just walk in and recognize problems otherwise.

Before you start any business, check with your city to ensure that you can do so legally. Home businesses are often legal if there’s no impact to the residential area, but rules vary, especially by the type of business you open. Sometimes all you need is a license, sometimes nothing at all, sometimes much more. Your life will be much simpler if you know what’s relevant to you.

9 Tips to Make Your Home Business More Eco Friendly

Lots of stay at home moms run their own business from home too. It’s a nice way to add to the family’s income and enjoy your own interests. When eco friendly living is one of your goals, you should be certain you extend those goals to your home business as well. While in some ways home businesses are already green, using a space you already live in, there’s more you could be doing. Here are some ideas to help.

1. Make sure your niche is eco friendly.

You don’t have to go with specifically environmentally friendly items with your business, but if you’re trying to be eco friendly in your personal life while selling things that are decidedly not eco friendly, how green are you really?

Of course, not all business ideas have much of anything to do with the environment as such. If you’re working as a virtual assistant there are only so many ways to be any more eco friendly than the next virtual assistant. But if you’re selling products, do consider the environmental impact of the products you sell.

2. Do as much as you can online.

You may or may not be able to do all of your business online or over the telephone, but do what you can. Keep in contact with customers through email. Have your website with an eco friendly hosting company. Host Gator and Dreamhost, for example, have programs in place to keep their carbon emissions down, through things such as wind power and carbon credits.

You can do a lot of banking and bill paying online too. If you’re involved in affiliate marketing, you can look into direct deposit for your earnings, rather than having to take checks to the bank. This may be possible with other home businesses too.

3. Choose eco friendly promotional materials.

When you do promote your business offline, look for options that are kinder to the environment, such as mailers made from recycled paper.

4. Minimize printing.

Some people love to print things out. With a little practice, you can devise a filing system on your computer so that you don’t have to print out all the things you receive. Try to only print out the things you actually need to have on paper.

5. Drive only when you have to.

Having a home business doesn’t always mean you don’t drive for your business. Sometimes it’s necessary. You may be involved in a home party plan and have to go to people’s houses, for example, or your business may involve going to see your clients in person.

Try to make the times you must drive more efficient. Walking or taking public transportation aren’t glamorous ways to get there, but they can work when the distances and times are appropriate.

If you need some time to work out of the house, just to get away, think of ways to do that without driving. Is there a park or coffee shop you like to work at that’s in reasonable walking distance?

6. Turn electronics and lights off when not needed.

When you’re done for the day or for a long enough time, make sure to shut down computers, printers and so forth, as well as turn off all the unnecessary lights. A Smart Strip can help to save power by shutting off power to peripheral equipment when you turn off the computer.

7. Recycle your old electronics.

Don’t just throw away old computers, cell phones and so forth when it’s time to replace them. Find out how to recycle them properly. Local governments sometimes have specific days when you can take in electronic waste, or you can check on the EPA website.

8. Add a plant to your office (and elsewhere in your home).

Plants are great. They’re relaxing to look at and they freshen the air in your home. Not only should you keep one or more in your home office, you should get a few for around the house.

9. Go energy efficient.

Energy efficiency isn’t just for lightbulbs, although CFLs or LEDs can be a great choice. It’s also for your computer, where a laptop is typically much more energy efficient than a desktop, and computer monitors can have Energy Star ratings.