While it’s hard to imagine global warming when, at least on the East Coast,  we’ve had one of the snowiest (and coldest) winters on record, it is definitely happening. In fact, 97 percent of climate scientists all agree that our climate is warming—and it’s due to human fault.

For those who think that global warming is a myth, here are some sobering stats:

  • The global sea level has risen 6.7 inches in the last century. That might not seem like a lot until you consider that the rate in the last decade is nearly double that of the last century.
  • Since the 1970s, the Earth’s surface has warmed, with 10 of the warmest years happening in the past 12 years.
  • The earth’s oceans have absorbed much of the extra heat. The top 2,300 feet of ocean have warmed 0.302 degrees Farenheit since 1969. If you consider that one mile is 5,280 feet, then nearly half a mile of the top of the ocean has warmed.
  • The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are melting. Greenland has lost between 150 to 250 cubic kilometers of ice per year between 2002 and 2006 alone.
  • Glaciers are becoming smaller in almost every part of the world, including the Rockies, the Andes, the Himalayas, and even Africa.

While it may seem that there’s not much for you to do to help the environment beyond practicing the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), there’s one huge way in which virtually any person can make a big impact, and that’s through telecommuting. After all, working from home is perhaps one of the greenest ways to work. Here are four reasons why flexibility is good not only for you, but for the environment as well:

1.     You consume less electricity. When you worked in a regular office, you never gave a second thought to leaving your computer on all night. Working from home, though, you diligently turn off all of your equipment when you’re done for the day because now you’re footing the electric bill. But costs aside, when you use less electricity, it helps the environment.

2.     Companies use smaller office spaces—or none at all. Having even just a few remote employees greatly impacts a company’s bottom line. It’s estimated that for every employee who works from home, it saves employers roughly $11,000 in reduced office space, office equipment, electricity, etc. Those cost savings also translate to reducing the impact on Mother Nature, too.

3.     Your carbon footprint is smaller. You’d be hard pressed to find a worker who claims to love his commute into work each day. Thankfully, working from home eliminates the daily schlep into the office and also decreases the amount of pollution you—and your preferred mode of transportation—are putting out into the air. It’s estimated that your commute to and from the office is responsible for more than 98 percent of your carbon footprint. Working remotely almost completely reduces any air pollution associated with your work.

4.     You don’t waste as much. Unless you always pack a lunch, working in an office can equal shelling out big bucks (sometimes on a daily basis) for meals. But that’s not the only problem. Eating out can often mean using disposable containers that can end up in a landfill. And unless you’re eating at the deli downstairs, you might be hopping in your car to get your fast food fix. Heating up last night’s leftovers eliminates any waste that you might produce as a result of grabbing lunch outside.

Working from home has many benefits, both for you as the employee and your employer as well. But perhaps the biggest advantage to telecommuting is how it helps the environment, one workday at a time.

To learn more about how you can use flex to make your job more green, join our webinar on Wednesday with the Green Business Bureau: Register now!

photo credit: thinkstockphotos.com