MOTHER EARTH WILL THANK YOU: HOW YOU CAN HELP THE PLANET BY WORKING FROM HOME
Flexible hours. No commute. Being your own boss. Working from home has always had distinct advantages that can make it an appealing, advantageous choice for your lifestyle. But there’s one advantage you may not have thought of: it’s better for the planet.
Yes, amid all the talk of climate change and carbon emissions and plastic overload in waterways, you can make a choice that suits not only your independent nature but also Mother Nature. According to a study by Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs, 10 million cars (which approximates the entire workforce of New York State) would leave the road annually if every U.S. worker who wanted to and could telecommute did.
President of Global Workplace Analytics, Kate Lister, says “There is no single solution that offers as large of a potential environmental impact and reduction in greenhouse gases than having people work at home. It is the biggest part of our burden on the planet.” As a result of cutting their commutes, the current number of U.S. individuals working from home keeps the equivalent of 600,000 of cars off the road each year.
By working from home, you’ll contribute to not only bettering the life of the planet but also improving the quality of your own life. Become even a half-time remote worker and you‘re likely to gain back an average of 11 days a year in time that would have otherwise been spent slogging through a car-jammed commute.
How Much Does Your Commute Pollute?
Use this tool from the Environmental Protection Agency to get a general idea of your vehicle’s CO2 output when commuting. Your actual pollution contribution may vary based on factors such as commute time and driving conditions.
To figure out how much CO2 your commute produces annually:
1. Determine the number of miles you travel to and from work each day. For example, let’s say you drive 20 miles each way to work for a total of 40 miles.
2. Multiply that number by the number of days you drive to the office for the total number of miles you drive each year. Let’s assume you head to the office five days a week and get two weeks off for vacation: 40 x 250 = 10,000 miles
3. Multiply that number by your car’s CO2 output to get your total (you can find out how many grams of CO2 your vehicle emits by going to fueleconomy.gov.). If your car produces 261 grams (or 0.575407 pounds) of CO2 per mile, then your commute results in 10,000 x .575407 = 5,754 pounds, or 2.877 tons of carbon annually.