Office equipment and supplies are essential to help you run your business from home, but generally they are not very eco-friendly and so if you are interested in helping the environment you will need to have a look at your home office and identify areas where you can make positive changes.
You may need paper for photocopying, faxing and printing but there are ways you can cut down on how harmful this is to the environment. You can buy 100% recycled paper these days, which is very good quality and in most cases you will not be able to tell the difference between that and non-recycled paper. Also try and reuse paper when you can, so instead of scribbling phone notes in a brand new notepad use the backs of documents, envelopes and any scrap paper you no longer need, and then you can always write those notes up you want to keep in a notepad later on.
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Also think very carefully about whether you actually need to keep hard copies of everything, as computers can provide you with plenty of storage space to save documents electronically, and you can also buy additional back up storage online or use remote storage devices such as memory sticks and external hard drives. Also consider whether you could email documents and correspondence to your contacts instead of sending them in the post, as not only will this save you paper and ink but you will also save on postage.
These days you can run virtual offices from your computer, and so there is no need for all the additional equipment cluttering up your office and using up valuable resources. You can fax and telephone online now through your modem/router and this will save you a lot of money in the long run, and online faxing can also save you wasting costly ink and paper supplies, as when you receive a fax through a conventional fax machine it will automatically be printed out, whether you actually need it in hard copy or not. With online faxing you receive messages in a format very similar to email, and this means you choose whether you want to save them electronically, print them out or just delete them straight away.
If you work from home and you need to attend meetings with suppliers or customers think about whether this meeting could take place over the phone or through online video conferencing facilities, as this could save you traveling costs, and is much better for the environment than jumping in your car and driving out to meet up face-to-face.