How to work from home without increasing your carbon footprint

An estimated 23.9 million employees WFH in the UK, with nearly a quarter intending to make that a permanent arrangement. One of the benefits reported by people WFH in 2020 was the significant savings made avoiding the commute and not having to buy lunch on the go.  

While no one felt like the pandemic was a good thing, it showed us that there was a different way of doing things, and if you were climate-conscious, you couldn’t help but be optimistic.  

Fast-forward to the summer of ’22, and things have changed.  

With the surge in energy prices, the cost of food and supplies rising sharply, and public transport struggling to return to pre-pandemic levels, it can be tricky to navigate the balance of WFH, personal finances, and the climate.  

Working from home can save carbon emissions, but only if you use less energy than if you went into the office. You may find that you’re paying more for lighting and heating even as you save money from less travel. You may also be cutting back on single-use plastic and packaging waste, but you should try and eat like a climatarian if your tasty homemade lunch isn’t going to negatively impact your footprint and the planet.  

That’s why we put together the WFH checklist. It’ll help you think about all the little and big things you can do at home, so you can enjoy the benefits and cut carbon.   

Here’s the essential work-from-home #ThinkCarbon checklist to help you cut carbon at home and work and save money.  

  1. Only heat or cool the rooms you need 
  1. Turn PCs and laptops off when you’ve finished work 
  1. Turn the lights off in rooms you’re not using 
  1. Dress for the season. Get your jumpers and layer up when it’s cold. Linen and t-shirts when it’s warm.  

We’ve shared several deep-dive articles if you’d like to go one step further and learn about more things you can do at home. 

What is the carbon footprint of my lunch? We looked at everything from a beef pasty to a superfood salad to see how the nation’s favourite lunches stack up. Here are the insights where you’ll also see that a climate-friendly lunch can save money.  

It can be hard to work out where to start reducing your energy bills, but several wins can save you money and are planet-saving.  

As temperatures rise, so does the temptation to put the fan on. If you’re working from home and frying, try these cool-carbon tips first.  

One final point is that homeworkers have identified two challenges that affect their productivity and engagement, loneliness and a lack-of-collaboration opportunity. Harness the energy at your organisation to fight the climate crisis by using a tool like Giki Zero Pro and build a greener community through measurable collective action.