Business Class: 20 Products That Will Upgrade Any Home Office

iStock
iStock

Working from home doesn't mean you have to skimp on the quality of your office environment. Here are 20 products that will work overtime for you.

1. SUSHI PUSHPINS; $16

Fred Sushi Pushpins
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Instead of putting your pushpins in a small tin or mug, why not place them in a clever sushi roll-shaped holder? This novelty set comes with 50 pushpins that are stored on top of a cushion that resembles a bed of sushi rice wrapped in seaweed.

Find It: Amazon

2. BAMBOO JARS; $20

Bamboo Jar
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Each of these eco-friendly storage sets includes three small 6-ounce jars made out of bamboo, which adds both durability and style. Jars feature a swivel lid that securely closes with magnets—perfect for storing all of your home office needs, like paper clips, rubber bands, or pens and pencils.

Find It: Amazon

3. OTTOMAN; $25

Foldable Tufted Storage Ottoman
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: This non-woven polyester ottoman can be used as a footrest, extra seating (it supports up to 400 pounds) or storage. With the lid off, it can serve as space for charging cables, power strips, or extra reams of printer paper.

Find It: Amazon

4. ANTI-FATIGUE COMFORT MAT; $32

Royal Anti-Fatigue Comfort Mat
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: If you use a standing desk in your home office, then this non-slip anti-fatigue mat is the best solution for comfort and support. By standing on it, you'll  take pressure off your joints and lower back, according to the company, so you can work better without dealing with the wear-and-tear of standing up all day.

Find It: Amazon

5. POL MAKE BOXES; $10

MUJI PP Make Box
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Muji storage boxes are stackable—saving space on your desk—and also translucent, meaning you can keep track of what's inside at a glance.

Find It: Amazon

6. LONG LIST MAGNETIC NOTEPAD; $5

Long List Magnetic Notepad
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Keep track of your daily tasks in style with this 100-page "long list" notepad that features a magnetic back.

Find It: Amazon

7. KODAK POCKET PORTABLE PROJECTOR; $200

Kodak Ultra Mini Portable Projector
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Want to up your meeting game? This portable pocket projector (it's small enough to fit in your back pocket) from Kodak turns any smartphone or laptop display into an 80-inch high-definition digital projection. Just connect your device to the projector via HDMI and you’ll be the king or queen of the boardroom.

Find It: Amazon

8. FILE CABINET; $71

File Cabinet
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Every home office needs a file cabinet to keep important papers under lock and key. This simple, but secure cabinet from Lorell is compact with two drawers that are made of sturdy steel. It’s also small enough to keep under a desk—and out of the way.

Find It: Amazon

9. UNI PROMARK VIEW HIGHLIGHTER; $8

Uni Promark View Highlighter
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Mark up documents without bleeding through the paper. Available in five bright colors (pink, orange, yellow, blue, and green), these highlighters also feature a small transparent window near the tip so you can make sure you're emphasizing the right points.

Find It: Amazon

10. DESK COLLECTION; $26

Poppin All Set Desk Collection Set
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Each of these desk sets includes six ballpoint pens, a pen cup, a stapler with staples, a tape dispenser with a roll of transparent tape, and more. The bright orange shade ensures you’ll never lose it beneath desk clutter.

Find It: Amazon

11. BUNNY DESK ORGANIZER; $33

Bunny Scissors and Paper Clip Holders
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Never “fur-get” where you placed your office supplies with this desk organizer shaped like a small bunny. Its ears double as scissors, and its carrot sprout serves as a paperclip holder.

Find It: Amazon

12. DESK LAMP; $49

Ikea Ranarp Work Lamp
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Shed some light on your workspace with this sleek desk lamp from IKEA, which features an adjustable arm and head.

Find It: Amazon

13. CABLEBOX; $30

Bluelounge CableBox
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Never have time to tackle that jumbled mess of cables from computers, modems, and device chargers? Stash the mess in a CableBox, which keeps a tight lid on all your power strips and other cords without requiring you to constantly detangle them.

Find It: Amazon

14. LAPTOP STAND; $40

Rain Design mStand Laptop Stand
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Instead of hunching over your desk, keep your laptop at eye level with the help of this all-aluminum stand. It fits most Apple and PC laptop models and even features a nook underneath to stow your keyboard and mouse when not in use.

