working fewer hours would save the environment, study says

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STUDY: Working Fewer Hours In the Office Could Enormously Benefit The Environment

Tell your boss. Run, don't walk.

May 29, 2019 - 11:36 am

(WWJ) The hazy days of summer are finally on their way and that means barbecue grills, pool time -- and ozone action days.

While people skip filling up the gas tank and figuring out what else they can do to help the environment, keep this in mind: A new study from European think tank Autonomy says putting in fewer hours at work could have an enormous effect on the health of the earth.

"Decreasing the amount we work by just 1% can decrease our carbon footprints by 1.46%, and the effects could be exponential," a website called sheknows reported.

How to do it? Suggestions include, "Working from home as much as possible, taking public transit and carpooling, and pressuring our offices to stay a little warmer in the summer and a little cooler in the winter (to) have a small but important impact."

The theory is that workplaces suck a lot of resources from car commutes, interior lighting, air conditioning huge office spaces, and the "constant hum of electronics and the blaring light from our various screens." Avoiding that reduces emissions that harm the environment.

What the European think tank study doesn't mention is how to pay the mortgage whilst altruistically helping the environment by cutting back your own hours at work to relax quietly at home. Perhaps that answer comes in volume two. 

"The paper focuses on the emissions produced per industry in each economy but does not take into account other environmental advantages of reducing working hours, from less commuting to fewer goods produced and resources used," UK newspaper The Guardian reported.

Following the basic rules of economics, fewer products would produce scarcity, which would increase prices. Presumably, it would be difficult to pay with lower pay for working less hours. So, you would have to convince the company to pay you more money for less work.

Good luck.

Emma Williams, a spokeswoman for the 4 Day Week campaign, told The Guardian Wednesday’s report was welcome as an attempt "to grapple with the very real changes society will need to make in order to live within the limits of the planet.” 

“In addition to improved wellbeing, enhanced gender equality and increased productivity, addressing climate change is another compelling reason we should all be working less.”