The current work from the home situation has given us independence, flexibility, and overall work-life balance, but there are several other environmental benefits that we are contributing.
World Environment Day is coming up on the 5th of June. On this occasion, we thought of looking at a few reasons as a reminder of how each one of us is contributing to improving the health of our planet.
1) Reduced power and energy consumption: Though commercial properties are becoming more energy-efficient, they still use large amounts of energy for heating, cooling, and lighting. Working from home saves energy and spends that are associated with running systems such as air conditioning, automatic lights, and other appliances and office equipment.
In the US alone, large office buildings (those with more than 100,000 square feet) use an average of 20 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and 24 cubic feet of natural gas per square foot annually.
In the UK, on average, a small business uses between 15,000 and 25,000 kWh of electricity per year, while a medium business uses between 30,000 kWh and 50,000 kWh.
Imagine, how much energy is getting saved with the current work from home setup!
2) Reduced fuel consumption: According to The International Energy Agency, June 2020 report:
'By analysing commuter trends and labour market data, we found that if everybody able to work from home worldwide were to do so for just one day a week, it would save around 1% of global oil consumption for road passenger transport per year.'
Not just reduced fuel consumption, because of lesser congestion and traffic on the road, there is a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions too.
You may ask why that is important?
In 2018, 28.2% of greenhouse gas emissions came from the transportation sector alone.
3) Saving the air from polluting: Lesser carbon emissions from public and private transport means improved quality of the air we breathe in.
Take, for instance, the city of Bengaluru in India, which is known to be one of the worst traffic-congested cities in the world, saw a drop of air pollution by 28% during the coronavirus countrywide lockdown.
4) Saving time and money by avoiding daily commute: At an individual level, one of the major benefits is saving to and fro commute time and cost every day. On average Indian professionals stay 45 minutes away from their workplace, i.e spend 1.5 hours every day to reach the office. With work from home, professionals are saving (1.5 x 5) = 7.5 hours every week; that is 1980 hours every year.
An average Indian spends about Rs 3,000-5,000 per month on office commute alone, which is a direct annual savings of Rs 60,000- Rs. 1,00,000. That is quite a saving, isn’t it?
5) Reduced single-use waste and office supplies: According to a recent report by Roadrunner, an average office worker uses roughly 10,000 sheets of copy paper per year. Nearly half of all printed documents are thrown away within 24 hours, and 30% are never picked up from the printer at all.
Coming to the use of single-use materials, each year, the average office worker uses 500 coffee cups, all of which are sent to landfills. Not to forget the number of plastic food containers, tissue rolls and other such materials that are consumed every year.
Working from home has put a check on that!
6) Healthier you, healthier environment: Eating home-cooked food is probably one of the most overlooked reasons listed, but we all know the benefits.
Not only is it good from a health perspective, but home-cooked food is eco-friendly too. Food that is processed, packaged, and transported requires a lot more energy and generates a lot more waste.
Moreover, food cooked in restaurant setup is cooked in bulk batches and several times unsold items are thrown away as leftover waste.
Did you know that RecycloBin Smart Waste Compactor bins help reduce 63% of CO2 emissions and fuel savings by 75%?
That is about 1023 tonnes of CO2 emissions saved in a year.