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Reducing Your Carbon Footprint When Working From Home

by
Joanna Clare

A carbon footprint can be simply defined as the total amount of ‘greenhouse gases’ that are brought about by our own individual actions. Greenhouse gases  can be described as a gas that will absorb and give off radiant energy which then causes a greenhouse effect.

Greenhouse gases have a detrimental and significant effect on the environment. Climate change, pollution, extreme changes in weather conditions, damaging effects in relation to birds and animals, respiratory diseases and certain cancers - as well as a host of other  unpleasant and worrying situations - can all be attributed to the way we live regarding our  actions and activities.

So, can you do anything to make a difference whilst working from home? The answer is yes! Research has shown that the average person in the UK has an individual carbon footprint of around 10 tonnes per annum and the aim is to reduce this to around 2 tonnes by 2030.

However, if we all did ‘our bit’ then collectively the results could be quite dramatic.

So -  you are working from home and therefore do not have to do much (if any) travelling - well done for that -  as private transport is responsible for a large source of greenhouse gases and is often something we forget about in our daily commutes.

Additionally, many people have decided to move to plant based diets as this avoids emissions that are associated with intensive animal rearing and the way land is used. A recent study from last year showed that over half of all global greenhouse gases were derived from meat and dairy products. Others are diligent in sourcing food locally, choosing organic food where pesticides are not used and of course, it is becoming increasingly popular to grow your own food especially since the pandemic made people take an interest in gardening.  

The way you cook your food also needs to be taken into consideration by using the most economical  settings for cookers, water and dishwashers. This can also be applicable for heating and lighting. If you do not need it then switch it off otherwise have it on the lowest settings. Hot water pipes and cylinders should be insulated while thermostats and timers should be used to their full capacity.

Plastics are a huge waste and cause much damage to the environment. Paper can obviously be recycled and can be swapped for plastic in a variety of ways such as carrier bags and food packaging.

Even your furniture can have produced toxic emissions upon production but natural materials are available. Even some of your clothing is not exempt - man made products can produce micro plastics when washed. Be aware of the contents and ingredients of washing powders and cleaning products. Many people enjoy making their own ‘green’ and eco-friendly products and  make a living from doing just this.

Advice for someone who works from home and wants to make a difference is to use one of the many interesting websites that offer guidance on monitoring and reducing your carbon footprint in your day to day life.

Looking for a new career which allows you to work from home? Be sure to attend one of our upcoming careers fairs, where you will get the chance to meet face-to-face with local and national employers hiring around your area.

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