How to be Eco-Friendly while Working From Home

clipart computer desk with monitor showing video call with 9 participants

Hands up if you’re currently working from home!

WFH is already eco-friendly, with less cars on the road and less energy consumption in big office buildings. There’s still more we could do, though!

If you want to save the world but don’t know how to do so from your home office, this is the post for you. There are several really simple ways you can live a greener life from your desk, bed, sofa or dining table.

1. Unplug Your Computer Overnight

Make it a habit to unplug your computer every night. The Department of Energy estimates that you could save 10% on energy bills if you unplug all your unused appliances! Not only is this a real energy saver, but it also can protect your computer from serious damage. It’s not an old wives’ tale – a power surge caused by lightning can completely fry your computer.

A computer, router, monitor, TV, and phone charger all consume a considerable amount of electricity even when not in use.

2. Disable Screensavers

Yes, they are very pretty, however a PC with a screensaver going can use well over 100 watts of power, compared with only about 10 watts in sleep-mode.

Most screensavers use the same amount of energy as when the screen is in normal use. Some more sophisticated screensavers actually use more energy. You can set most screens to automatically power down after a pre-set time of user inactivity. By clicking the mouse or pressing a key your PC is quickly restored. Remember to fully switch off at the end of the working day.

3. Use a Paper Bin

Obviously it would be way more eco-friendly to reduce your paper waste in the first place, but when paper waste is inevitable, make sure you are recycling correctly.

If you haven’t got a spare bin, you could use a strong shopper bag or even an empty cardboard box (which makes it all the more easy to recycle)!

Where possible, use digital versions of letters or handouts, and invest in recycled paper reams rather than the ultra-white stuff.

4. Print on Both Sides

You’ll save 50% of paper waste by printing double-sided, which is easily selected in the print settings.

You’ve saved paper, ink and electricity in one easy swap!

5. Lower your Screen Brightness

This green tip comes to us from Harvard Law School’s energy manager Eric Potkin, who found that reducing your computer monitor brightness from 100% to 70% can save up to 20% of the energy the monitor uses.

Most people won’t notice much difference in their monitor between 100% and 70% brightness, so reducing brightness to the minimum comfortable level is a great opportunity to save up to 20% of your monitor’s energy consumption.

6. Make Your Own Snacks

At home, you likely aren’t using plastic bottles or single-use takeaway coffee cups which is already a win! If you go even further and make your own snacks for during the day, you’ll be doing even better at reducing your plastic packaging use.

Instead of grabbing a cereal bar from the supermarket, make your own bars, flapjacks or even banana bread from ingredients you have at home to reduce food waste.

The best part is, with no coworkers around, you won’t feel obligated to share your yummy treats…

7. Change Your Search Engine

Goodbye Google, bye-bye Bing, and adios Ask!

Ecosia uses the ad revenue from your searches to plant trees where they are needed the most. By searching with Ecosia, you’re not only reforesting our planet, but you’re also empowering the communities around the planting projects to build a better future for themselves.

It’s such a simple swap that makes zero difference to you, but a little difference to our planet.

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