From flexibility to increased productivity, the benefits of working from home are evident. However, did you know that by working from home you are not only increasing your personal benefits but also contributing to sustainable efforts? From reducing your need to commute to decreasing your plastic use by not eating out, working from home supports global sustainability efforts. If everyone who wanted to work from home could, even half the time, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions would be equivalent to eliminating the commutes of workers in the entire New York State, according to Global Workplace Analytics. So, congrats to you!
By working with CrowdSurf, you are already taking steps to help our environment. However, how can we take these existing efforts and eco-friendly benefits even further? Energy consumption, carbon emissions, and plastic waste are inevitable whether you are at home or a high-efficiency office, but follow these suggestions to decrease your environmental impact.
Reducing Energy Use
Clock hitting one pm? Take advantage of that natural light! Instead of automatically switching on the light when you walk in the room, train yourself to evaluate whether it is necessary. Employees typically treat energy use differently in a communal office space rather than their home offices. In a home office, you have more control and personal responsibility for your energy use. By being financially responsible for how many lights you turn on or how many outlets you use, there is more motivation to utilize natural resources for necessities such as light and heat. Additionally, natural sunlight, rather than LED or fluorescent lights, has health benefits as well. Natural light helps ward off seasonal depression, increases your exposure to Vitamin D, and improves sleep. Open those shades!
When it comes to climate control, we all like to achieve that perfect temperature. However, electricity and heat both require the burning of fossil fuels, the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US. By switching to energy-saving alternatives, such as dressing in more layers, using a fan when necessary, and just grabbing your warmest blanket from the couch, you can decrease your energy use. At home, you have more opportunities to regulate heat to your liking than at a communal office.
Eliminating Plastic and Paper Use
As an employee that works from home, you already contribute to increasing the sustainability efforts in the workplace, especially when it comes to paper and plastic use. An average office employee uses about 10,000 sheets of paper a year, making up 40% of our garbage. By managing your time and working digitally, you are cutting this down immensely. A great next step could be transitioning your weekly calendar or planner to Google calendar or other cloud-based programs so you have access whenever, wherever. In addition to the environmental benefit, moving to digital communication also decreases mailing costs and the need for storage of those pesky files you always manage to lose.
When it comes to plastic use, work-from-home employees have the opportunity to cut single-use plastics all-together. Coffee cups lids, beverage bottles, utensils, food packaging, and plastic bags all contribute to the total amount of plastic used. While not everyone is willing to give up their favorite latte in a to-go cup, making changes such as using your own reusable utensils for take-out is a great start. At-home workers have the convenience of refilling the coffee pot, eating leftovers right out the bowl, and reusing dishware. By just being mindful of your plastic use, you can greatly contribute to global sustainability efforts.
The Obvious: Not Driving!
The simple act of not driving to and from work every day can undoubtedly alleviate the nation’s contributions to overall carbon emissions. Telecommunicators and work-from-home employees decrease their transportation-related carbon emissions by about 69% annually by not traveling. In addition to carbon, driving produces pollutants known to cause respiratory issues such as asthma and environmental effects such as increased ozone concentration, soil and water acidity, and a lack of ecosystem diversity. Reducing the number of cars on the road each day reduces overall air pollution, therefore reducing related environmental and human health impacts. Above all, eliminating the number of hours you spend on the road, not only makes work easier but also greatly contributes to sustainability efforts. By working remotely for CrowdSurf, you eliminate the need for daily commutes, therefore making the greatest eco-friendly choice. Go you!
Working from home means more than comfort and flexibility. In addition, remote employees also contribute to decreasing our environmental impact. While energy use, carbon emissions, and waste use are inevitable, making small switches can decrease this large impact. As an at-home employee, you contribute to eco-friendly efforts daily from decreasing energy use to eliminating daily commutes. Continue to use that reusable silverware and utilize natural light!