Yesterday I blogged about all the office organizing I did. Now that everything is in its place and I can see all I have going on, I can set some goals to have a more energy efficient office. Below is my list, and I've tried to sort it from simplest/cheapest to most complicated/expensive.
- Put the recycling bag where both The Man and I can reach it.
- Tiny little step, but in this house, anything to make things easier/faster/or more mindless encourages us to stick to it. We're good at putting in extra effort at first, but every precious second counts when you have 5 kids and a million projects. We crap out after a while if things aren't easy. I'm going to recycle more if I don't have to walk across the room to do it. Sad, but true.
- Take notes in Microsoft OneNote and Gmail Tasks
- I need to reduce the amount of paper I use. I LOVE lists. I love seeing all my to-do's laid out, I love crossing them off. It's so satisfying. I've been know to have a complete lock-up, melt-down, freak-out when I lose a list I've been working off of. Using these two programs (which I already had pining for me on the 'puter) reduces the amount of paper I use, and helps hang on to my sweet, sweet lists.
- Shut down the computers at night.
- I have guilt that we haven't been doing this. I did set the computers up to go into hibernate mode when we aren't using them, but even in standby mode, computers can draw up to 40 watts of power. I find a sense of comfort in being able to jiggle the mouse and instantly begin netting. But I don't really need to be able to...so I think The Man and I need to start turning the computers off at night. I feel anxious about this. So weird.
- Make sure all the bills that can be sent as e-statements are e-statements.
- The Man does all the bill paying. This isn't fair to him, and it's something we keep saying that I need to be involved with, but we never quite get there. It's high-stress for both of us, since he's the Saver of the Money and I'm the Spender of the Money (because I buy the food, the kids' clothes, gifts, etc.). So I don't know how many of the massive piles of bills/statements we get could be sent electronically to us. I also don't know if this would work with The Man's system for bill pay. It's a discussion we need to have.
- Find out how to cancel our phone book subscription.
- We NEVER use the phone book. I rip the coupons out of them and immediately recycle them when they appear on our doorstep. I didn't realize until just recently that I had a choice about this (I'm slow.) I've searched the website for Impact Directories who provides our local phone book, but all I can seem to find is how to get more phone books (because, really, who doesn't need another phone book?) so this will warrant a phone call.
- Get some plants.
- Did you notice in yesterday's picture how stark our office is? We've lived here since May, but we haven't touched the office. It's sterile and serious. I don't want to be distracted, but I'd like to warm it up. Some plants living and transpiring in here would really make it nice...and keep me thinkin' green thinks.
- Install blinds
- If you look in the far corner of the office picture, you can see two sets of blinds propped up. Those were in our laundry room before we had all the windows replaced, but the windows in the laundry room & the office are the same size. Since I tend to be in here working when the morning sun is pouring in. If we had blinds the blinds up, we could block that light and any heat/air transfer through the windows, but also open them to let in natural light to save on electricity.
- Buy and use recycled office products
- We don't, and that's just stupid. I'm telling you, we operate on the lazy system, doing what we've always done because it requires no thought and little effort. We can buy recycled printer paper, recycled pens, refill our printer cartridges, and even use stapleless staplers (although I don't do a lot of stapling, so that's down the list a bit...since they're made of evil evil plastic.) One thing I am going to do is go down to my stash of empty canisters (coffee cans, pb jars, etc.) and pick a container to put by the printer to put the cartridges in when they're empty, so it's easier to remember to get them refilled.
We have CFLs in here already, and once LEDs become cheaper, we'll probably do the switch. Luckily our scanner/copier are built into our printers...although I'm not sure we need two printers. The only other things plugged in are the modem and router, and the house phone. We'd ditch that except I'm not ready to buy Boy 1 a cell phone and he is starting to get calls. Boy 2 does too, actually.
So there are the goals for the office. I hope to have most of them started by this time next week.