Six ways you can work sustainably from home 5th June 2020

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With so many of us working remotely, there are a wealth of opportunities to act sustainably and do our bit to reduce the carbon footprint during this time.

There are empty offices all over the UK at the moment, and if there is a positive to be taken from the current pandemic it’s that car and vehicle emissions are low, light and heating energy in large office developments is going unused and dozens of countries are experiencing falls in carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide by as much as 40%.

For those of us who are working from home, there are a few things that can be done to improve sustainability from your desk:

Ditch the paper notebooks
A quick and easy way that you can reduce your paper use is to swap out your lined notebook for a digital to do list on your computer. When using shared drives like Google Docs or MS OneDrive you can update documents online and have them autosave, so there’s no risk of losing your notes.

Use biodegradable pens or pencils
The simple, everyday office pen is another single use item that gets binned as soon as it runs out, only to end up on landfill or in our oceans. The good old-fashioned pencil is far more environmentally friendly, and here at McCann we’ve also been opting for digital mark-up wherever possible.

Don’t leave devices plugged in all the time
When you’re working remotely it’s easy to forget that your laptop, phone charger, printer and more  are all plugged in and using energy, even when not needed. Unplug devices when they’re not charging and make sure to turn everything off and unplug at the end of the working day rather than letting things use up energy overnight.

Make the most of natural light
If you need to sit at a desk for your work, make sure to do it near a window or somewhere that you get a lot of natural light. This will reduce the need for house lights to be on and help in limiting the amount of energy you use throughout the day.

Use the power settings on your devices
Most laptops, computers, smartphones and tablets will have an energy saving mode that reduces performance slightly in order to save on unnecessary power usage. These often go ignored as we all like our devices to be running as fast as they possibly can, but the ‘reduced performance’ often means tiny changes that you would never usually notice. Try staying in these modes for as long as possible, or until you find that it impacts your task at hand.

Only boil as much as you need
When you’re at home all day it’s often the regular trips to the kitchen for tea and coffee that break up the day. So just make sure that when you’re boiling the kettle, you only fill it up with as much water as you need so that it isn’t working overtime to reheat multiple mugs worth of water each time around.