Five ways to work from anywhere more sustainably


For many of us, the pandemic has completely shifted our way of working. It's made remote work commonplace and has opened up a whole new type of travel – the workcation. If you're taking your career on the road or even if you're just staying at home more often, we have 5 helpful tips to keep you travelling and working more sustainably.


Why this is important


When working in the office, it can sometimes be easy to forget the efforts a company has already put in place to make their workspace more sustainable. For instance, at Booking.com, we have been carbon neutral since 2020, removed the majority of single-plastic products from our offices around the world and have numerous waste-streaming and recycling initiatives, from e-waste to food and furniture. However, it's not always so easy to replicate these efforts when working remotely. And with more and more people transferring their carbon footprint from the office to a remote work location, reducing that footprint calls for some smart, simple but potentially powerful changes.



1. Plan your stay

If you're going on a workcation, consider the sustainability of where you're staying – you might be surprised by how many accommodation providers have already implemented some form of sustainable practice at their property. At Booking.com, hundreds of thousands of our property partners have shared their sustainability information with us – which you can find on a hotel page's facilities section.


What can you change?

  • Choose a property utilising renewable energy – it's a great way to make all that time on your laptop greener.

  • Look out for accommodations offering water-saving measures, such as optional towel or bedding cleaning.

  • Check if the property has upgraded its lighting to LED bulbs. It might sound small, but it can make a big difference.




2. What's in your fridge?

One-third of all food produced globally is wasted, from farm to supermarket to our homes. What’s more, the food industry generates 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, alongside the huge amount of water and resources needed for farming. So food waste has the secondary impact of unnecessary greenhouse gas emission.


What can you change?

  • Plan meals for the week – you save money and avoid vegetables wilting in the back of the fridge.

  • Limit meat consumption – cows and sheep produce more methane (a potent greenhouse gas) than coal, oil and gas mining. Try reducing the amount of meat you purchase at home, or if you're working abroad, look out for places with vegetarian or vegan options on the menu.

  • If you buy local, you support independent or family-owned businesses, which in turn can often stock local produce from small-scale suppliers.




3. Beware of vampires

Vampire devices are electronics that are plugged in and continue to use a small but noticeable amount of energy – even on standby.


What can you change?

  • Unplug devices – televisions, laptops, phone chargers and even microwaves suck electricity all day long. When not in use, pull the plug to save energy.

  • Invest in smart plugs to make it easier to control what devices are turned on and control it all from an app.

  • Turn off the lights – open the curtains before switching on a lamp. And when it’s dark, play around with the lighting to get the best lumation for what you need.



4. Watch your waste

Our houses are full of electronics we use on a daily basis, but what about the ones we don’t need anymore? We all have a drawer at home filled with old phones, cables and loose batteries. E-waste is the world's fastest growing form of waste. In fact, the World Economic Forum says 44.7 million tonnes of electronic waste is generated every year, but a lot of it can be safely recycled.


What can you change?

  • Dispose of batteries safely – they often contain toxic elements, so give that drawer a clearout and find a nearby recycling point.

  • Sell/recycle old devices – certain materials in electronics are finite and labour-intensive to mine. Put some material back into the market and help the circular economy by recycling.

  • Switch to ethical electronics – for example, Fairphone. They make it easier to repair and recycle phones, while also sourcing sustainable materials.




5. Bye bye bathroom plastics

Single-use bathroom products make up a large proportion of household contaminants. Worse still, they often break down into microplastics, which eventually find their way into the water supply and many animals' food. In 2020, we signed the UN’s Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, dedicated to finding a systemic solution to plastic pollution in travel – here are some ways you can do your bit, too.


What can you change?

  • Use soap bars – replace countless bottles with bars that take up less space. Their carbon footprint is roughly 25% lower than the liquid alternative.

  • When planning your stay, look out for properties that no longer offer single-use plastic products, such as mini shampoos – try bringing your own in a small reusable bottle.

  • Forget plastic cotton buds – they’re one of the most common items found on beaches and are lethal to marine life. Organic, card-based alternatives are a little more expensive but far less damaging.



Whether you're working remotely at home or abroad, these small, manageable changes can make serious reductions to your environmental and social impact. Work anywhere and protect everywhere. Find your next sustainable stay at Booking.com.