– Lane Simond:
As more people get vaccinated, the threat of COVID-19 is expected to diminish, yet many companies have reported they will take time to bring all their workers back to the office. Since we’re going into what is expected to be a long, hot summer, we thought we’d share some suggestions on how to save energy as you work from home.
Many people assume that it’s a lot of work to try to save energy, but there are simple steps you can take to ensure you are reducing energy consumption, including those listed below:
• Make good lighting choices – during the day you can use natural light instead of overhead lights to illuminate your workspace. If you need extra light then consider task lighting, such as a desk lamp so you aren’t relying on overhead ceiling light to brighten up the entire room.
• Limit moving from room to room – if you have a dedicated workspace and limit the amount of power you use in other rooms, you can save energy. Some people like to keep a TV or radio on in another room just as background noise, but you should avoid doing this. If you must leave the house for meetings or errands, think about getting a smart thermostat with geofencing features. Geofencing allows you to rely on the location of the geofence to tell the HVAC system whether it should be on or off. When possible, shut down your workspace and work outside with a laptop or iPad in the summer months. If this idea appeals to you, but you are concerned about running out of battery power, or how to get a power source, consider portable solar products. Portable solar panels allow you to use solar energy on the go. Many allow you use the power to charge cell phones and other devices.
• Use Smart power strips – set up a charging station with a smart power strip thus limiting charging time and phantom power. Phantom power is the energy a device uses when it is in standby mode.
• Unplug equipment – when devices like printers or scanners are not in use, unplug them. Every little bit of energy saved is helpful to you and to our planet. If you find plugging and unplugging equipment is a nuisance than keep your devices on power bars to reduce phantom power.
• Seal holes – some rooms are not airtight. If you feel air coming into your workspace from around a window or an outlet, there are ways to fix it. For example, an outlet gasket can be placed underneath the cover plate to create a better seal. Some people even insert childproof plugs in sockets to prevent air from coming through the holes.
• Check Computer settings – today, most computers have built-in settings to help you save energy. Check your preferences and set them to low power or energy-saving mode.
These are some of the basics in terms of making your workspace more energy efficient. If you want to minimize your carbon footprint and help safeguard the natural world around us, applying some of the easy actions outlined here is a place to start.