If you are like us, you have probably carved out a space in your home for office or school work – the kitchen table, corner of the couch, or, if you are lucky, a home office. Here are some things you can think about as you strive to transition your Green Office practices at home!
Set your thermostat
- For warmer days, 78 degrees or above
- For cooler days, 68 degrees or below
- On perfect spring days, turn that thermostat off and let the fresh air in!
Use your windows and blinds and turn off the AC
Did you know? The average Air Conditioning unit uses 3,500 watts but the average fan only uses 60 watts!
- If open windows and ceiling fans are sufficient, turn off your heating/cooling system
- Use your blinds to your energy advantage, leaving them open on colder days to let the sun heat the room and closing them on warmer days to keep the sun out
Make sure your space is well lit
Did you know? On average, lighting accounts for 15% of a household’s energy consumption. Thankfully, LED bulbs use 84% less energy than incandescent bulbs and have a MUCH longer lifetime!
- Switch out your incandescent light bulbs for LED bulbs
- Turn off the lights during the day to utilize the natural lighting of the sun
Get in the habit of unplugging
- When electronics aren’t in use, unplug them so they don’t waste energy. Printers, desktop computers, monitors, and DVD players are all great examples of electronics that can be unplugged to save energy.
- Use a power strip for electronics that don’t always need to be plugged in. You’ll just have one button to press to turn them all off!
Skip the printing
Don’t have a printer at home? No worries! Now is a great time to wean yourself from the urge to print. Less to file and keep track of! Now is the time to hone your e-filing system!
Check out the “Energy Efficiency & Sustainable Living Guide”
Working from home will result in an increase of your daytime energy use. The recently-published “Energy Efficiency & Sustainable Living Guide” provides easy, low tech and no tech strategies for improving energy efficiency and decreasing energy use in every room of your home!
On weekends, tackle energy-savings home improvements
While the prospect of being hunkered down at home for multiple weeks in a row can feel daunting, it may also be a good opportunity to develop a priority list and a plan of action for energy-saving home projects ahead of summer. Your list could include swapping out light bulbs to LEDs, installing low-flow shower fixtures, installing programmable thermostats, paying attention to cold and hot spots to identify opportunities to seal cracks and gaps around windows/doors and opportunities to add insulation to crawl spaces and attics, upgrading heating and cooling equipment, installing a heat pump hot water heater, replacing air filters, and more! The Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois online stores are great resources for discounted items that can be shipped directly to your home.
Are you getting restless dreaming about your “real” office? Entertain your nostalgia by joining the Green Office Program to get your team all set up to launch a Green Office certification when you return. Or, if you are already a Green Office, it’s a great time to think about goal setting and/or recertification! Find more resources for greening your office here.