The Perks of Working From Home: The Environmental Impact
What comes to mind when you hear the term "remote work"?
Do you imagine someone sitting at home, working away on their laptop with Netflix on in the background? Or maybe someone working from the beach in Fiji?
Many people are now seeking for remote jobs to achieve a better work-life balance, save time and money by skipping the drive into work, or have more freedom to create their own schedule. And hey, I don't blame them! Working remotely is a dream for someone that works a 9-5 office job (#CubicalLife).
However, the one benefit of remote work that many tend to overlook, is the fact that we are actively reducing our carbon footprint without even realizing it!
How? Well, there are a few ways...
We skip the commute!
Working from home, your greatest commute is likely walking from the bedroom to your designated work desk (or couch - whatever you prefer!). That's just a few energy-saving seconds compared to sitting in rush-hour traffic twice a day, 5 days per week.
In fact, driving a car is one of the most air-polluting activities a person can engage in. And yet, every single day, millions of people drive in and out of cities to get to their offices. Imagine the amount of exhaust that's polluting the air we breathe from the countless cars waiting in traffic with you!
Not only that, but you're also actively saving money by spending less on gas and maintenance repairs, and saving yourself valuable travel time. Just think: an hour commute each way, 5 days per week - that's 10 (unpaid) hours every week (or 40 hours per month!) that you're dedicating to simply getting to and from work. Yikes!
We can repeat outfits!
I'll admit - one of my all-time favorite perks of working from home is that I can wear leggings 24/7 and not be judged for wearing the same outfit three days in a row. Working in an office, you're expected to wear different outfits every day of the week, which quickly piles up in your laundry bin, and before you know it, you have to do laundry every weekend.
Just imagine how much energy you'd save by doing laundry every two weeks instead, with a load that only contains leggings, comfy shirts, and the occasional fancy shirt for video meetings (because we still have to look presentable at least 25% of the time!).
We munch at home!
The average worker creates about 4.4 pounds of waste every day! That includes coffee cups, takeout food containers, and plastic cutlery. Working at home, a good portion of that waste is eliminated because we skip the takeout. We're less likely to step outside for a coffee run or go out for lunch when we have all the necessities in our kitchen (including reusable plates and cups). Sure, we'll treat ourselves every once in a while, but regularly making lunch and coffee at home reduces the amount of waste we produce, and saves us money!