Welcome to my 'Working from Home and the Environment' post!
First of all, I must congratulate you for taking the time to do your research on this topic of green living. Working from home is the business design of the future. Many business are now looking into this sustainable business model. Teleworking has many benefits for the employee and the business owner. But did you know it also has a list of benefits for the environment?
Remote working reduces air pollution, greenhouse gases, conserves our natural resources, and promotes sustainable living. Here you will learn a list of environmental benefits of remote working which will enable us to have a sustainable future.
As a qualified teacher, I am passionate about education and the impact it can have on bettering our future. It is down to us individuals to do our research and make small changes to the way we live our lives.
These small changes are easy to make and can have a big impact on our health, the health of our family and our environment. This website is designed for everyday people looking to make these changes. Here you will learn a legitimate way to go green.
Let me be completely transparent with you, I am not here to pitch or sell anything to you. I am here to reveal and to assist you on your journey of going green!
Sustainable Business Model...
The industrial revolution changed the way we live our lives and how we earn a living. It provided business opportunities within cites so people who had been living off the land stopped working the fields and took up the nine to five culture. This was an appropriate business model for this time.
However, this business model is damaging to the environment. We now have the technology for a sustainable business model. The internet, communication, and online innovations have made remote working a popular choice for employees and their employers. There is a work from home revolution taking place.
When you first decide to start telecommuting, you often don't think about how working away from your work environment can reduce our impact on the planet and support the health of our planet. Working online can be very environmentally friendly as it uses less of the planet's natural resources, reduces pollution, climate change, and waste disposal.
Say Good-bye to Commuting...
Some people are fortunate enough to be able to walk, jog, or ride a bike to work every day. However, this is not an option for all of us. If you are already environmentally conscious, you may already have a greener transport solution such as car-sharing or using public methods of transport instead of driving. But for some of us, neither of these options is possible due to our work circumstances or physical abilities.
I have always enjoyed living in the country but most of the jobs are in the city. This is meant I have had to endure a commute in and out of the city each day. As a result, commuting to work was a daily chore that has huge impacts on my health and the health of the environment. It is stressful and exposes us to pollutants in the air.
On average, Americans spend 45 minutes commuting to work and back again at the end of the day. One of the most common exposures of air pollution is road vehicle emissions and the concentrations of these pollutants are particularly high in areas where there are lots of traffic. As a result, commuters face unavoidable exposure and this is especially bad when commuting during rush hour.
Several of the gases released into the atmosphere by vehicles contribute to air pollution are some are greenhouse gases. These gases are contributing to global warming. Greenhouse gases were involved in creating the current climate on Venus; inhabitable. Scientists all over the world believe that if we continue today's transportation culture, the temperature of the world will increase to a rate where we will no longer be able to slow it down.
Deciding to work from home has resulted in no commute. I have more time and produce far fewer carbon emissions than I ever have. This has greatly reduced my carbon footprint.
Reduce Air Pollution & Global Warming...
Commuting to work by a vehicle every day means burning gas and polluting the air we breathe. Transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions in the USA. Personal vehicles are often the single greatest polluter because many people drive vehicles designed to carry 5 people. These carbon emissions from millions of vehicles quickly add up, especially when we sit in traffic.
This is dangerous to our health and the health of the planet as it creates air pollution, greenhouse gases, and global warming. National Geographic say Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and a pollutant. Plants and animals release carbon dioxide naturally as they live and breathe. However, it is a human activity, such as transportation, that has caused the levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere to increase dramatically over the last century.
Remote working reduces your need to commute and as a result, less carbon dioxide is released into the environment. This reduction in pollution is going to reduce global warming. You may be thinking that one person isn't going to make a difference. I ask you to stop. Right. There. We have to look at the bigger picture. The more people that start teleworking, the bigger the impact we will have on a global scale.
I am currently considering selling my car. I only use it when going on long-distance drives, which is rare. My store is local and my partner has a vehicle. We both work remotely and don't need two vehicles.
Conserve our Natural Resources...
Gasoline comes from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are one of the planet's non-renewable natural resources. They take a long time to produce and replace, millions of years. It takes so long that it is easier to view them as impossible to replace. Telework reduces our need to use this precious natural resource.
By their very nature, office spaces and work environments use up natural resources. A typical office contains equipment that many home environments don't need or already have. Let s take a look at the design of a normal office. Most offices are made up of cubicles where the original large space is turned into small spaces using cubicle walls. These walls are made from wood particles, glue, and petroleum fiber. Petroleum is made from fossil fuels.
Green alternatives, that are made from renewable sources are more expensive. Many office spaces are built on a budget and paying extra for equipment is not an option. The same goes for furniture such as office chairs, desks, conference tables, etc. Many people already have office spaces at their home and if they don't have an office they usually have space where they could work, e.g. a table.
By working remotely we can use the spaces we already have and reduce the need for building more office spaces, which results in the consumption of resources. If there is less demand for office equipment, there will be less manufactured from the limited resources we have.
Create Less Waste...
Not only do office spaces use up natural resources, but they also create lots of unnecessary waste. We can look at this from the perspective of the equipment that is used to create office spaces but also from the perspective of day to day waste.
All waste needs disposing of. All the office furniture needed to create the office will get used, worn and at some point, it will need replacing. Unfortunately, we live in an era where presentation is more important to use than preserving the planet's natural resources. People dispose of perfectly working pieces of equipment, the minute they get a scratch.
Sadly lots of office furniture and equipment end up in a landfill. This includes lots of electrical equipment such as printers, copiers, computers, projectors, tablets, and other devices that are made from harmful elements. Some of these toxins include lithium, lead, and bromine. When they are disposed into landfills, they break down into our environment.
With the work from home business model, companies restrict how much toxic waste they produce. This also saves them money because they won't need to buy a lot of electronic equipment in the first place. Most people already have these gadgets in their homes, not being used when they are at work.
Often offices encourage frequent paper waste. How many people have spent time on a document, printed it, and then been told its needs editing slightly? This document is likely to wind up in the trash. The employee will make amendments to the document and keep printing off copies until it is finalized. Some work environments encourage paper recycling and this is a great start. However, colored ink contains toxins.
When this paper is composted, these toxins release into our environment. If you want to reduce paper waste, I would recommend stopping color printing. If this is not possible, reduce color printing only to the times when needed. Have a box for black and white printing and a box for colored printing. This is only effective if the place where you recycle separates the two.
When you work from home, you are more likely to send documents to your colleagues via email. Feedback is given and documents are updated and finalized without even touching a piece of paper. This stops millions of trees ending up in files, archives, and landfill each year. This also demonstrates how working from home promotes forest conservation.
Use Less Energy...
Maintaining the environment of an office building uses a lot of energy. Employees need power so that they can see what they are doing and use the equipment. In the cold weather, employers need to ensure that it is warm enough inside so that employees are comfortable and in the hot weather you need to ensure that it is cool enough inside.
Much of this demand for energy is met by the power produced in power plants, by the burning of nonrenewable fuels such as coal or oil. It is expensive a seems wasteful. Especially when most employees are already managing their home environment to make it comfortable for them, their family, and their pets.
Many companies are now considering what they could do with the money they save by encouraging their employees to work from home. This money that employees save could be used for a variety of different things, e.g. the growth or development of the company, or increase the salaries of their employees.
Working from Home and the Environment: The Final Verdict!
This sustainable business model is how we will be working in the future. Some industries will find it quicker and easier to adopt this model than others. Using this model for your business means you are keeping up with the changing times which will likely affect your future success.
If you have questions, please feel free to drop them below. I look forward to hearing from you.