Quincy
 - 
November 4, 2022

How to be eco-friendly and save energy at work?

Let's be honest here, where do you tend to be more environmentally conscious, at home or at work? 

Nowadays, an organisations' environmental footprint is more critical than ever, and each organisation has a responsibility to help reduce carbon emissions. 

While we spend most of the day at work, where we will use a significant amount of computers, heating, lighting, air conditioning, ventilation, and other utilities as well as generating waste, we as individuals can help to make our daily work more sustainable. How can you help here, follow these tips below:

When you are working at the office: 

1. Avoid unnecessary printing

Even with the business world becoming more digitised, the average office worker still generates about 2 pounds of paper waste, daily. To offset this, opt to go paperless whenever possible. Many virtual options don’t require you to print paper to send a fax, and e-signatures like DocuSign can help you sign off on important documents without needing to do it by hand on paper. 

If you have to print on paper, remember to use recycled paper and print double-sided. And set your printer to print double-sided automatically to avoid this! 

2. Change the way you commute, if you can:

With the constant soaring of gas prices, using public transport might be the best option. While it has many benefits towards the environment, it also saves you money in the long term. 

However, if you are not a big fan of being crammed into crowded trains during rush hour, and your house is too far away from the office to walk there, cycling is not a bad idea. Check with your company if they offer bike leasing benefits. Here at EMPAUA, we support our German employees to purchase their dream bikes. This way, we make our people's eco-friendly efforts easier. 

And if you are granted a remote working option, consider how much impact you will make if you start to work from home! 

3. Use reusable bottles:

An old but gold device: carry a reusable bottle or thermos flask instead of using plastic water bottles or Styrofoam cups because these are not biodegradable. Overall, tap water is high quality everywhere in Europe, so why not pour water from the tap into a bottle and put it in the fridge for later use? And no, you don’t have to buy a new eco bottle every time. Use what you already have until you can’t anymore! 

4. Pack your lunch with a reusable container:

I know that during your lunch break, it is simple and easy to grab or even order a meal on the go. This produces a lot of waste. This can be avoided if you bring food packed in reusable containers from home. Wait! Before you start with anexcuse that you don’t have time to cook, here are 21 recipes you can make in under 15 mins or meal-prep your lunch on Sunday with these

5. Don’t forget to turn off lights and unplug devices that are not in use.

6. Reduce electric kettle consumption:

If you have a thermos flask, make coffee, tea or your favourite hot beverage, so that you don’t have to turn on the coffee machine or the kettle every time. This one works for when you are at the office and home. So if you are a tea or coffee lover, you might want to heat your water at once and put it in a thermos flask to reduce strain on your electric bill.

According to Eco Costs Savings, a typical electric kettle consumes 0.05 kWh of electricity to boil 1 cup of water, and 0.17 kWh to boil 1.5 liters (50.7 oz). Moreover, taking user behavior into account, the most common amount of electricity a kettle consumes per boil is 0.073 kWh. In the UK, it costs 2 cents (£0.016) to boil an electric kettle, on average. This works out to $3.07 (£2.49) per month for a typical UK household. How much does your electric kettle cost to boil?

“The CO2 wasted per year (1,286,625 tonnes) from overfilling kettles is equivelant to over 250,000 passenger vehicles driven for one year. To put it another way, it would take over 19,000,000 tree seedlings grown for 10 years to remove this wasted CO2.” (Eco Costs Savings).

When you are working from home:

Working from home is considered an attractive benefit for your mental health and environment. However, it also means you might use more electricity within your own home. Here are some tips to reduce your electricity usage at home to protect the environment and your wallet:

1. Unplug devices as much as possible: 

The work computer that you have been charging all day? Unplug it now! Even when they are not in use, electronic devices still use energy when they are plugged in. Everything plugged in uses power, which stresses the environment unnecessarily and, of course, unintentionally increases your electricity bill.

We know that watching TV or listening to the radio while working is expected. However, if you can tune them on your computer via LIVE streamings or Spotify, for example, you’ll reduce the energy only to one device. 

2. Decrease the brightness on your computer monitor: 

According to Harvard University’s energy manager, reducing the brightness on your computer monitor from 100% to 70% can save up to 20% of the monitor's energy. Less energy means less chronic pollution!

3. Use your phone in low battery mode: 

Using your phone in low battery mode will help you to extend the battery life, therefore, avoiding charging it too often each day. In addition, you can reduce the light of the screen and, whenever you can, turn on “flight”, "do not disturb" or "focus" mode. By doing this, it will help you avoid constantly searching for a signal or wifi networks, which drains your battery very quickly, and notifications popping up on your screen turning the lights on and off all the time. If you're not a fan of notifications, you can also turn them off and have fewer distractions in your day. 

4. Don’t turn on the heating yet:

I know that when it’s getting cold, you will be much more likely to work from home, so you have to expect those energy bills to rise. 

While the energy crisis is nowhere near being over, you should think twice before turning on that heater for the whole day of working. Since the weather is still bearable, why not put on extra layers? Don’t worry, your clients or co-workers won’t be able to see how many jumpers you are wearing during Zoom calls or Google meets!

Not at all right :)

Do you have any more tips on how to be eco-friendly in daily work? Share with us today!

Quincy

Working Student, People & Culture
Salesforce Partner EMPAUA

Quincy

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