Working from home sustainably
Work sustainably and ditch the coffee pod

Top sustainability tips for working from home


Since the onset of the pandemic, a number of us have been working from home. This has been great in some ways (less travelling to work) and not so great in other ways (not being able to see friends and colleagues). But, one thing that’s taken a real back seat throughout the pandemic has been the drive for low waste & environmentally sustainable solutions.

Where previously there was a real drive for low-packaging and zero-waste options for food, we quickly shifted back to wanting things in plastic bags – it’s easier to clean, after all. But, this will have a significant knock-on effect for the world’s environments.

So, we’ve put together some tips for getting a bit more sustainable while working from home.

1. Ditch the pod coffee

Pod coffee is certainly quite convenient, but the pods contribute hugely to waste. You can recycle them, but this is still an extra step that many either don’t have time to do or forget to do. So instead of having a constant struggle with guilt (and mountains of “to recycle” used pods), opt for reusable pods.

The reusable pods do still have a little bit of waste as you need to use new foil lids, but the aluminium foil is a relatively friendly option. Alternatively, if you don’t mind waiting a little longer for your coffee, opt for a french press or stove-top Moka pot. Then all you have to do is change the coffee (which you can also compost!). It’s a great zero-waste solution and also gives you the freedom to experiment with different coffees.

2. Use a reusable water bottle

Many people had shifted to using reusable water bottles for work, but it’s something you can also do at home. Though we tend not to keep single-use cups for water drinking at home, a good water bottle kept at your workstation reminds you to stay hydrated.

Sustainable eating with vegan burgers
3. Eat less meat

It’s easy to snack on ham and sausage rolls when the fridge is only a few steps away. But the meat industry is responsible for a huge amount of emissions. So having a ‘day off’ from meat has a positive impact on the environment.

That doesn’t mean that vegetarian or vegan alternatives shouldn’t be scrutinised or should be considered as absolutely without waste – it’s more that they tend to have far fewer environmental damages in their production systems than meat products. You may hear, for example, that soy production is a leading cause for deforestation. And it is – but that’s because 70% of soy is fed to cattle, only 6% is used for human consumption. So it’s not vegans driving the deforestation of the Amazon! 

Sustainable windfarm
4. Switch to a green energy provider

The electrical grid in the UK is a bit of a difficult concept to fully appreciate. To put it simply, when you get energy from the grid, you’re not directly hooked up to whichever energy provider you’re signed up to. You’re hooked up to a communal ‘pot’ of electricity. 

Different energy providers input the energy to the grid based on different requirements and when you pay for energy at the rate that they’re charging, you’re letting them continue to generate in the ways that they do while also giving the possibility for expansion.

As such, if you switch to a green energy provider, you can make a direct contribution to growing the sustainable energy market for everyone.

Solar panels on garden shed
5. Consider at-home generation options

You don’t need to go buying a full-size wind turbine to put into your garden to generate electricity at home. It’s surprisingly easy to put a few solar panels on your shed roof and have them feed a battery that then goes to a few outlets in your house.

You can use this power to charge things like laptops and mobiles essentially for free – and you can do this surprisingly cheaply, too! With the cost of solar panels now down to as low as £89 for a 305W panel, you can affordably power laptops, phones, and other devices on a daily basis while also being able to get grid power when you need it.

For an even less dramatic shift, you can get fold-out panels that you can hang on your windows to charge phones. Again, these are relatively cheap and offer a great, sustainable alternative for energy sourcing.

6. Upgrade home-office furniture with sustainable material

When you get fed up with working on your sofa, you can upgrade by getting a great desk setup. However, many low-cost home office solutions are also made with materials that have long-lasting negative effects on the environment.

Our innovative honeycomb desks offer a great solution for temporary to mid-term office solutions that won’t contribute to environmental waste! They’re sturdy and even have cable management designed into them.

Alternatively, if you plan to work from home more long-term, opt for upcycling or buying second-hand furniture. You can find beautiful desks in second-hand shops for less than new ones. With a bit of TLC, you can get yourself a desk while helping to keep things away from landfill.

Sustainable living with wax food wraps
7. Use low-waste food storage

One great thing about being near your home fridge is that you can store food without it needing to be particularly portable.

Investing in some good tupperware, such as robust plastic containers or glass ones means that you can store food without having to rely on single-use things like cling-film, tin foil, or baking paper.

The latter two are relatively low-impact environmentally, but the less waste the better!

Another alternative to cling film and tin foil is opting for beeswax wraps. They’re essentially waxed fabric that you can easily clean and use to wrap sandwiches for freshness!

Get in touch

If you have any questions, or think we can help you come up with great, sustainable working from home solutions – get in touch!

16 April 2021

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