Are you totally sick of doing your taxes yet? Are you struggling to find deductions and get the most money back this year? Deductions can be a tricky thing to navigate. I had a long conversation with my accountant years ago about what business expenses can be considered as a deduction and which ones couldn’t. Since I work from home, I wanted to know what the rules were for claiming utilities as a business expense. I was told that if I had a DEDICATED office space that was used only for work that I could claim a portion of utilities, house taxes, etc on my income taxes. Wouldn’t it be great to have an eco friendly office space that actually saved me money on taxes?
I would love to create an eco friendly office and claim that as a deduction. One day, this is definitely on my wish list for a home upgrade. I started doing a bit of research on designing a home office and came up with lots of ways to do it in an environmentally friendly way. Keep reading for a few tips as well as some affiliate links for products that you may find useful in your new office.
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Tips for an Eco Friendly Office Space
If you have the space available for a home office, here are a few ways to set it up that will keep your carbon footprint small.
Choose recycled office products
This is probably the easiest change to make, although you may have to search out a new office supply company. Purchase 100 percent recycled office paper, recycled newspaper pencils, wine cork bulletin boards, and even computer mouse pads that used to be old tires! With society’s increased awareness about environmental stewardship, there is an amazing selection of products to choose from. You may not find them at your local office supply store but they are definitely available if you look for them.
Cut back on energy usage
Home offices can use quite a bit of energy. Computers, lights, printers, fax machines, and an assortment of other gadgets can significantly impact your electric bill. Using fluorescent or LED bulbs instead of traditional ones can cut back on lighting costs. Turning off your printer and fax machine when not in use will not only save on electricity but will also help generate less heat in the summer, which means less air conditioning costs. Make sure you turn off all electronics when they are not being used. You can even choose a bamboo charging station for your small electronics.
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Get in the habit of recycling
Office paper can be recycled by many trash providers and most office supply stores will accept printer and toner cartridges for recycling as well. Many cities offer recycling of large electronics like computers and monitors on certain days of the year. Call your local trash company for dates and locations or check out Earth 911 for a location near you. Get an office shredder and check out these uses for shredded paper if you are concerned about your privacy.
Think outside the box
When it comes to office furniture, you have a number of options to choose from. While it may be cheaper to shop at big box stores and buy furniture made from particle board, you aren’t doing the earth any favors with this type of purchase. Alternative materials like bamboo, reclaimed materials, or FSC Certified Wood are better choices for furniture. You can also shop secondhand to save yourself some money while you go green! Some eco friendly office furniture that may be helpful are things like bamboo bookshelves or a recycled chair mat to protect your hardwood floors.
Add some greenery
Bringing plants into your office will not only make the area look nicer but will also help remove toxins from the air. They also produce oxygen, increase humidity, and improve your morale. All great reasons to head out and find a nice potted plant to put on your desk! Get a cute succulent planter for your desk or a hanging planter if you don’t have much desk space.
Creating an eco friendly office space not only gives you a dedicated and organized place to work, it also makes a great deduction on your taxes! So, if you have space, consider taking over that extra room and start reducing your tax bill while you protect the environment! And remember, just because you don’t have a lot of room, doesn’t mean you can’t create a home office. Check out these home office design ideas for small spaces and start getting your business organized!
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Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.