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How to Create a Zero Waste Home Office

4 minute read, by Closet America, on May 19, 2021

Zero degrees. Zero down, and zero calories. We hear these words often in today’s world, and often the amount of attention they deserve is exactly that—zero. But what about zero-waste? Is it just another buzzword, too?


Actually, it’s much more than that. A zero-waste strategy is an action-based plan for ensuring your habits and fundamental custom design are efficient, economical, and eco-friendly while eliminating waste, unnecessary materials, and expenditures. The term “zero-waste” refers to the ultimate goal of this strategy: creating a lifestyle in which zero material goes to waste. Impossible? Maybe, but as Norman Vincent Peale once advised, “Shoot for the moon. If you miss it, you will still land among the stars.” Maybe you’ll never go full zero-waste, but by trying, you will certainly waste a lot less.


If you’re ready to try, but not sure where to start, consider beginning with a zero-waste home office. Minimizing paper waste, optimizing energy usage, and recycling old technology can be an excellent first step!

Tips for Creating a Zero-Waste Home Office

There are numerous habits and activities that enable you to put your zero-waste home office goals together. First, evaluate the following tips and determine what makes sense for your home. And remember, a goal is only a wish unless it’s put into action.

Adopting Zero-Waste Habits and Activities

Your zero-waste goals should become your action items. Review the following habits, activities, and ideas to decide the best next steps. Following a few (or all!) of these tips will help you create the ideal zero-waste home office (or something very close to it!):


  • Strive for a simple design. A simple, manageable design can help you with keeping your space free of excess materials and unnecessary waste.
  • Cut down waste and declutter your home office by: 
    • Purging unnecessary items from your home office, including whatever you’ve got stored away in your desk, shelves, and cabinetry, such as excess office supplies, materials, and duplicate items.
    • Reducing your garbage output by developing a low-consumption lifestyle. Do just as they taught in school when you were a kid: reduce, reuse, and recycle!
    • Eliminating unnecessary purchases. Buying less means spending less and becoming more efficient and economical. It also means less stuff you’ll have to get rid of later on when it’s used up or worn out.
    • Removing your name from direct mail, credit card, and junk mail lists so that less snail mail is landing and piling up on your desk. This saves both trees and time.
    • Clearing your desk at the end of each day to help eliminate waste and recycle items like batteries, newspapers, magazines, cardboard, and more.
  • Simplify your cleaning supplies. Seek out eco-friendly solutions that you can stow away in your home office custom closet or cabinetry. This could mean:
    • Disposing of any dangerous chemicals and cleansing agents that negatively affect the environment. (Be sure to take care to do this right, or you’ll wind up doing more harm than good! Sometimes this simply means using up what you have, then buying something more environmentally friendly when you run out.)
    • Buying the basics for a zero-waste cleaning kit, such as eco-friendly disinfectant sprays, non-toxic furniture and glass cleaners, and multipurpose cleaners, along with natural hand sanitizing solutions and cotton “unpaper” towels.
  • Go paper-free and recycle. Nowadays everything is digital, so it’s easier than ever to go paper-free!
    • Why not use recycled paper and recycled print cartridges for moments when it’s necessary to print?
    • Recycle paper and plastics coming in and out of your home whenever possible.
    • Transfer your documents to digital programs like DropBox and Google docs for paperless editing, storage, and sharing.

The next step after evaluating and determining the habits and activities you wish to practice will be to custom design a zero-waste home office that’s tailored to support your new lifestyle.

Determining a Creative Custom Design for Your Home Office

A creative custom design will enable you to further fine-tune your plan for a zero-waste home office while incorporating solid and creative custom home office design tips and techniques. Here are some tips to help you get started:

    • Establish proper organization with a custom desk designed in a way that fits your work style and flow. Put the right systems in place like:
      • A custom-designed desk that will include the space you need for your typical work activities.
      • An ergonomic chair for maximizing comfort.
      • Your laptop computer and equipment. Keep in mind that using a laptop instead of a traditional desktop computer significantly saves on energy, using up to 80% less electricity.
    • Consider your home office arrangement ideas and design space with room for:
      • Built-in custom cabinetry to house your business materials and environmentally-safe cleaning materials in a space-friendly way. Include chrome bins inside to organize and keep office supplies tidy, or incorporate slide-out drawers for writing supplies such as pens and biodegradable pencils.
      • A recycle bin that will help remind you to always recycle your paper and plastics.
  • Incorporate eco-friendly and energy-efficient lighting such as LED lights in your home office, as well as in your closet and built-in cabinetry.
  • Create a zero-waste custom closet design. Whether you have a reach-in or walk-in closet, you can custom design the closet to maximize the space and create a zero-waste environment by:
  • Incorporating a built-in laundry hamper for business clothing that can be tucked away out of sight.
  • Using adjustable shelving for housing your office, health, and fitness supplies, as well as your organic office snacks. Adjustable shelving with metal tabs lock shelves into place; however, they can be altered to fit the precise closet measurement and dimensions as needed.


A remodeling project is always a cause for excitement, but it’s doubly true when you know the changes you’re making now will help support an important long-term goal you’ve been considering for some time. This particular project will take some careful consideration and design work, but luckily, you don’t have to do it all alone…

Implementing a Home Office with Zero Waste

Zero-waste home office initiatives contribute to the overall good of our world with eco-friendly, efficient, and creative custom design solutions making life simpler, safer, and more efficient for the future.

Zero-waste is all about minimizing the unnecessary. Why not reduce unnecessary stress and effort during the process of creating this new lifestyle by relying on expert designers for support? The right custom designer and manufacturer can take care of all of the heavy lifting for you, from turning your ideas into an effective and efficient plan of action, to manufacturing products to your specifications and even installing them for you.

If you’d like support with creating a home office with zero-waste, look no further than Closet America. Contact us—or, feel to schedule a free design consultation today to take your first step towards a brighter, environmentally friendlier life.


Image 1, desk: Pixabay

Closet America was able to work with my unique circumstances in order to give me the best use of my space.

Amy B.,
Fairfax Station, VA

Let’s Start Your Project

Whether you’re interested in a custom-designed closet, office, pantry, or garage, starting your project couldn’t be easier. Just fill out the attached form or give us a call to schedule your free in-home design consultation. You can download our brochure and you’re welcome to visit our Landover Maryland showroom, to see how beautiful our custom-designed organization systems look in person. We want you to experience the Closet America difference and see how we build organizing solutions for life.