Energy Star electronics have been vetted to make sure they are energy efficient; the EPA claims that if all computers met these standards, the annual greenhouse gas reduction would equal that of 2 million cars. Both offer certification to products with low chemical and particle emissions-which means they won't be giving off harmful VOCs; these products include electronics, building materials, bedding, furniture, and more. You're likely already using online billing for your personal life; transfer that to your professional accounts with electronically-submitted invoices and direct deposit. By the Numbers Work from Home: How many sick days do you get per year? Enter your city or zip code in the "where" box to show results in your area. Set up your home office in a few easy steps with this comprehensive guide.
How to Go Green: Work from Home. Blythe Copeland blythecopeland. January 13, Photo credit: Graham Hill MSN Money suggests four reliable jobs you can do from home. Carbon Footprint;.
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Another good plan is to check antique stores, thrift shops, estate sales, yard sales, or even your attic for used desks in good condition; you can even fashion a desk out of an old door supported by filing cabinets for more character.
Grab a seat Spending the majority of your day staring at a computer sounds like it wouldn't be physically demanding, but it does take a toll on your posture, muscles, and long-term productivity. Key in an office chair: Herman Miller, Steelcase, Haworth, and Trey all offer models made in large part from recycled materials, and in colors and fabrics that are recycled and colored with non-toxic dye.
For extra sustainability, look for chairs that are Greenguard or Cradle-to-Cradle certified we'll get more into this in the Getting Techie section.
And don't be afraid to splurge on a high quality chair. Once you're sitting 40 hours a week on a cheap one, you'll find the extra money is well worth it. Check out our guide to Buy Green: Office Chairs for more info on which chair might be right for you.
Power up If you're making the switch to working from home, a computer is a non-negotiable necessity. But the kind of computer? That can be up for some debate. If all you need is an internet connection, word processing, and some basic photo editing tools, then buying the fanciest processor around is a waste --you might be able to make do with what you have, or buy a smaller version, for basic use.
It's not a bad idea to buy a larger monitor , though; it's easier on your eyes and lets you see twice as much with the same power. If you are buying a new laptop or desktop , look for one that's EPEAT -certified, so it's made with less hazardous waste than non-certified brands, or that meets Energy Star requirements. Get connected Along with your computer, you'll probably need a few other gadgets to stay in touch with bosses and coworkers-especially if you want to be available no matter where and when they need you; think cell phone, Blackberry or iPhone, scanner, printer, and fax machine, depending on what kind of work you do.
Our How to Go Green: Gadgets guide offers plenty of tips for finding the best product with the least environmental impact--check it out for information on energy ratings, recycled and recyclable electronics, renewable chargers, and buyback programs.
Stock up on supplies In a perfectly green world, your desk needs would be minimal--you'd make do with just a pen and paper for jotting quick notes, instead of an overflowing drawer of post-its, address books, notepads, pens, pencils, highlighters, thumb tacks, staples--need we go on? But if you're the type who can't pass a stationery aisle without shelling out for the fanciest fine-points and a clean, new notebook, you can still choose eco-friendly options: Though if you're anything like we are, you likely have plenty of pens, pencils, and old notebooks in your home already; try rummaging through those junk drawers before buying new.
Go paperless Using recycled paper is great, but using no paper is even better. You're likely already using online billing for your personal life; transfer that to your professional accounts with electronically-submitted invoices and direct deposit.
Investing in a good scanner lets you shred documents try reusing them as packaging materials and navigate them as searchable PDFs. If you have the kind of job that's impossible to do without any printing at all, try to cut back; these free downloadable software programs let you print just what you need from websites without all the extra formatting , while Greenprint shows you the whole document before it prints, so you can select just the pieces you're looking for and eliminate waste.
Sweat the small stuff The green factors you don't need to think about in a corporate office still add up when you're working at home. We're talking light bulbs, thermostat settings, air quality--it's up to you to stay on top of these in your home office. Luckily, the solutions are pretty simple. Recycle any paper you use, install compact fluorescent bulbs, wear a sweater in the winter to keep from cranking the heat or consider using a space heater to keep your office comfortable , and open the windows in the summer or, if it's uncomfortably hot, relocate for a few hours to your local library or coffee shop with wi-fi.
Turning off your computer overnight saves energy and gives you a mental break from work, while adding a plant or an air filter can help you breathe easy. Stay healthy While it's great for the planet that you've cut out your commute, spending all your time in the same building can drain your energy and cut into your social interaction.
Make time every day to get outside, whether it's to run errands, go for a walk, or hit the gym, and get a free conference program like Skype to chat face-to-face with your boss and coworkers. Take a few minutes to look away from your computer every hour, and plan your meals and snacks to cut back on mindless munching. And when you are lucky enough to step away from the computer for extended periods of time, turn off your lights and gadgets to cut back on wasted energy.
By the Numbers 3. Average number of hours employees worked at home as of May Percentage of people unemployed as of November Hours a year that the average American spends commuting compared to 80 hours a year he spends on vacation.
Total miles that New Yorkers commute annually. Percentage of New Yorkers who, if they switched from private car or taxi commute to public transportation or biking, could make the same impact as the planting of nearly , trees. Census Bureau , U. Bureau of Labor Statistics , U. Getting Techie Coworking Working from home has plenty of advantages, but the more social among us can get feel a little lonely without the watercooler banter over last night's Lost, and a little uninspired without nearby coworkers to bounce ideas off.
Co-working spaces--which have sprung up all over the world--are offices where freelancers and other self-employed people share space and ideas. The Coworking wiki describes it as "start with a shared office and add cafe culture. Which is the opposite of most modern cafes. Energy Star electronics have been vetted to make sure they are energy efficient; the EPA claims that if all computers met these standards, the annual greenhouse gas reduction would equal that of 2 million cars.
EPEAT, on the other hand, stands for Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool; it's used by a non-profit agency to judge computers on their materials, end-of-life design, longevity, packaging, and four other qualities relating to construction and performance. Check out our guides for How to Go Green: Gadgets and How to Go Green: Home Electronics for more on both certifications. Since the latter is targeted at commercial buildings, it's the first two that are most likely to end up in your home office.
Both offer certification to products with low chemical and particle emissions-which means they won't be giving off harmful VOCs; these products include electronics, building materials, bedding, furniture, and more.
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Work At Home jobs hiring near you. Browse Work At Home jobs and apply online. Search Work At Home to find your next Work At Home job near you. Find Environmental & Green jobs that offer remote work options, freelance contracts, part-time or flexible schedules. Find a better way to work today! Part-time work, and more specifically part-time work you can do from home, has grown in popularity in recent years. With fewer hours spent at the office and little or no commute, professionals from all walks of life are interested in the .