Recognize Earth Day by Staying Resourceful While Working from Home

Families around the country are working diligently to navigate a new normal as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.  We know that for educators the new normal requires exploring new digital tools to support their students’ progress. Discovery Education is proud to partner with Itron to provide digital learning resources that help students understand the importance of working to create a more resourceful world. Through an adaptable library of resources and family activities, Conservation Station inspires families to collaborate and discover ways that they can conserve water and energy at home. 

In recognition of Earth Day on April 22nd, and while we are all spending more time in our homes than ever, we can all play a role in establishing habits of resourcefulness that can continue into the future!  Below guest contributor Callie Bendickson, director of corporate social responsibility at Itron, provides some helpful tips for learning to conserve while working from home. 

As people around the world transition to working remotely amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is seeing positive environmental impacts. For the first time since 2009, global emissions are predicted to decline, but unfortunately, they are predicted to roar back when social distancing orders lift. If you are among the many individuals that are working from home during this time, there is a great opportunity to begin adding resourceful practices to your daily life – and continue them into the future when things return to normal. 

Conservation is at the heart of Itron’s mission and purpose. The following are quick tips for conserving energy and water. With these small changes, we can all play a part in reducing emissions for the long-term, modeling resourcefulness for our families and preventing an unexpected bill at the end of the month. 

Open the Blinds: Take advantage of natural light in your workspace, and you won’t have to use overhead lighting or lamps. In addition, don’t forget to turn off lights in spaces that are not being used. Another way to reduce energy costs from lighting is to replace incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with energy efficient models, you could save an average of $75 each year. 

Use a Smart Power Strip: Electronic devices such as computers continue to consume energy even when they are in sleep mode. This accounts for about 8% of annual electricity costs in the average household. Smart power strips can detect when a device is in standby mode and cut off power to save energy. 

Adjust Your Settings: Most computers have built-in settings for energy savings. For example, you can set your computer to automatically go into lower power consumption mode after a certain amount of time. Avoid using a screensaver when your computer is not active. Instead, turn your computer to sleep mode if you are stepping away for a lunch or exercise break and turn your devices off completely if you will not be using them for an extended period. 

Invest in Energy Efficient Equipment: If you are in the market for any home office devices, be sure to look for energy efficient products. There are also companies that sell used and refurbished equipment or offer trade-ins and recycling. 

Conserve Water: There are many simple ways to conserve water in your home. Even a few small changes can add up to hundreds of gallons in water savings. A great place to start is the shower. Take a shorter shower and use a water-saving shower head. It’s also more efficient to only run the dishwasher when it’s full and conserve water outdoors by only watering plants or the lawn in the early morning. 

Avoid Peak Rate Times: Log into your utility account and look for peak or “time of use” rates. Your utility rates can increase during those peak times, so choosing the right time of day to do a load of laundry could impact how much that spin cycle costs you at the end of the month. You can also set a programmable thermostat to keep the house warmer or cooler during peak periods. 

During this unprecedented time, Itron remains committed to our company mission and purpose, while enabling cities, utilities and communities to better manage energy and water. We encourage those working remotely to use this time to introduce resourceful habits around the home. Together, we are creating a more resourceful world. 

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to engage in developing positive habits that can last a lifetime! Share the Conservation Station virtual learning and family resources with your students today!