The modern world relies on consumables and energy like never before, and while we can produce what many of us need, it comes at a cost. This cost is the pollution that continues to drive a plethora of species to the brink of extinction and speeds up the effects of extreme climate, which is lining up to have imminent, irreversible consequences.
While it’s important to remember that the vast majority of this pollution comes from big business, with just 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions, according to The Guardian, we all have to play a part in cutting back. In many cases, the changes required of us will be inconvenient, but it’s not always the case, and for some aspects, like remote work, these changes could be for the better.
One Approach of Many
CyberGhost highlights that the scientifically indisputable fact of man-made climate change has raised global mean temperatures by 1.16 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. Though there is a common belief that this means all areas must always be hotter, this is mistaken. Some areas will be colder as the overall global climate increases on average.
To make a dent in this process, we require a two-pronged approach. The big prong is met by big business emissions being regulated, and the other is made up of the small things we do. Reducing meat consumption, shopping second-hand, and reusing grocery bags are all simple changes with additional benefits to our health and wallets. As for remote work, the benefits here can be even more appreciable.
The Remote Work Difference
The biggest difference that many of us will see in moving to remote work comes from not needing to commute. According to statistics from Zippia, the average American commute time to and from work is 55 minutes a workday. With an hour of a car idle for an hour producing around four pounds of CO2, this works out to 20 pounds of CO2 a week, or over a thousand pounds a year. With millions of workers commuting and not sitting idle, this quickly adds up.
Without a commute, it’s not only worldwide pollution that can see a change. It’s lowering local smog levels too. The health benefits this produces can be immense, with air pollution being constantly underrated in how important it is to health. As covered by Yonhap News, air pollution in Seoul means that millions of people are suffering health effects on some level.
Even for those less concerned about the environment, being able to work remotely can save hugely on travel expenses. Without using a car, you aren’t wearing it out, and you’ll be saving hundreds a year in gas costs, not to mention less stress from dealing with traffic. You’ll also be able to get up later, spend more time with family, and generally have more flexibility in daily life.
Like any other way to address climate change, remote work is not a cure-all. It can be a useful tool, however, offering advantages for everyone, no matter their level of climate concern. If you can, consider trying it, even just for a few days, to see the opportunities it could bring. If nothing else, it could save you money, and for some, it could help develop a renewed interest in protecting mother nature from those who would profit from doing her harm.