Remote work is far from perfect, although it was a big help when a pandemic took over the world. Today we’re going to talk about the environmental impact (like emissions) working from home has and how you may be able to minimize them in your work life.
Let’s look at the positive environmental impacts first.
Fuel Demands and Emissions Lowered
Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These emissions increased 3.7% between 1990 and 2019, and in 2019, 142.71 billion gallons of gas was burned. That’s an average of 390.98 million gallons of gas per day.
Working from home obviously cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions because fewer people are driving to work and they are staying at home instead. If 3.9 million people all working from home just half of the time, it would take 600,000 cars off the road for a year. When Xerox implemented a telework strategy in 2015, it cut back 41,000 metric tons of emissions and saved 4.6 million gallons of gas.
When employees work remotely, it also helps the business cut down on waste because they can cut back on lighting and climate control efforts.
Fewer emissions obviously will lead to cleaner air and less air pollution. In a study during the pandemic from London, it was found that emissions reduced 25 percent in the morning and 34 percent in the evening.
Less emissions can lead to decreased amounts of acid rain, can contribute to the growth of algae decreasing, and can help our own health.
Were you aware that most Americans use an average of 680 pounds of paper a year? The world also produces 300 million tons of plastic in a year. Working remotely limits the amount of paper and plastic used within the work space by offering paperless solutions and other alternatives.
Now, let’s take a look at the negative impacts on the environment that working from home have created.
The Negative Effects
While businesses can reduce their energy use, it has been found that energy used in one office is less than the energy used at home by every single employee. If everyone is together, they are using one source of energy, not their own heat and electricity at home. In this sense, it may make the energy issue counter productive.
How Can You Improve?
You can first start by making your home more energy efficient. This can be done in many ways and can make a huge difference. You can also cut down on your electricity use where you can and use eco-friendly options and recycle.
Do you have any ideas about how your office can become more eco friendly? Let us know in the comments! MyTek is here to help.