Thanks for joining the Greener Working From Home challenge. We will guide you through some simple changes to make your home office as green as possible.
During the challenge we will share our top tips to reduce energy use, find sustainable stationery, and stay connected with nature and your colleagues.
Stay the right temperature
“Research has found that each day working from home a week could cost up to an extra £49 per household a year in energy”. [Source: Energy Helpline] Heating or cooling your entire home while you’re working could be using a lot of unnecessary power. Here are some of our tips to help make sure your home office is as energy efficient as possible:
- Say goodbye to draughts by fitting draught excluders to old windows and under doors
- Use a desktop fan instead of air-conditioning
- On hot sunny days, keep your curtains or blinds closed to stop your room becoming a greenhouse – and on cold days make sure they are fully open!
- Choose a power company who specialises in renewable energy
- Wrap up warm – a knitted thermal base layer will keep you cosy all day!
- Remember to keep moving – have regular screen breaks
- Try heating only the room you’re working in using an eco-friendly electric heater
This advice from Which? might be helpful if you need to buy an electric heater “Convector heaters, including oil-filled and oil-free radiators, are best for heating a room for a period of a few hours or more, while fan or halogen heaters are better for a shorter blast of heat to warm you up quickly. Choose a heater with a decent thermostat and timer to avoid overheating and save money.”
Powering an average laptop creates up to 10g CO2e per hour, compared to 50+g CO2e for a desktop computer + screen. If possible, working on a laptop will help you save energy.
Make sure your laptop screen and keyboard are set up at a good angle to keep your neck and back healthy – a bamboo or metal laptop stand could help. If you need to buy a new device, consider choosing a refurbished model.
- Turn your screen brightness down or use ‘dark mode’
- Say goodbye to screensavers and set your device to go into sleep mode to save energy during short breaks
- Always turn computers and chargers off at the socket overnight
- Use a smart plug or energy saving power strip to make sure your devices and chargers aren’t drawing ‘vampire power’ overnight
- Turn off automatic video streaming where possible
There are lots of brilliant swaps to make your stationery more sustainable. Choosing a good quality refillable pen doesn’t mean an old-fashioned fountain pen and ink – it’s perfectly possible to get refillable ballpoint pens too! Recycle any used or broken plastic pens through the Terracycle writing instruments recycling scheme. In the UK you can do this at all branches of Ryman’s or through a network of charity drop-off points. You can also recycle printer ink cartridges through The InkBin or manufacturers postal schemes. Here are some of our other favourite ideas:
- Choose recycled printer paper and notepads
- Swap your highlighter pens for fluorescent pencils
- Choose paper tape instead of plastic sticky tape
- Minimise unnecessary printing and use a refillable ink printer
Tea and lunch breaks
Make your own lunches and snacks to avoid unnecessary plastic packaging. Cook extra at dinnertime to eat for lunch the next day. Vegan or veggie food usually has a lower environmental impact.
If you’re a hot drink lover, make a pot of loose-leaf tea or coffee at the start of the day and keep it in a thermos so you’ve got a cuppa at hand whenever you need it. Remember to only boil what you need in the kettle, and choose a rapid boil electric kettle when you need to replace it as this will help you save energy!
Remember to connect with nature and other people while you’re working at home. Here are a few ideas to try:
- Learn about clouds – take a 15 minute break and step outside to look at the sky!
- Be a wildlife spotter – how many wild birds or plants can you identify within a 10 minute walk from your front door?
- Join an online yoga or fitness class using your home WiFi (in the garden if possible!)
- Team lunch or tea-break – set up a call to enjoy a tea or snack with your team
- Grow something! Try edible microgreens on your windowsill or ‘seedbomb’ wildflowers on a patch of waste ground near your home
Remember to drop into the Ailuna Community to share advice or ask questions! Connect with colleagues, freelancers and the Ailuna team! Looking forward to seeing you there soon…