Find It: Amazon

15. MONITOR STAND; $99

AmazonBasics Premium Single Monitor Stand
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: If you want to eliminate neck and back strain, as well as clutter from your busy desk, then this adjustable monitor stand is for you. This easy-to-install stand can raise your computer monitor up to 10 inches above your desk surface and also allows you to rotate your screen to either landscape or portrait mode. The solid aluminum design is strong enough to support monitors up to 25 pounds and 32 inches wide.

Find It: Amazon

16. SAFE; $47

safe box
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Keep all your important papers, photos, USB flash drives, digital media, and external hard drives secure. This safe can hold up to 0.39 cubic feet of valuable materials under lock and key and is both fire-resistant (for up to 30 minutes) and waterproof.

Find It: Amazon

17. PAPER SHREDDER; $35

paper shredder
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Guard against identity theft with this paper shredder, which is quick enough to shred eight pages in seconds and strong enough to destroy credit cards with ease. Now, you can dispose of important documents without worry.

Find It: Amazon

18. LABEL MAKER; $25

label maker
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: Personalize your home office with this easy-to-use label maker from Brother. Battery-powered or chargeable via a wall outlet, this device can hold up to 30 labels at a time. It also features keys with 14 fonts, 10 styles, 97 frames, and more than 600 symbols to make labels for every occasion.

Find It: Amazon

19. BULLET PEN; $15

Fisher Space Pen Raw Brass Bullet Pen
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: This “bullet” space pen is made of raw unfinished brass that’s adaptable for writing in almost any environment, including underwater, upside down, in extreme cold or heat, and even in outer space. So if you ever find yourself in zero gravity, this ballpoint pen will also never let you down!

Find It: Amazon

20. MESH WASTEBASKET; $12

Mesh Wastebasket
Amazon

Why You'll Want It: This waste-paper basket is made of solid steel wire mesh and can hold up to 4.5 gallons of waste before it needs to be emptied.

Find It: Amazon

These Modern, Minimalist Cremation Urns Double as Planters

C.C. Boyce
C.C. Boyce

Cremation is becoming an increasingly common end-of-life plan, but many have lamented the lack of options when selecting an urn to store their loved one's ashes. Many of these vessels take the form of drab-looking vases that, for some people, serve as reminders of a painful event.

That’s why C.C. Boyce stepped in. The Los Angeles-based designer and woodworker created a collection of “planturns”—urns that double as planters—to fill a gap in the market.

“A while back a friend’s father passed away and they couldn’t find a cremation urn that they liked, so they asked me to make something, and I did, thinking this would just be a one-off custom job,” Boyce said in a video uploaded to Kickstarter. “But when I posted the final product to Instagram, I was flooded with messages from people all across the death care industry—people who took care of pets as well as people.”

Plant urns
C.C. Boyce

Some wanted an urn with a more modern aesthetic, while others wanted a subtler piece that would effortlessly blend with their household decor. The symbolism of death fusing with new life has not gone unnoticed, either.

Boyce spent a year experimenting with different designs and settled on two styles: one that comes in speckled maple, and another that comes in a two-toned walnut and sycamore. All of the vessels have two parts that attach via magnetic pull, so even if the planturn gets knocked over, the ashes will still be safe and sound.

The bottom part contains a hand-waxed muslin bag to store your loved one’s cremated remains, and the top part features a glass or ceramic holder for your plant of choice, whether it’s a succulent or air plant.

They come in three sizes, which will vary in accordance with the amount of ashes you want to store. A small planturn is suitable for small pets, while a large can hold the ashes of a person. Get it on Kickstarter for $225 to $500, depending on the size.

Celebrate Earth Day With 7 Eco-Friendly Fashion Options That Won't Pollute the Planet

iStock.com/lolostock
iStock.com/lolostock

Fashion is one of Earth’s most resource-intensive, environment-polluting industries. Manufacturing clothing requires vast quantities of water, international transport, and labor—and after all that, clothes regularly get thrown away after just a few months or years. (In part because recycling fabric into new textiles is very difficult.)

But that doesn’t mean that you need to become a nudist in order to save the Earth. There are plenty of clothing companies that take their environmental impact very seriously, using recycled and organic materials and trying to minimize the carbon footprint of their supply chain and manufacturing process. This Earth Day, take a look at some of the clothing that allows you to feel good about looking good.

