User login

A Community of Green Bloggers & Activists

Telecommuting to go Green

Telecommuting seems like a pretty sweet deal.  Working on your laptop on the couch in sweatpants with your cat keeping you company?  Not bad! The perks of telecommuting go beyond the relaxed environment and not having to brush your hair.  It can also really help the environment.

The average American spends 49 minutes a day commuting.  Unless this commuting time is spent on bike, foot, or public transportation, it can really take a toll on the environment.  (And your health!  A study in Los Angeles showed that 33% to 45% of all the pollution that commuters were exposed to in a day came from their commute.)

Not all jobs are conducive to telecommuting, but many are, and your boss might be more receptive than you think.  PlanetGreen even has tips on how to approach the subject with your boss.

To make an impact, you don't even need to work from home full-time.  Even once or twice a week can make a huge difference in your carbon footprint and it's even better if you can carpool the days that you need to be in the office.    In a post by Sean, he cited that an estimated 1.35 billion gallons of gas could be conserved yearly if every American worker with the ability to telecommute did so only 1.6 days per week!

Aside from the obvious benefit of lowering your carbon footprint, there are a bunch of other reasons why telecommuting is green. 

-  You can cut down on the amount of paper you use.  If you're just working at home, it should really lessen the need to print things.  You can also share documents with coworkers using something like Google Docs.  And if you need to print something, you can stock up on recycled paper which many companies don't do. 

-  Lunchtime!  You can just eat stuff directly from your kitchen instead of grabbing something from a nearby restaurant that will probably use plastic (or worse -- Styrofoam!) to package your lunch.

-  You can make greener choices when it comes to office supplies. 

Sometimes it can be tough to get motivated when telecommuting, but WSJ has some tips on telecommuting.  (And alas, they recommend against spending the day working in your jammies.  Darn.)