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Why to work from home

Jennifer Stevens of TreeSisters reveals seven ways that working from home creates a healthier future
Jarvis Smith - My Green Pod
Why to work from home

This is the year the world ground to a halt.

We watched fires rage in Australia, the Amazon and the USA, we felt the devastation of rising flood water across the UK, we witnessed our seasons changing too quickly and the health of the planet declining alongside our own.

With clear evidence to show deforestation increases the risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks like Covid-19 among humans, humanity is finally waking up to the reality that the health of the natural world has a direct impact on our own health.

Asking the big questions

The events of this year have challenged us to ask the big questions: How do we create a healthier, fairer world for us all? How do we create positive change in the face of so much global uncertainty? What can each of us do to build a healthy future? 

As Lockdown 2 progresses the debate over whether or not to return to the office rages on, with many arguing that face time equals productivity.

Before we all rush back to the daily commute, let’s take a closer look at how working from home can have a positive impact on your health and the health of the planet.

More time in nature

A recent research paper suggests that time spent in nature increased during lockdown, particularly for women.

With more time at home, people were able to prioritise going outside, taking a walk, foraging, listening to birdsong or going for a run in their local park.

This has a knock-on effect of being great for your health. Spending time outdoors in green spaces has been linked to a reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death and preterm birth, and with an increase in sleep duration.

Saving carbon emissions

According to the BBC’s Smart Guide to Carbon Emissions, the average petrol car in the UK produces the equivalent of 180g of CO2 every kilometre.

When we work from home, our daily commute doesn’t require fossil fuels, we can just go to our desk and connect with our teams via video call, email or instant messenger.

It’s never been so easy to collaborate and work as a team from different locations around the world. Why pump fumes and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere when we can work so easily from the comfort of our own homes?
You can even work from bed!

Reduce pollution

Did you know that a car tyre takes approximately seven gallons of oil to create? Tyres are also a stealthy contributor to microplastic pollution, shedding tiny pieces of plastic as they wear.

In the US alone, 1.8 million tons of microplastic waste is produced from tyre wear!  When saving car tyres, you are saving the environment, creating less pollution! 

A nourishing lunch

When we have more time, we spend more time on the things that matter. Whereas lunch in the office might involve a shop-bought sandwich in a plastic wrapper served over our keyboard, lunch at home can be a meal to be celebrated.

Spend some time foraging for foods for lunch or bake your own bread. Connecting with our food increases our enjoyment of it and turns a simple daily task into self nourishment and joy.

Community connections

When you work from home, you are able to spend more time in your local community. Strengthening these connections increases feelings of resilience.

With so much unprecedented change in 2020 and the impact of climate change increasing, the ability to connect, share resources and knowledge has never been more important.

Time for self care

At the end of 2019, the average daily commute was 59 minutes – that’s 221 hours a year!

Working from home allows you to use that time for your self care practice. Increasing numbers of people are turning to meditation to find inner balance – and you can also use meditation to connect with the natural world.

Check out the free meditations on TreeSisters’ website. 

Do you need an office?

It’s a myth that we need an office to be productive. TreeSisters is a great example of this; the UK-registered charity was created as a virtual team with people working from home distributed around the world.

To date TreeSisters has funded reforestation to the tune of almost 13 million trees – a huge achievement – with less than 1% of the team’s time spent face to face.

Jennifer Stevens is communications manager for TreeSisters, the women-led reforestation movement. Through TreeSisters, My Green Pod plants a tree in the tropics as a thank you for every transaction on its Marketplace.

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