Guides and Initiatives

Sustainability and Working from Home

We have had to spend a lot of time at home during 2020 and 2021, so we compiled guides and initiatives to help you reduce your footprint.

Working from home can seem like a more sustainable option than travelling to college using petrol or diesel, heating buildings, and using many equipment and lighting.

But learning and working from home can also have its environmental challenges – it can directly affect the environment and possible our finances.

Here are some suggestions on how you can reduce your impact and maybe save some money at the same time:

Working from home

Green Campus Guides and Initiatives

WATER

We see water as a free or  cheap resource, plentiful in Ireland. But water treatment costs money and it requires to generate the electricity used in water and wastewater treatment.  For these reasons and for conservation of our water supplies, we should be careful with how we use water. 

WATER

Check for leaks on your premises, fix dripping taps and encourage all your household to prevent letting taps run when cleaning teeth or washing hands. Fill a basin when washing dishes, turn on dishwasher and washing machines only when they are at full capacity and use a bucket or barrel of water to wash vehicles. Hose pipes create a high demand on water resources.

WASTE

Each person in Ireland produces on average 580kg of household waste every year.  Apart from the cost to the household, this can also be an environmental burden on society. The government website mywaste.ie is a great resource. Plan your weekly shopping, buy what you need. Sometimes ‘2 for the price of 1’ offers sound great but only if it will be used.

WASTE

Consider the amount of packaging on food, chose loose fruit and vegetables where possible. Cook what you need and plan leftover food. Apart from going paper free- consider living without a printer?
Visit mywaste.ie

ENERGY USE

We have lots of electrical devices in our homes.  While many may be energy efficient, having them on stand-by or on idle when not in use creates a considerable energy demand.  Here are some energy tips: Switch off and unplug devices when not in use. Swap in the most efficient light bulbs when you have to replace old ones. Turn off lights when not needed  

ENERGY USE

Switch off kitchen devices like coffee makers that would normally stand in idle for long periods. Consider energy efficiency of new devices you may purchase.

HOUSEHOLD HEATING

Check your home heating system to see if it is working at most efficiently.  This might mean getting a boiler serviced, learning to programme the controls or adjusting heating thermostats.

HOUSEHOLD HEATING

Checking your home heating system may also include upgrading your heating controls so they are more effective in keeping you warm.

What Else Can You Do to Reduce Your Impact?

 GIVE BACK

 Think outside your home, and get involved in your community. 

Work with neighbours or a local group or club to organise a litter pick, plan tree planting, invest in edible plants like fruit trees.

 

 

 SUPPORT LOCAL

Buy local produce where possible.  Support local business working in your area producing products such as foods, clothing or crafts.  Choose local services.

 

 

 

 USE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE!

We all have lots of things in our homes.  Instead of purchasing new, consider if there is something you have that might work. Or put out a call to friends and neighbours, can you exchange, share or borrow instead of buying?  It’s also a good way to connect with your local community.

 BUY LESS STUFF

We are all used to consuming to a level that we cannot sustain. 

Try to purchase less and look for higher quality items that are made sustainably, will last longer, and can be repaired.

 

 

If You Wish to Dig Deeper...

The Lazy Person's Guide to Saving the World
Stop Food Waste
Memphis Sustainability Tops While Working From Home

“We did it!” Fiona Britton and Declan Feeney said after winning the prestigious Green Flag Award for Waste Reduction and Energy, a first for IT Sligo.

In this 15-minute podcast, find out how staff, students and the wider community came together to make a positive environmental change and why this is only the beginning of the “green” journey for IT Sligo

IT Sligo Podcast

Thought Leaders: A Closer Look for the Curious

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