How to Stay Environmentally Conscious While Working From Home

The 7 ways to make your new working from home routine sustainable and eco-friendly.

We are currently in the midst of a work-from-home evolution. Gartner HR survey revealed 88% of organisations have encouraged or required employees to work from home due to COVID-19. Most Australian’s spent the last month setting up home offices, and re-adjusting a work and home life balance, but where do we go from here?

Now that we’ve found our groove with a new routine, it's important to continue our days working from home with a sustainable mindset. We’re sharing 7 actionable ways to ensure that we can stay environmentally conscious during this time.

1. Hold out on your laundry for a full load

With the extra time on our hands, it's tempting to want to get ahead by doing a smaller load everyday. But, it's important to still only wash when there's a full load. Depending on the washing machine model, you could be using between 60L - 130L per load, so only doing full loads of washing will significantly reduce water usage.

Same applies to using the dryer, limit its use to full loads only. Or perhaps do one better and hang clothes out to dry. Not only will this be limiting carbon dioxide emissions, but it's a great money saving tip. Clothes also last longer when line dried as there’s less wear and tear than when using the dryer.

2. Open up those blinds and curtains and let the natural light fill your house!

Having your lights on all day will consume a lot of power, but natural light is free! If your home office is in an area that doesn’t have natural light, consider switching to LED lights. LED lights are 85% more energy efficient than traditional light bulbs and can last up to 20 years.

Try saving energy by switching lights off when leaving each room. Make sure to also unplug all equipment when not in use, like computers, the coffee machine, etc.

3. Buying online? Make it count and support local businesses.

Many local restaurants and cafes are now making and delivering delicious home cooked meals. Now more than ever we need to vote with our wallets for the businesses and brands that we want to stay in business. If you're in Sydney, check out @i.s.o.m.a.t.e on Instagram. They share the best pick up and delivery services around Sydney.

4. Make your coffee at home.

You may have noticed cafes resorting back to takeaway coffee cups to prevent the spread of the virus. Planet Ark says about 60,000 kilograms of plastic waste from coffee cups go to landfill each year in Australia, where it can take about 50 years to break down. Instead of contributing to this, become a home barista and make your coffee at home. Buy a filter, plunger, machine, or stove top maker - but don't give in to takeaway cups!

5. Use eco-friendly cleaning products.

Cleaning more? Why not support brands that have the planet in mind and that have prioritised refillable options in their production lines? Koh, an Australian brand created a universal cleaning product that has no toxic chemicals. This means you can clean knowing that it's safe for your family, pets and the environment!

6. Wash the day's dishes after dinner.

You’re probably not used to eating at home for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. More meals at home means more washing up to do. Naturally, you'll want to wash up after every meal, but avoid this and wash everything in one go after dinner like you usually would. This will save you constantly filling up your sink to wash throughout the day. Or better yet, brush off the crumbs and re-use your plate, if possible.

7. Start a veggie garden in your backyard

By working from home, you are sure to have some extra time up your sleeve now that you minus your commute. Meaning, there’s never been a better time to start a veggie garden! We bet it’s something that’s always been on your list, so let’s make it happen. In time, this will reduce your trips to the grocery store to get fresh vegetables. Start with some herbs, lettuce and cherry tomatoes (they make great afternoon tea snacks)! Check out Architectural Digest for some tips on what to plant where, and how to start!

Tell us, do you have any other tips on how to stay environmentally conscious while working from home?