Remote Earth Day

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Remote work wins over office work for many reasons: greater productivity, more time for family, freedom, and flexibility, to name a few. One benefit that we are extremely proud to play a part in is the positive impact remote work has on sustainability and the environment.

Remote work eliminates your travel to and from work, reduces office waste such as paper and plastic from bought lunches and coffees, and saves energy that a big office building would otherwise use. The daily commute alone produces a ton of greenhouse gas emissions. When you work from home, you eliminate this (plus, you save on time and benefit from zero commute stress). In the US, people who work from home avoid the emission of 3.6 million tons of greenhouse gasses every year, and that number continues to grow.

At Remote, we polled our team on this topic and found that when our employees began working remotely, they saved an average of 27.44 km of commute per person per day. The current record goes to customer success manager Eliot Dyson at 155 km per day.

Much can be said about remote work and its environmental benefits. So, we want to take this opportunity to celebrate Earth Day, a global event dedicated to promoting conservation, sustainability, and the Earth's natural beauty.

Why Earth Day matters right now

Earth Day also goes by another name: International Mother Earth Day. Whichever name you use, US Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin founded Earth Day on April 22, 1970, as 20 million Americans poured into the streets to raise awareness about environmental sustainability. Today, more than a billion people from every country in the world stand together to appreciate planet Earth, discuss climate change, find new ways to limit our individual footprints.

Earth Day has inspired a lot of change over the course of history. Key pieces of legislation on issues such as clean air, clean water, toxic substances, and endangered species all trace back to Earth Day initiatives. Corporations have pledged major sustainability measures in support of the environment, while individuals have planted millions of trees and changed their personal habits.

Fun fact: The Earth Day Anthem was written in 2013 by Indian poet Abhay Kumar. You can find the song in all official UN languages.

Remote on Earth Day

At Remote, many of us are passionate about environmental causes. Most of us make a conscious effort to reduce waste and recycle more in our daily lives. Some have found fun and creative ways to make a positive impact.

Senior product designer Susana Capucho and senior backend engineer Antonio Silva offset their carbon emissions by planting trees each year through Tree Nation. Together, they've planted 17 trees in Brazil, Spain, and India. Tree Nation even helps them follow their progress and statistics.

This year, Remote will host shared activities to celebrate our collective commitment to Earth Day and its cause. We came up with two activities that are perfect for remote teams. Anyone can do these from anywhere, and they are true to our asynchronous remote work style, inclusive of all time zones.

Earth Day scavenger hunt

Whether you work from home because of the pandemic or just because, everyone loves a scavenger hunt. As our Earth Day activity (and bonus wellness activity for April), everyone at Remote will take a moment to break away from our screens, go outside, and enjoy a discovery walk.

Each of us will pick a time and place to explore the great outdoors. The place can be a park, a nature path, or just our own neighborhoods. For our scavenger hunt, there will be a fun game of Bingo (an example of what we will be doing). For those under lockdown, we will even have a fun Bingo to go with that.

Participants can take pictures to share with others at the company. Not only is this a wonderful time to appreciate our surroundings, but it's also an amazing opportunity to show each other the places where we call home. As of today, Remote employees are scattered across 98 cities, so we're super excited to see all of the diverse and wonderful pictures that everyone will share.

Earth Day Slack trivia

We have a handy app, called Polly, that captures instant survey responses within Slack. On Earth Day, we'll use Polly to run an asynchronous trivia game on Slack.

The way it works is quite simple. Questions and answers are posted throughout the day, so that everyone can participate at times that work for them. Everyone votes in their answers, and some time after that, the correct answers are revealed.

The result? We work together, and we learn together about Earth Day, the environment, and Mother Nature.

Shout out to our super talented recruiter, Pedro Homero, who once was a quiz and content creator for the famous game show, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” for helping with our trivia.

What you can do to celebrate Earth Day

Anyone of any age can do something good for the environment on Earth Day or at any time!

Individually, we can start with very small things, like avoiding plastic cutlery and taking the stairs instead of the elevator, while we work up to bigger changes, like installing solar power and driving electric vehicles.

Collectively, you can encourage participation from your team, organization, or community towards sustainability and environmental protection. Here are some ideas of how you can do that.

Organize team bonding activities

There are many ways to make sustainability fun! When people feel connected, you'll see higher engagement.

Ideas might include: Virtual workshops, in-person challenges, group activities, and volunteering initiatives. A shared cinematic experience is also possible with one of these options:

Offer guidance on sustainability

Share information about sustainability and why it matters. Then, offer helpful resources that will help others become more environmentally friendly.

For example, if you have employees who work from home, a useful guide on how to create a green home office is an excellent way to encourage sustainable actions. These are just some of our favorite ideas we've talked about at Remote:

  • Going paperless and recycling all the paper we use
  • Swapping incandescent light bulbs with LED ones
  • Decorating our offices with stress-reducing indoor plants
  • Buying sustainable or used office furniture
  • Composting our food waste in the garden
  • Utilizing natural sunlight during the day
  • Painting our offices with a nontoxic paint
  • Replacing single-use kitchenware with reusable alternatives (metal straws instead of plastic straws, beeswax wraps instead of cling films)
  • Regulating our home temperatures without using major appliances
  • Moving into a tiny home, for the adventurous among us

Lead by example to help the planet

Leading by example remains to be one of the simplest ways to inspire change in others.

If you are passionate about going green, share openly about what you're doing. You never know when your actions will spark a thought, a conversation, and finally an action from someone else. Do you volunteer to clean up your neighborhood? Do you prefer to shop at your local farmer's market? Did you have a fun day planting trees in your garden? Share all about it! At Remote, we make it easy for everyone to share through Slack channels based on our interests.

Whatever you're choosing to do to appreciate, celebrate, and contribute to the Earth, enjoy your day, and thank you! Together, we can be more conscious about our own carbon footprint, look after planet Earth, and make a big difference in this world.

Happy Earth Day! 🌍🌎🌏