How to go green as a freelancer
How to go green. These days, most of us do what we can to reduce the pressure we put on the environment in our private life, but what about in our professional life? Employees can encourage their bosses to participate in green schemes, but what about freelancers? If you manage your own schedule and work for multiple different employers, there are still things you can do to go green – you just need to be aware of your options.
Choosing your workplace
Working as a freelancer usually reduces travel, which immediately helps reduce pollution, but if you work from home, you’ll be using lighting and heating to an extent that’s likely to be greater than your share of the light and heat used in an office. If the type of work you do permits it, you can reduce this by working from an office shared with other local freelancers, or even from a local café.
Setting up a green home office
If you are working from home, you can save money and reduce pollution by building your office using second-hand or upcycled materials and buying or building things such as shelving from sustainable wood sources. Don’t be tempted to apply the same principles to equipment, however. Generally speaking, the latest computers, printers and scanners are much greener than their older counterparts, and increasingly good labelling can help you make the right choices.
Eco friendly office management
In today’s world, a lot of freelancers choose to use an umbrella company to manage their paperwork, but if you do it yourself, you should avoid printing things out when you don’t have to (make back-ups on a removable hard drive instead) and, when you do have to, use recycled paper. You can buy environmentally friendly packaging materials for making deliveries, or reuse old packaging material, which clients often see as a plus point if you explain why you’re doing it.
How to go green with smart travel
No matter how well organised your office is, there may be occasions when you need to work elsewhere. If it’s available, public transport is almost always a greener option than driving, and if you don’t have to go very far, consider using a bike – it’s often the fastest option in traffic, too. For longer journeys, you can try carpooling. In some instances, where people default to travelling, it’s actually just as practical to telecommute, and an increasing number of businesses are choosing this option.
Choosing the right suppliers
Going green isn’t just about how you do business, but it’s also about who you do business with. Increasingly, green companies are showing a preference for working with one another, to the extent that you may even find financial incentives for establishing green supply chains. Being able to tell your clients that everything you produce comes from green sources can be a great selling point.
Taking a pro-environment stance at work sends a positive message to your clients and to everybody you work with. It encourages others in your sector to do the right thing, and it’s a great way of improving the contribution you make to protecting the environment.