Protect the Environment while Home Working; Six Simple Tips
As we all adjust to the Covid-19 lockdown, isolation and home working, I’m reading a lot of posts about protecting our mental health. Whilst working from home, take this opportunity to consider the environment as you adjust to the new way of working.
These five top tips will give you some ideas about how to minimise your environmental impacts. If you are feeling a bit stressed, it’s easy to think you don’t have to deal with issues around climate change right now. However, the environmental challenges have not gone away, just because they are no longer top of the news agenda.
Now is an ideal time to develop some new behaviours. When everyone returns to normal, it will be a different normal, so start thinking about what that could look like and give these five top tips a go.
1. Switch off – lights, chargers, computers, TVs, printers, other devices.
When you’re not using anything electrical, you can save both energy and money by switching off.
An interview with Tonik green energy providers revealed that the ‘phantom energy’ of leaving unused chargers switched on can cost as much as £80/year. That becomes a significant addition to your bills.
Leaving your computer booted up (and even in hibernate mode) enables access by hackers, so switching off protects your security as well as the planet.
2. Heat only the rooms you are using
There is some debate around turning off completely in unused rooms or controlling with thermostats, but the consensus is to be pro-active about heating the rooms you are using. Either way, be mindful that you’re currently in your home a lot more than usual and there’s no need to keep every room as warm as the one you are working in – additionally this will help control your energy bills during this financially challenging period.
3. Use resources wisely
With cloud based document storage and pretty much everyone working remotely, you can keep printing to a minimum. If you have to print, go double sided to save paper. Start developing better habits now, which can be continued into the future.
4. Food – and Foodwaste
Supermarket shelves are depleted and we must use the provisions in our kitchen cupboards with care.
A third of all food produced is wasted, accounting for 8-10% of global carbon emissions. Wow! In the UK, 69% of that foodwaste occurs at home.
Cook what you plan to eat and plate up the amount everyone wants, not extra. Use leftovers from dinner for next day lunches. This is a fantastic opportunity to create new behaviours which will lead to less foodwaste for the long term.
Get into the habit – or keep up the good things you do – around recycling. Seach your local authority online to confirm what can and can’t be recycled in your area.
Right now, it may not be clear whether recycling is continuing for the moment. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to maintain good behaviours, so they are in place and don’t have to be re-learned when normality returns.
6. Learn how to use technology
I’ll admit it – I find using new tech challenging. Co-incidentally, before the coronavirus crisis set in, I set one of my 2020 goals to be more digitally savvy. Now everyone has to learn how to host and attend online meetings or become isolated.
This is a new way of carrying out business. Of course, we will all be socialising and networking again and it’ll be great. But let’s think about rolling our new skills forward for the future and maintaining a high level of meeting by Zoom/Skype or other provider. By doing so, we will avoid travel miles, save costs and have more productive time in the working day.
Some people are saying the earth is sick, that we have made the earth sick, that this crisis is a wake-up call. Together, let’s make the most of this dreadful interlude to change our behaviours, taking into account the health of the planet, our provider.
If you would like to review your working practices and develop an environmental approach, please call me or email me. I’m offering online half price online consulting during the whole of the lockdown.
I wish you, your families and friends the best of physical, mental and business health,