It’s never been more important to be eco-friendly than now. Plastic waste is filling our oceans, severe weather such as flooding, droughts and heatwaves are on the increase and sea levels are rising, swallowing up parts of the coast.
The crisis is global and massive change is needed, but as individuals we can all make small adjustments that, collectively, will make a difference.
40% of UK emissions come from households, so if you’re a freelancer working from home, you’re in a great position to easily reduce your carbon footprint.
In fact, by default, you’re already doing it. For a start, you’ve cut out a daily commute and you’ve probably minimised your fast fashion wardrobe by working in your cosy joggers and slippers.
Here are a few tips for what else you could try:
Stopping unnecessary emails will free up your inbox and save you time.
Typing, sending and storing emails uses electricity. Using electricity grows your carbon footprint.
We all get emails from organisations we subscribed to ages ago that now get swiped into the trash without even being opened. Next time you get one, open it, scroll to the bottom and click unsubscribe.
And if you’re about to send an email that isn’t absolutely necessary, think before you click!
2. Wrap up
I’m often guilty of looking up from my laptop and realising I’m freezing! When that happens, it’s hard to get warm again and too easy to turn on the heating (just for a bit).
While you may not be in a position to upgrade your heating system for a lower carbon option or install better insulation, if you’re working alone from home on a daily basis, simply an extra jumper and hot drinks could keep you warm enough to reduce the amount you use heating (and of course, your bill).
It seems like an obvious one, yet not everyone is doing it.
When rubbish ends up in landfill, it releases harmful chemicals and greenhouse gases. Recycling helps reduce this pollution and reduces the need to use up even more natural resources.
So, whether it’s your lunch or your old notes, make sure it ends up in the right recycling bin.
4. Pop out
As a freelancer working from home it’s important to take breaks – these happen naturally in offices, but if you’re on your own there’s no one to chat to at the printer or have a coffee with in the canteen.
The good news is you can combine a quick break away from the computer screen with doing a little bit to help the planet.
Why not walk to your local shop rather than driving to a supermarket? That way you can save on fuel emissions, buy local produce and get some exercise!
If you have a zero-waste shop within walking distance, try using it to reduce your carbon footprint by buying unpackaged dried goods, milk refills or any other eco-friendly alternatives they have on offer.
5. Keys, wallet, phone, CUP!
In the UK 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups are thrown away every year and less than 1% of coffee cups are recycled. In short, that equates to millions of trees being cut down and billions of gallons of water being wasted each year.
So, if you do venture into the world for a meeting or pop to the local shop and happen to pass your favourite cafe, remember to get your frothy coffee in your reusable cup, or just your favourite mug.