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10 eco-friendly home office essentials

Working from home means shouldering more expense and environmental impact. You can offset both with these environmentally-beneficial products.

text HOME OFFICE on lightbox on wooden table with computer keyboard

Image: Christian Horz, Getty Images/iStockphoto

There's a good chance you've done some remote work in the past few months and working from home means outfitting your home office. When making choices about what to buy, there are a lot of good reasons to build an environmentally-friendly green home office: It can save money, cut down on your carbon footprint, and eliminate the need to constantly run out to buy more disposable products. These 10 items can stand in for several essential home office products, and they're good for the planet, too.

SYLVANIA LED light bulbs 24 pack

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Image: Amazon

LED light bulbs are by far the most energy efficient option, and this 24-pack of SYLVANIA LED bulbs claims to save users up to 85% on their energy bills. These also last around 11,000 hours per bulb, so you've got years and years of light, and green energy savings, in this package.

$22 at Amazon

Reusable K-Cup

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Image: Keurig

If you're hooked on single serving coffee pods, you should know that the convenience of a Keurig comes with a lot of environmental concerns. Working from home means drinking more coffee, and if you have a Keurig, you should definitely invest in a reusable K-Cup to cut down on waste.

$15 at Keurig

BigBlue 28W solar charger

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Image: Amazon

While primarily meant for travel, a portable solar panel can be a great way to top off your phone or other peripherals without paying the power company to do so. This particular one comes with three USB ports, so you can even charge multiple devices at once. There's also rivets so it can be hung from a window with suction cups for optimal sun exposure. 

$72 at Amazon

Nest learning Thermostat

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Image: Google

The Nest thermostat is able to learn your habits to maximize energy savings, and it can also monitor HVAC systems to catch problems before you lose heat or AC and have to spend more money for a costly repair.

$249 at Google

Kasa Smart Plug 4 pack

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Image: Amazon

These wall plugs turn any home outlet into a smart, internet-connected power source that can be turned on and off with Alexa or Google Assistant, scheduled to turn on or cut power at certain times of day, and switch devices on or off when out of the house. Scheduling and remote power control can be big cost savers.

$27 at Amazon

Bits Limited LCG-3MRV smart power strip

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Image: Amazon

This 10-outlet surge protector comes with a neat feature that can dramatically cut down on power use: Six of the outlets are only active when a device is connected to and drawing power from a control outlet. Connect your computer to the control outlet, and attach a bunch of peripherals and office equipment to the six green outlets, and they shut down at the end of the workday to save money and energy.

$40 at Amazon

mcSquares Stickies Dry-Erase Sticky Notes

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Image: Amazon

Ditch your sticky notes in favor of these dry erase ones, and you'll save a lot of money on wasted paper. This pack of six 4"x4" notes uses microsuction technology to stick to any shiny surface and can be wiped clean, stuck to its fellows, and reused again and again. Different sizes and quantities are available. 

$20 at Amazon

Auspen refillable dry erase markers

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Image: Auspen

These refillable dry erase markers go great with the above dry erase sticky notes, creating a low-waste pairing that can keep you working without worrying about pitching paper or non-recyclable markers. A $6.95 refill bottle can refill a single marker around 80 times, too.

$15 at Auspen

Nakabayashi manual paper shredder

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Image: Amazon

Shredding paper is a basic part of work, but there's no reason to buy a shredder that eats electricity along with paper. This hand-cranked shredder can handle paper up to A4/letter size, as well as CDs and credit cards.

$35 at Amazon

Tipsun USB rechargeable AA batteries

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Image: Amazon

Available in four packs of AA and AAA, these rechargeable batteries need no dock: Just pop open the positive side of the battery, plug it in to a USB port, and carry on. Per the manufacturer, these batteries can be recharged more than 1,000 times and can fully recharge in about an hour. 

$17 at Amazon

Editor's note: We updated the information about mcSquares Stickies Dry-Erase Sticky Notes, which are not magnetic--they stick using microsuction on shiny surfaces.