In the past two years of the pandemic, humanity has been faced with strenuous trials and harrowing hardships. From the spread of the virus, to the periods of lockdown, to the tragic lives lost over the past few years.
With the trials and tribulations humankind faced… was there a silver lining?
Look to the skies of New Delhi, Wuhan, London, Madrid, and others as their air was depleted of smog.
Look to the waters of Venice, as the sediment in canals stirred by traffic finally calms and clears.
Through the time of lockdown, we saw a real time case study of our impact on the environment. How we as everyday commuters, energy users, and air polluters tainted our home planet…but also how we can help it.
While dependent on human nature, Harvard Business Review claims that businesses can take more action through a WFH model to help nature. But first, let’s look at some of the statistics to better frame the environmental impacts.
Diving into Resource Depletion
Carbon & Greenhouse Gas
As a remote worker and telecommuter, it’s obvious that making the morning and evening commute is practically nonexistent. While still having to cell phone lists make the drive to run errands, not having to sit in bumper to bumper traffic for hours on end reduces spending not only time and money, but also your carbon footprint.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a statement in 2017 saying that 29% of greenhouse gas emissions in the USA came from transportation, with a large portion making up your typical passenger car.
To further drive home the point, Digital Nomad explains that remote workers avoid emitting 3.6 million tons of the same gas every year and that if you wanted to make the same offset it would take 91 million planted trees.
Along with the greenhouse gas emissions that come into play with commuting, it is also worth noting the use of fossil fuels. Not only do households and businesses utilize fossil fuels for electricity and heat, but also for transportation.
Remote Work For The Better
In the pre-pandemic times of 2018, Statista estimated that there were around 97.2 million barrels of gasoline consumed PER DAY! Each barrel holds approximately 20 gallons, so multiply that together and think of the nightmare at the gas pumps.
After mulling over that number, do a little thought exercise with me. Close your eyes and consider if just half the companies that could work remotely, did.
Honestly, I can’t blame them. There is BX Leads far less noise and light pollution, better air quality, not to mention marginally lower cost of living expenses.
Working remotely removes the constraints that large metro areas tend to have when it comes to the job opportunities and financial and environmental factors tied to a physical office.
The impact that remote workers can have on the environment can only be as helpful as it is relevant to the employee. But the one that can tip the scales in favor of environmental initiatives are the employers themselves.
Harvard Business Review outlines this in three simple considerations.