Going Green at Home

Although home-based agents don’t typically have the same carbon footprint as a brick-and-mortar agency, there are still some steps they can take to help reduce waste and lower their impact on the environment. Among some of the simple actions home-based agents can take:

• Use e-mail instead of printed memos whenever possible.

• Use linens instead of paper towels.

• Print double-sided whenever possible.

• Resize print and documents to get more information on a single page.

• Order only the amount of supplies that will be used within two weeks to avoid over-ordering.

• Washable dishware for serving coffee and treats.

Think about which items you use in your daily routine are recyclable. In addition to paper, aluminum, plastic and cardboard, take a look at your office equipment. For instance, there are many options for recycling print cartridges. You can opt to have your cartridges refilled, recycle empty cartridges for cash or recycle your cartridges through a charity.

Options for recycling computers include donating the computers to local organizations for reuse, selling computers for scrap and recycling computers through companies such as Dell which offer and option to completely clear off the computer for a nominal fee.

Cellular phones are accepted by many charities for recycling. Cell Phones for Soldiers (www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com) provides calling cards to soldiers from funds received through recycled cell phones. According to its website, each donated phone will provide approximately one hour of talk time for a soldier. You can donate your cell phone to a variety of charities by visiting Recycling for Charities (www.recyclingforcharities.com). There are over 100 charities to choose from.

Also, consider ways your business operates to identify ways to reuse items. Some options to consider include reusing old printed materials for scrap paper and reusing packaging materials for shipping. Get creative with ways you can reduce, recycle and reuse at your home office.  You will help the environment while also reducing financial waste.

What eco-friendly practices do you use at your home office? Please share with us by posting a comment below.