Going back to work doesn’t mean going back to how things were… for the environment

Going back to work doesn’t mean going back to how things were… for the environment

With many of us working from home, our carbon emissions have been kerbed through a reduction of cars on the road and trying to keep our own energy bills down. But what should we learn from this when going back to the workplace?


You’ll have seen it on the news as its definitely been making headlines. While the world has headed into lock down, the earth had started to heal itself. Lower carbon emissions are resulting in visible skylines, clean blue oceans and animals roaming further. So, with the Government’s recent announcement that we can go back to work, we need to make sure we don’t go straight back to our old habits, leaving technologies on standby, overfilling the kettle and constantly leaving lights on when no-ones in the room.

We need to take more care of our surroundings to ensure we don’t undo some of the unintentional positive effects of lockdown.

Here’s just a few tips on how you can continue to help reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption when going back into the workplace.

Cycle, Walk or Carshare

Do you live within cycling/walking distance of work, but drive or take public transport? Why not dust off your bike or take a walk and enjoy the fresh air on your way to work.

Does a colleague live round the corner or do you pass near there house on your route? Although this may not be for right now (It’s very difficult to keep two meters apart in a car), when we’re back to being a bit more “normal” – Why not share a lift – this way there would be less cars on the road and less people using up the parking spaces outside your office!

Enjoy the natural light!

Ensure all curtains and blinds are open throughout the daylight hours so you benefit of heating and lighting from the natural sunlight. This will allow you to reduce the length of time heating and lighting has to be turned on within your office, and help you get some of that much needed vitamin D. Also, ensure lights are turned off in rooms when no one is in them, there’s nothing there to see.

Remember to turn your devices OFF

Remember to turn your devices off and unplug them when they are no longer required at the end of the day. Do not leave your devices on stand-by as this is using unnecessary energy and your electricity bill will be increased! These devices include:

  • Laptops
  • Printers
  • Desktops
  • Phone chargers

Turn your energy saving settings on

Many devices, such as your Laptop, have energy saving settings. Ensure these settings are turned on.

Only Boil the Kettle with the Amount of Water You Need

Most people have a hot drink or two throughout the day and this requires energy. 2 out of 3 of us boil far more water then we need. Don’t over fill the kettle, you’re wasting time and energy.

Although at the moment you probably don’t want somebody else touching your mug, there will come again a time when you could also offer your colleagues a hot drink when you make one for yourself, to avoid numerous people boiling the kettle one after the other – you never know they might then return the favour and make you one in return!