What are some unique ways to go green and save energy (and money) in the home office?
Make your business paperless: Send contracts via e-mail and pay bills online. Need to give a client a demonstration? Use a tablet and then send them an electronic brochure.
Digital fax: There are still some businesses that rely on this antiquated (paper-hungry) technology. Sign up for a digital fax services to send and receive faxes electronically. http://www.myfax.com/
Solar desk lamp: The SUNNAN led table lamp from IKEA emits 40 lumens, which is approximately equal to the light emitted by a 15-watt incandescent bulb.
Solar chargers for electronics: Sure, all of our phones, tablets and MP3 players run on rechargeable batteries, but we still have to use electricity (and therefore money) to recharge them. Free yourself from the burden of having to be near an energized outlet. Charge up anywhere the sun shines!
Staple-free stapler: Stop wasting money on staples. Not to mention, breaking nails or jabbing your fingers when you try to remove them.
What are some unique ways to go green and save energy (and money) around the yard/garage/shed?
Human-powered lawn mower: Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Mower "Combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting performance without gasoline, oil, charging, the hassle of cords or the noise created by other mowers. It features an InertiaDrive Reel for twice the cutting power of standard reel mowers; StaySharp Cutting System to eliminate the cost and inconvenience of annual blade sharpening; VersaCut Technology for easy cut height adjustment to provide a clean cut on any type of grass." http://www3.fiskars.com/
Xeriscaping: The conservation of water through creative landscaping. "For most of North America, over 50% of residential water used is applied to landscape and lawns. Xeriscape can reduce landscape water use by 50 - 75%."
Keep weeds from growing through cracks in your driveway and sidewalks with baking soda. Just sprinkle and sweep into the cracks. Watch the weeds disappear.
Keep animals and pests away the natural way: Use Hot Pepper Wax. This product combines hot cayenne pepper extract with paraffin wax to make an effective deterrent that sticks onto the plants but won't affect the flavor of produce. Hot Pepper Wax is made from food-grade ingredients so you can use it anytime, indoors or outdoors, on your plants right up to harvest.
Bonus tip: Get into the practice of composting and collecting rain water. The compost (gardeners consider this "black gold") will come from your food scraps, and the water will fall from the sky. Both of these are free to gather and use.
Bonus tip #2: Before embarking on a one-off project, see if you can rent or borrow the tools before you buy.