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How to Green Your Home Office

Saving Home Office Electricity -- and Air
Utilizing natural light will lower your energy use -- and up your energy level.
Utilizing natural light will lower your energy use -- and up your energy level.
Tay Jnr/Digital Vision/Getty Images

First, open your windows. To improve your air quality, let some fresh air in. Nothing beats the feeling of a cool outdoor breeze blowing through a room, plus fresh air and natural light have been proven to increase productivity. This isn't always an option, especially if you have allergies, so you may want to consider buying an air purifier. Look for ones with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) rating for maximum efficiency and purifying capabilities. Another worthwhile investment is a plant. Not only do houseplants beautify your environment, they also benefit your air by sucking formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide out of the air and storing them in their roots or breaking them down into less harmful gases. The two most effective are the peace lily and the areca palm.

Conserving electricity is high on the list for a green lifestyle. By making maximum use of natural light, you can cut down on the number of lights that you turn on during the day. But if lights are a must, you can switch to compact fluorescent bulbs, which cost a little more but last considerably longer than incandescent bulbs and are recyclable as well. Items that are plugged into electrical outlets draw power even when they're not in use. This is called phantom power, and it accounts for about 10 percent of your monthly electrical bill [source: Planet Green]. It's probably not likely that you'll remember to unplug every electrical appliance you own at the end of each day, so you might want to consider investing in energy saving power strips that can be turned off at the source. You can also purchase solar or hand-cranked chargers for many of your handheld devices.

This should be enough to get you started, but if you want even more information on making your home office environmentally friendly, see all of the information on the next page.