As many people have spent 2020 and 2021 working from home and for those of you running a small business, monthly costs are going to be a big factor. If you’re working remotely, you’re probably spending less time in the car, which is great for the environment which means you’ll be saving time and money. But, the downside is that when you’re working at home, you’ll be using more heat and electricity due to using lights, your printer, monitor, computer and boiling the kettle – all of which will push your electricity and gas usage up.
If you’re eco-conscious, you’ll also be aware of the effect this may have on your carbon footprint. But there are ways remote workers and owners of small businesses can reduce their environmental impact, many of which have the added bonus of reducing costs. Here are our best eco-tips if you’re working from home or running a small business. For larger businesses check out this link.
Embrace the virtual
Virtual meetings quickly became the norm during lockdown, and while they’re not quite the same as meetings in person, they’re still a great way of doing business. We’re not saying never have face-to-face meetings, but if you cut back on the number of times you drive to the offices to see clients and suppliers, you’ll be helping to cut back substantially on your carbon footprint. And you’ll also be saving money by not using your car, which helps your business cut back on expenses and fuel consumption.
However, there’s a huge additional benefit to having virtual meetings which can really help your business become more profitable. They give you more time to spend on your work business, and time is a precious commodity that money simply can’t buy.
Get more sleep
Having your devices on all day will use a lot of electricity, but there are savings to be made if you change your settings to put them into sleep mode when you’re not using them. The average desktop uses between 60 and 300 watts, which drops to 5-10 watts when it’s in sleep mode. Laptops use less power – on average 30-70 watts, which powers down to just 2 watts in sleep mode. Look for your power options in your computer’s control panel when you stop for lunch, take a tea break and when you finish at the end of the day.
See the light
Make maximum use of sunlight. Let in as much sunlight as possible by keeping your blinds and curtains open, which not only makes you feel better, it also makes it less likely that you’ll need to turn the lights on. The additional advantage is that letting sunlight stream through the window will help to heat the room. So, by just opening the curtains as much as possible, you’ll help reduce your need for heating and lighting, helping the environment and reduce your bills.
Use recycled and recyclable stationery
However paperless your office, you’re always going to need stationery. Choose eco-friendly product options for all types of stationery, from the notepad you use to scribble notes on to the pen you use to write them, to the envelopes you send your invoices in, the labels you print addresses on and the printer ink on those labels. By buying pens and pencils made from recycled plastics, and using recycled paper and even paper packing tape, you’ll be doing your bit for the environment. The more of us that take these small steps, the bigger the overall impact.
As an added incentive, we’ll give you points on all the eco-friendly products that you buy, and these points can be redeemed to plant trees via our new ‘plant a tree’ reward scheme. Click here for more information and to register as a user.
Search for eco-aware options
We’ve made it easier for you to search for eco-friendly products on the Quills website. Always check the Search & Filter options on the left-hand side of your screen and look for the Eco-Aware section. We’ll tell you how many eco-friendly products there are, then all you need to do is click on the word ‘Yes’ and you’ll find what you’re looking for or click here.