For years, large corporations have been doing their part to become more environmentally conscious with their business practices. Now, as many companies send their employees home to perform their job duties remotely, individual workers can do their part to promote sustainability with smart work decisions and energy-efficient office setups.
It is easy to believe that one person cannot make a difference, but by implementing small changes at home, a remote worker can do their part to help our planet thrive. Here are some tips you can implement today to do just that.
You’re Already Helping
You may not realize it yet, but just by transitioning to a remote position, you are already helping the environment. Not driving to and from work promotes a decline in vehicle emissions that improves air quality. By making your coffee at home, you are cutting down on plastic and paper use from disposable cups. When you work from home instead of a large office full of appliances and overhead lighting that is sometimes on 24 hours a day, you are also helping to reduce power consumption.
While your home likely uses less electricity than a large office, there is an argument to be made that if everyone is working from home, the same amount of energy is being used. This is why you need to do your part at home to reduce unnecessary waste and energy usage. Start by turning off electrical devices unless you are using them. Office equipment, including printers, might not need to be turned on at all. Instead, go paperless and send emails.
Since you need to minimize distractions when working at home, you should keep the television and cell phone powered off until the end of your shift to save energy. You’ll want to keep your utilities under control as well. Your thermostat should be kept at 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees during the winter. Doing so will keep you comfortable and avoid excess waste.
A Green Office
Now that you have your own workspace, you need to start thinking about how to do everything you did at the office but in a more sustainable manner. Since you are likely in charge of buying your office supplies, make it a point to look for green products. Choose notebooks and stationery made out of environmentally-friendly materials. Better yet, if you take notes a lot, go for an electric tablet that you can reuse so you don’t waste any paper.
It doesn’t stop there, either. You can also purchase biodegradable pens, bamboo pencil holders, and recycled paper towels, among other exciting products. You can even update your workspace with bamboo office furniture. Bamboo is 40% harder than oak, and it is a renewable resource that is grown in sustainable forests, making it a great option for a desk.
You can save money on lighting costs by moving your desk close to a window and only turning on the lights when it is dark out. Switch out your bulbs for LEDs that will last longer and use less energy. Though you may not realize it, you can probably turn your screen brightness down a bit as well, which can save up to 20% of the monitor’s energy allowing it to last longer.
Move the Office Outdoors
You can also save on lighting costs and utility bills. All by moving your office outdoors during the more mild months. This is a fad as of late. I mean but the benefits speak for themselves. Studies show that working outside in the fresh air can increase productivity. That’s as well as creativity, and positivity.
Setting up an outdoor office is relatively easy. I mean if you have the space. If you can, choose a covered area, so you are protected from the elements. When the temperatures get a little too warm or cold for your liking, try a portable fan or heater. Such appliances will keep you comfortable. However we suggest to use much less electricity. In addition to create a much smaller carbon footprint than the air conditioner. As well as the heater built into your home.
It is also a smart idea to put plants or small trees in the area. In addition to giving you something nice to look at, plants have been known to reduce workplace anxiety, and the act of watering them and helping them thrive will give you a sense of accomplishment. From an environmental standpoint, healthy plants can do wonders for the ecosystem by fighting the threats of soil erosion and the heat island effect that often happens in big cities.
Working remotely from home offers many perks both in the money you will save and the time you can spend with your family when you aren’t commuting back and forth from an office. On top of that, the incredible benefits to our environment can help us to maintain a wonderful planet for years to come.
Author: Noah Rue