One of the biggest shifts that have taken place in the American workplace in the last few decades is the influx of Americans working from home. In fact, up to 3.9 million Americans, including freelancers, work from home for at least 50% of the week.
The number of employees who want to work remotely has also been on the rise and there are already 400 million entrepreneurs worldwide. However, while working from home can be a great experience, it can also drive up your energy costs. Those 40 hours a week you once spent in the office are now spent in your home office.
Fortunately, there are a few ways you can reduce your energy costs by going green at home. Here are some tips you can use to help you work with a green thumb.
Keep things digital when you can
Although one-third of new paper is made with recycled fiber, approximately 17% of everything that’s printed is considered waste. By going digital and paperless in your home, you can reduce paper waste while also reducing printer and ink costs.
What’s more, if you’re an entrepreneur, keeping your work digital can also increase sales. In 2017, approximately 79% of consumers in the U.S. shopped online, and research suggests that young adults are 74% more likely to share photos of your product if they placed an order online.
Use natural sunlight to your advantage
When it comes to your energy bills, chances are you’ll see a jump in your electric bill when you first start working from home. This is because the lights around your house are on more frequently than they were before and you’re charging your electronics while you work.
To reduce how much energy you’re using at home while still getting your work done, consider using the natural light from your windows. Work in a sunny area of your home or set up your home office in a room where you have the most light.
If you want to take advantage of the natural sunlight, but still want some privacy while you work, consider investing in sheer curtains or roller shades.
Unplug your electronics when they’re done charging
You can work anywhere in your house when you work from home as long as you have a charged laptop and phone at your disposal. But did you know that your electronics can still suck up energy from the wall even when they’re done charging?
Keeping your electronics plugged in when they’re fully charged can actually damage them. Every minute these electronics are plugged in without charging, they’re bringing your energy bills up.
That said, keep small kitchen appliances, computers, chargers, entertainment systems, and phones unplugged when you don’t need them to be. And keep power strips and old, non-digital electronics plugged in.
You’re already doing more for the environment when you work from home because you’re using less energy at the office and producing fewer greenhouse gases when you’re on the road. But it’s also important to go green while you work from home.
Whether you’re part of the job hopping millennial generation, in which 6 out of 10 millennials are open to a new job at any given tim\e, or you’ve decided to start your own business, you may find yourself needing to go green while working at home. By following the tips above, you can reduce your carbon footprint while also reducing your energy bills.