There are plenty of benefits to telecommuting: no rush hour traffic, no stale break room coffee, and no pants required, just to name a few. Another significant advantage of the WFH life that you might not have considered is the ability to reduce your carbon footprint.
More people are working from home than ever before. According to NPR, one-third of Americans worked from home as of May 2020, and Global Workplace Analytics predicts that 25 to 30 percent of the workforce will continue working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021. Whether you’re working remotely temporarily or long-term, here are just a few ways to be eco-friendly while working from home.
Unplug your devices when you aren’t using them.
It’s not very practical to unplug the copier or shared printer at a normal office every time you’re done using it. Luckily, it’s a different story when you’re working solo! If you know you won’t be printing, copying, or scanning anything one day, keep the machine unplugged. When you’ve wrapped up work for the day, unplug your computer. Once your devices are fully charged, unplug them and let the battery drain.
Stock up on eco-friendly office supplies.
Now that you’re in charge of day-to-day office supplies, you can choose green items. Look for environmentally-friendly products made from bamboo or recycled materials. When shopping for equipment, look for energy-efficient products, and purchase things refurbished whenever possible. Skip those junky, plastic pens and instead invest in a biodegradable option.
Additionally, you can take your eco-friendly efforts to the next level by investing in gently-used organization solutions like box cabinets and videoconference-worthy bookshelves. After all, staying organized is a key part of streamlining your business — whether most of your assets are online or on paper.
Be sparing with your thermostat.
In a shared office, you probably didn’t get much of a say over the temperature. At home, you get to be in charge — which can be significant from both an environmental and cost savings standpoint. Instead of cranking up your home’s temperature as soon as winter hits, throw on a sweatshirt, grab a blanket, and make yourself a warm drink — warm-up your home office with a space heater, rather than wasting heat in those other empty rooms. When outside temperatures rise, run a fan or strip off some of those layers before blasting the A/C. Keeping the thermostat a few degrees up in the summer and a few degrees down in the winter can save a massive amount of energy.
Rent your office furniture (or buy it secondhand!)
Brand new furniture makes a large carbon footprint in the world.. Reducing all three is as easy as renting! Renting your office furniture through CORT is more than a sustainable option. It also gives you the flexibility to change up your furniture, rugs, décor, storage solutions, and even lighting as your needs and tastes change. If you prefer to purchase, buy secondhand. CORT Furniture Outlets offer high-quality, gently-used desks, chairs, bookshelves, storage, and more.
Embrace natural light.
Say goodbye (and good riddance!) to fluorescent office lighting and hello to the all-natural. One of the easiest sustainability tips for WFH is to keep your hands off the light switch! Set up your desk space near a window, and skip the lamps and overhead lighting in favor of sunlight. If your place gets enough natural light, you won’t have to flip a switch until the sun goes down, reducing your monthly electric bill and your carbon footprint. Plus, natural light is a lot more pleasant!
Make a home-cooked lunch whenever possible.
Those carryout bags, single-use takeout containers, plastic water bottles, and disposable utensils sure are convenient when you’re popping out of the office on your lunch break, but they aren’t exactly eco-friendly. By buying bulk ingredients and preparing home-cooked meals, you can reduce a lot of packaging waste. Prep your meals the night before to save time, or cut down on food waste by eating yesterday’s leftovers.
Go Green and Stay Home!
Turning your home office into a green, energy-saving machine can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be. One of the best ways to be more eco-friendly is to simply own less stuff! By renting office furniture from CORT, you’ll help keep furniture waste out of your local landfill and further increase your day-to-day sustainability.