Today is Earth Day, and if there’s anything worth celebrating as we shelter in place, this is it. And best yet, as we sit tight in our home offices, we’re all contributing to global environmental improvements. Mass sheltering in place is making a remarkable difference in reducing pollution in typically smog-laden cities and elsewhere across the globe.
Granted, we’ve been exiled from our offices by mandate, but let’s take ownership of our reduced carbon footprint, anyways. If we’re not commuting into an office, we’re not spewing vehicle emissions into the air — ditto for the positive result coming from meeting virtually rather than flying for in-person gatherings.
Of course, we’re not totally in the clear just because we’re communicating and collaborating virtually. After all, each video meeting we attend one after the next means our laptops and desktops are churning away, not to mention the servers racked up row after row in the data centers of our cloud services providers. So, let’s all do some more to help address the climate crisis while we’re acclimating to the coronavirus pandemic.
Grandiose gestures aren’t required because every little effort can make a difference. Power down your laptop, desktop, monitor, printer, and any other peripherals when you leave your home office for the day. Take advantage of the daylight, if you have a windowed office, and turn off the lights while working. If you need new gear, make energy efficiency a top priority.
Green roofs are a feature of many modern office designs. They’re good for the environment, as well as employee well-being. Carry the idea forward into your home office. If you have a window in your office, add a planter box for some color and greenery for yourself and the overall environmental benefits. If you don’t have a window, then at least get yourself a nice plant for your desk. Biophilia is another office trend (one that we many see a lot more of as companies redesign offices to give employees more breathing room, post COVID-19).
Skip the bologna sandwich you’d planned for lunch, and instead eat a salad or plant-based burger. Grab an icy cold glass of water rather than popping open that can of soda. On your break-time walk, bring a trash bag and some gloves to pick up and properly dispose of litter that you see. Devote some time today to take action recommended by EarthDay.org
You get the idea. So, how will you make a difference?