The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to work from home. When we spend more time working remotely, we use more resources in our homes. Now that we’re all spending more time indoors, we can consider ways to be more sustainable.
We spoke with Jordan Jones, Manager of Communications, Engagement, and Equity at North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA), to give us some helpful tips for sustainability practices in the home. She also provided us with resources we can use to further expand our perspectives on sustainability.
NCSEA is non-proﬁt organization located in North Carolina, also home to PRA headquarters. According to its mission statement, NCSEA “drives public policy and market development for clean energy, enabling clean energy jobs, economic opportunities, and aﬀordable energy options for North Carolinians.”
Adopting energy efficient practices is always the first thing our organization recommends. Identify some ways that your company as a whole could practice energy efficiency, or highlight ways you already do—whether it’s in your buildings or in your everyday practices.
Jordan Jones, Manager of Communications, Engagement, and Equity at the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association
Practice energy efficiency
“The cleanest energy is the energy you don’t use,” says Jones. “Adopting energy efficient practices is always the first thing our organization recommends. Identify some ways that your company as a whole could practice energy efficiency, or highlight ways you already do—whether it’s in your buildings or in your everyday practices.”Learn how you can practice energy efficiency while working remotely.
Form affinity groups
Jones says that affinity groups are a great way to get employees engaged and talking, whether it’s over an online meeting or in person. While you’re at home, consider calling up your coworkers to gauge some interest in an affinity group. Rally around a sustainability topic that means something to you and create a volunteer-led group – for example, NCSEA operates a Women in Clean Energy Initiative.
In an affinity group, employees come together and talk about ways they can make improvements to their own sustainability practices at home and at work. They can discuss issues and compare different community practices. “We always find that when we gather our members together, we get the best information and ideas,” Jones says.Get inspired by the NCSEA’s Women in Clean Energy Initiative.
Consider your environment
When you’re at home, ask yourself some questions regarding your energy use, such as:
- How much food does my household need per week?
- What resources do I have on-hand (such as a garden)?
- How much water am I using for daily things like showers and dishes?
- Can I do anything to reduce my consumption of electricity, water or other resources?
If you consider your household environment and the resources that are readily available to you, you can start improving some common tasks — like taking shorter showers, buying less food, and using sections of your garden to grow food or compost.
“Our office practices composting,” says Jones. “It’s a straightforward, inexpensive way for people to get involved and feel like they’re eliminating the waste they produce. It can be a community effort, too — for example, in our neighborhood, a few houses have a composting share.”
Learn how you can practice sustainability around the house.
Get your family involved!
Employees worldwide are balancing homeschooling, entertaining, and feeding their kids while also attempting to complete their own work remotely. If you’re trying to adopt some more sustainable practices, why not involve your family?
NCSEA recently published a podcast, “Squeaky Clean for Kids,” that discusses clean energy with a group of nine kids. “We felt these podcasts would be a great way to incorporate kids who are home from school into sustainable education,” says Jones. “We recognize that their parents are just trying to balance life right now, so we decided to take the lead and educate kids about important sustainable facts for the future.”Grab your family and listen to the podcast here.
Donate to the energy and sustainability industries
Have you seen those articles about how rivers are cleaner, the sky looks clearer, and less cars are on the roads? With so many people quarantined at home, the Earth is coming back to life.
“Normally, my friends can’t see the Hollywood sign from her Los Angeles apartment due to the city’s infamous smog,” Jones says. “But since [COVID-19 pandemic] started, they’ve been able to see the sign! If we’re able to visually see the differences between ‘business as usual’ and our current situation, that’s incredibly powerful.”
According to Jones, if we want to continue to see these improvements to our planet, we must support sustainable technologies and industries. Not only do these industries benefit the environment, they also benefit the economy. Energy and sustainability industries are job creators. Donating to these organizations supports economic development and will continue to lead us to a cleaner world.
Follow NCSEA on social media for news, action alerts, and tips/tricks.
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