1. Ralph Lauren Earth Polo

While it’s easier to find eco-friendly clothing at outdoor and sporting retailers, some mainstream fashion companies are getting in on the trend, too. Ralph Lauren just launched its first polo shirt made of recycled material—the Earth Polo. Available for both men and women in four different colors, the shirts are made with fabric derived from plastic bottles. Though they look nearly identical to the company’s regular styles, each Earth Polo is made from approximately 12 recycled plastic bottles. And to reduce water pollution, the colored fabrics are dyed with a process that requires no water.

Buy it from Ralph Lauren for men and women for $90.

2. Madewell Second Wave Swimwear

Madewell launched its first sustainable swimwear line in February 2019, meaning that you can feel a little less guilty about ocean trash while frolicking at the beach. Made from recycled plastic bottles, Second Wave swimsuits are available in two-piece or one-piece designs in a variety of colors and patterns. According to the company, the one-piece suits incorporate material from eight used plastic bottles, while its separates are each made from two plastic bottles. (In other words, if you want to save the environment, cover up!) We like the simplicity of this $80 red one-piece suit, but there are plenty of options to choose from starting at $45 per piece. Sizes run from XX small to 3X.

Buy it at Madewell for $45 and up.

3. PrAna Shirts

The California-based clothing company prAna is all about sustainability, from its materials to its manufacturing to the composting program at its headquarters. It makes pieces with organic and recycled materials and participates in fair trade and bluesign certification. You can filter items in its online store based on whether it’s made with recycled content, and there’s a lot to choose from, whether you’re looking for something to wear to the office, the beach, or yoga class. The Iselle t-shirt line for women is made with 92 percent recycled polyester and 8 percent hemp (which requires fewer pesticides and less water to produce than cotton), and comes in short-sleeve (left), long-sleeve, and tank designs. For men, the Transverse line of shirts is made with 95 percent recycled polyester and 5 percent hemp. There are also dressier options—the Merger button-down shirts (right) are made with 44 percent recycled polyester, 53 percent hemp, and 3 percent spandex.

Buy it from prAna.

4. Patagonia Stretch Rainshadow Jacket

A navy blue Patagonia jacket
Patagonia, Backcountry.com

Patagonia’s Rainshadow jackets are designed to keep you dry but cool during summer showers or while you’re working hard. The latest version of the design—which is fully waterproof but still breathable—is made with ECONYL, a recycled nylon made from discarded materials like abandoned fishing nets. ECONYL’s manufacturer estimates that the material reduces the climate change-related impact of nylon by up to 80 percent compared to new construction made from oil.

Buy it from Backcountry.com for men and women for $200.

5. Mammut Convey Recycled Down Jacket

Down-filled jackets are a reliable way to stay toasty during the cold months, but you may worry about the impact your outdoor adventures have on the ducks and geese that serve as the source for your jacket’s filling. Many outdoor retailers are switching to recycled down, which repurposes down from used bedding, cushions, and other items that would otherwise end up in the landfill. Mammut’s Convey is one of the best puffy jackets for cold weather, according to Popular Mechanics, and its 700 fill down comes from recycled sources.

Buy it from Mammut for men and women for $200.

6. Decathlon Fleece

Decathlon, a French mega-retailer that’s essentially the IKEA of sporting goods, makes a number of jackets, shirts, and pants using recycled polyester and other eco-friendly materials. (It’s also dedicated to reducing any unnecessary packaging.) The company just launched its first U.S. store in the Bay Area, and is rolling out its online store nationwide. If you’re looking for gear made with recycled materials, head to the fleece department—it its lightweight Forclaz 50 fleece jackets are made with 100 percent recycled polyester. The company also manufactures plenty of warm-weather gear with recycled materials, too, like its TREK 500 t-shirts (available for men and women) and flip-flops, all made with a majority, if not 100 percent, recycled materials. Oh, and did we mention that everything is dirt cheap?

Buy Forclaz 50 fleece jackets from Decathlon for both men and women for $5.

7. Pacsafe ECONYL Backpack

Recycled fabric isn’t just for clothing. A number of retailers also use sustainable textiles to make accessories. Pacsafe, which makes secure bags designed to keep your stuff from getting snatched while you’re traveling, makes a line of anti-theft bags designed with ECONYL regenerated nylon. The carry-on backpack has all the same security features as the company’s other products—cut-resistant straps and fabric, locking clips and zippers, and more—but it’s made with recycled materials. And all the profits from the line go to the Turtle Fund, the company’s conservation effort aimed at helping endangered sea turtles.

Buy it from Pacsafe for $130.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER