Why it’s time to go greener…
Having recently watched David Attenborough’s new documentary “A Life on Our Planet” on Netflix, I feel extremely inspired and compelled to try and live a more sustainable life. Before watching his documentary, I had already started making little changes at home to reduce my carbon footprint; buying more plants, getting a wormery for my small garden and changing to energy-saving lightbulbs. However, after watching David’s emotional plea to the world to act now as it may not be too late, it really struck a chord with me that it’s not just big commercial firms that can make the difference, but individually, we can make an impact too. Some may question “What is the point in making changes when we individually make up such a little proportion of the overall global carbon footprint?” But the simplest answer in response to that question is, in fact, when we do actively contribute to lowering the average carbon emissions burned, informing and educating others to do the same, all whilst supporting policy changes and advocating for green businesses, then yes, a single person can make quite the difference.
Especially in today’s climate wherein more and more people are now working remotely instead of going into the office, people are individually using more energy to heat or cool their houses than the energy used by an office building that heats everyone. The energy and bandwidth people use on things like video calls translates to CO2 emissions, meaning that computer and internet usage aren’t without consequences. Moreover, materials and transportation to ship supplies or equipment to remote workers burn environmental resources, along with a host of other negative impacts. So, although there are many positive impacts highlighted in the media about remote working such as reduced commuting saving on gas and electricity, less paper used, etc., it is important to realise that we are still creating a footprint and so we ought to make it as green as possible!
Therefore, I thought I’d share some of the tips I have researched and found along the way that I now do/use myself and hope that others may feel inspired to do the same!
Cutting Down On Heating
Try not to keep the thermostat too high – Each 1-degree reduction can lead to an 8% saving on your energy bill and carbon emissions.
Curtains and blinds are a great way to keep heat in overnight.
If you’re feeling cold, layer up or put a jumper on to keep you warm.
Also, put on a pair of thicker socks. You lose a lot of heat through your feet and so this can be helpful in warming you up quicker.
Minimise Energy Use
Make sure your computer is completely switched off at the end of your day. Set to ‘sleep’ or lower power mode when on lunch breaks.
Fill up the kettle using your mug rather than the tap. You can judge how much water you really need, speed up boiling time and put a dent in your energy use.
Only use your washing machine when doing a full load.
Reduce your meat consumption to minimise your carbon footprint.
Try to plan ahead for lunch. Consider making extras for dinner to store in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch or use any leftovers to avoid food waste.
Reduce Paper Use
Turn wastepaper into extra notetaking pages.
Use project management software to help with task management (e.g. Trello, Asana and Monday).
Paperless notebooks such as reMarkable, Moleskine, Rocketbook Core can be permenantly reused.
Switch Lightbulbs to CFL or LED
These two types of lightbulbs usually use 90% less energy than the equivalent incandescent or halogen bulb. – https://www.sepco-solarlighting.com/blog/bid/145611/the-advantages-of-led-lights-for-the-environment
Consider Bamboo Office Supplies
Bamboo decomposes significantly faster than plastic, but it’s just as sturdy.
Examples: Bamboo pencil holder, monitor stand and book stand.
Invest in a Wormery or Composter
A wormery can convert wastepaper and organic kitchen waste into bio-rich, high quality compost and concentrated liquid feed.
This one may depend on whether you have the space for it, such as having a garden to store it.
Greenify Your Office
If you haven’t got a garden or a specific place to store a wormery or composter, then greenify your office instead!
Plants make your office look prettier, but they are also known to help improve overall air quality and absorb harmful pollutants.
Use Eco-Friendly Products
Get milk delivered in glass bottles that can be recycled, instead of plastic bottles from the supermarket.
Think about changing your loo roll, kitchen roll, dishwasher tablets and cleaning products for eco-friendly options.
There are so many things that we do on the daily that we wouldn’t even typically think would waste a lot of energy or use up a lot of unncessery resources. But, after researching everything more deeply, I’ve now found that these tips have really helped me to do that little bit more to be greener and I hope they’ve proven handy to some of you!