Ever since the pandemic, a lot of us are spending more time working from home. All those cups of tea, plugged in laptops and heating requirements are adding up to a bigger household energy footprint. Whether you’re looking to keep your bill to a minimum or lessening your environmental impact, here are some energy saving suggestions when you’re working from home.
The working day
A positive about being at home is the reduction in cost, carbon emissions and air pollution from the huge drop in car journeys. Instead, you could sometimes use your outdoor time for the day to ‘commute’ to or from the home office with a run, walk or cycle.
Setting up your workstation
Try to work in a spot with plenty of natural light so that you don’t have to have lights on all day. Vary between plugging in your laptop and unplugging it when it is charged up. Finish the working day by closing down your computer and turning it off at the plug. Don’t leave it on standby all night. You could also try to get into this habit with other appliances, too.
The Energy Saving Trust recommends a range of 18-21ºC for healthy adults. If you tend to have the heating at the higher end of the scale, turning it down by just one degree saves energy and money.
Many of us can get away with dressing more casually at home, so put on your jumpers and slippers and even grab a hot water bottle.
Tea and coffee
Many offices come with the benefit of efficient instant boilers. To reduce energy used from boiling the kettle, why not make yourself a thermos for refills throughout the morning? Or to cut down on the amount of times the kettle is boiled, set up hot drink breaks with other members of your household.
In the kitchen
More time in the house means more meals prepared at home. Here are a few ways to be greener when you cook.
Cook up a big pan at once and then refrigerate or freeze portions for later
From homemade soup to stews and sauces, cook up a big pan at once and then refrigerate or freeze portions for later. Reheat in the microwave, which is more energy efficient than using the oven.
Learn some new recipes
Get creative with your store cupboard and try out new plant-based recipes. Going meat free for a few meals a week will help reduce the carbon footprint of your diet.
Think about food waste
At this time, many of us are more aware of our food supplies. How can you make sure that you don’t waste what you’ve got? Think about using leftover meat to make soups and stews or boiling up vegetable peelings to make veggie stock.