There is clear evidence that a trend toward reduced commuting could help lower greenhouse gases. But just because you are not a polluting commuter, doesn’t mean you run a “green” business.
You are using up electricity and other resources in the process of running your daily business. This is resource usage that would not ordinarily be seen if you were working elsewhere. So here are a few tips for making your home based business green(er).
Computer monitor – Please tell me you’re not still using a CRT monitor! Flat screen technology has become very affordable and there is little need to use CRT monitors any longer. They consume more electricity, produce more heat (which can trigger your cooling system in the summer), and take up more desk space. Ditch the CRT and get a power light flat screen!
Computer – Does your computer have a stand-by mode that you can use when you step away for a bit? If so, use it so that your computer consumes less power when not in use. If you’re stepping away for an extended time, consider shutting it down completely.
Printing – As mentioned in Do you Really Need to Print That?, you can often cut down in your printing if you look carefully and objectively at what you are printing. Less printing means less power consumption and less toner/ink used.
Other peripherals – What about all those other electronic peripherals? Things like routers, printers, external hard drives, and fax machines that might be in your office? Some of these peripherals don’t even have a sleep mode so when shutting the equipment down for the day, make sure these things are powered down as well. I was once told by my Internet Service Provider that I should never power down my cable router. Guess what? I power it down every night and there are never repercussions for that. Hmm, file that under ‘don’t believe everything you’re told’!
Recycle your electronics – Lastly, what about when it’s time to discard those electronic components? Resist the urge to hide them among your household garbage and sneak them out the back door. Make sure they are taken to an electronics recycler. You will have to pay the recycler but this can be a tax deduction for you (see your accountant).
So don’t assume your home-based business is automatically a “green business” just because you’re not commuting to and from an external workplace. Take some steps to make your business a greener business. And if you have any other tips to add to this list, please share your comments.