The widespread work-from-home trend caused by the Covid-19 crisis contributed to an estimated 7% in CO2 emissions in 2020. Although it’s an unexpected silver lining to the ongoing pandemic, experts agree that the temporary reduction won’t have a lasting impact on CO2 emissions worldwide, and we’ll likely see an increase as businesses around the world increase production to make up for 2020 profit shortfalls.
Our Wipro team, our partners at Salesforce, and many of our clients have committed to NetZero goals in the coming decades and are actively committed to incorporating sustainable practices into their businesses globally. But sustainability must go beyond the commitments and actions of enterprise businesses and include the day-to-day practices of all of us as individuals.
In honour of our corporate commitment to reaching NetZero, we want to share our guide for sustainability at home and provide some insights into how we all can become contributors to a sustainable future for all.
No Excuse for Single Use
Single-use plastics and materials are a large contributor to both the unsustainable consumption of natural resources, and large-scale pollution issues, such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Investing in reusable containers for beverages, lunch, and even your weekly shopping can reduce the amount of single-use plastics being dumped in the oceans. Making a conscious decision to reduce your single-use items and reuse, repair, and recycle what you can’t avoid are great ways to start on the path to sustainability.
Even when not in use, many devices that are plugged in still siphon off and consume energy. Causing what’s known as ‘vampire energy’ these parasitic energy consumers cost money and create a heavier carbon footprint. Ensuring that items not in use are unplugged, or are using ‘sleep’, ‘eco-mode’, or ‘stand-by mode’ can help take the bite out of vampiric devices, reducing our carbon footprint and saving money for consumers.
Helping Your Community Go Green – Literally
Scientists estimate that replanting trees and other flora could account for 30% of the cuts in CO2 needed to reach a sustainable climate balance. Whether that’s adding a green wall to your urban patio, growing your own herbs and vegetables in a vertical garden, planting trees in your local parks and greenspaces, or supporting organisations working to replant and reclaim deforested land worldwide, there are many ways we can help our communities to literally go green, contributing to a CO2 reduction and helping the land to heal.
Find Alternatives to Driving
Being more active is not only great for physical and mental health, it can also be a key contributor to reducing our carbon footprint. Choosing to cycle or walk rather than drive means a trip will produce 10 times less CO2 than the same trip taken in a car. Taking advantage of corporate bike-to-work programmes and using local greenways and pedestrian highways can mean that the trips we take each day can be good for both us and our environment.
Be a Water Warrior
Protecting our fresh-water resources can be incredibly simple, particularly with our home use. Opt for aerators and low-flow endpoints to reduce consumption from faucets, install low-flow toilets, and ensure taps are not dripping and that leaks are fixed quickly. Doing so will ensure active management of water consumption and save money. When it comes to outdoor watering, doing so by hand can reduce waste, and collecting rainwater to be used for irrigation can reduce the strain on water systems in our communities. The same principles for large businesses can also apply to individuals.
Actively choosing to make lifestyle choices that are environmentally friendly is a great step we can all take to contribute to a sustainable future. The admirable work being done by corporations worldwide is an excellent step in the right direction, but as individuals, our contributions are as important. Addressing the climate crisis requires champions of all types, all skills, and all sizes. No contribution is too small, as it’s often being coupled with the small choices of others in your community. Each adds up to a noticeable impact that can put us on a path to a brighter future for all.
Although there’s a lot of work to be done, everyone (businesses and individuals included) has a role to play. Everyone is a stakeholder and everyone is a contributor to a greener tomorrow.