01 December 2010

A few tell-tale signs that your eco-friendly telecommuting has gone too far

Wow, the working-from-home thing is pretty cool, isn’t it? Telecommuting – otherwise known as corporate liberation – affords a person the opportunity to really sink their teeth into company responsibilities and accomplish far more than they were ever able to in their previous life as a working stiff. Just roll out of bed, plunk right down in front of the computer and awaaaayyy you go!

Gone are the days of early morning passive aggressive commuter gesticulations, colorful expletive sessions or mind numbing crawls in 2.3 mile per hour traffic. No more horrifying gas gauge revelations…nooo more guilt-ridden CO2 emissions…nooooo more habitual pit stops to Waste-O-Bucks for a frou-frou saccharine java jolt to the system…and certainly noooooo more mindless noshing on Mc Beef-o-Rama’s early morning Mc Artery Cloggers. Just staying home to earn a living makes you officially greener than Jiminy Cricket!

While experts suggest that telecommuters should prepare for their daily work load in the same way as they would if they were heading out to a brick and mortar office (to ensure a sharper work-oriented frame of mind), those in the know know better. Who needs all of that pomp and circumstance? Computer screens afford telecommuters the luxury of a professional presence even when their appearance is more Alfalfa-like than Gordon Gekko.

A self-motivated worker tends to thrive no matter what environment they lay their keyboard down in, but when that individual happens to be a serious greenie, their carbon footprint reduction strategies begin to reach never before seen heights of insanity…er…greenity – whether intentional or not. How many tree huggers out there are strong enough to admit that one or more of the following points apply to them?

DOES THIS SOUND LIKE YOU? In your quest to save time, money, preserve resources and make amends for the ground water contamination sins of your former life as a real-world commuter:

1) Do you roll out of bed wearing the same pajamas that you end up rolling right back into bed with?

Grungy Ewww Factor: Good God, 8.9!
Convenience Factor: A perfect 10!
Water & Energy Conservation: No doubt about it – another 10!

2) Do you end up using a washing machine exclusively for PJs and bedding – taking a minimum of two solid months to accumulate a full load?

Grungy Ewww Factor: Not so bad, all things considered.
Convenience Factor: Hell, yeah!
Water & Energy Conservation: Perfect 10!

3) Do you visit the inside of a shower a maximum of twice a week, preferring instead to rely on an occasional quickie sink basin “Italian shower” in extreme cases of perspiration emergency?

Grungy Ewww Factor: Better this than a complete hygiene boycott altogether.
Convenience Factor: Maybe a little messy – should probably have a pet on standby to sop up all of your splashes.
Water & Energy Conservation: An impressive 9.

4) Do you skip lathering and shaving altogether (reserving it only for special occasions)?

Grungy Ewww Factor: It depends on the body part we’re talking about…
Convenience Factor: Unquestionably a 10!
Water & Energy Conservation: Hmm, in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a huge Momma Nature saver (unless you normally allow the water to blast full force from your shower head during your ritual, in which case your score then rises to a 10).

5) Do you allow your locks to go au naturel? (Hairdryer what? Curling iron what?) Styling aids – they’re for sissies! If your wiry, air-dried hair is good enough for the doting menagerie of pets curled up on your lap and desk, then that’s all that really matters.

Grungy Ewww Factor: Aside from the non-sleek, just-rolled-out-of-bed look, it’s not like you’re blowing off shampoo…just products. No ewww necessary.
Convenience Factor: Are you kidding – 11 all the way!!
Water & Energy Conservation: 8

6) Do you rock the face that Mother Nature gave you rather than succumbing to the painting and preening trappings of your former existence? Or, if you’re a member of the male persuasion, do you just avoid looking in the mirror altogether? (Finally, a good excuse to avoid plucking those gnarly phantom brow sprouts that spring up one full inch overnight!)

Grungy Ewww Factor: Ladies score a 5 if they aren’t endowed with naturally alabaster complexions and lovely little rosy cheeks. Men secure a whopping 10 if huge tufts of errant hairs are involved.
Convenience Factor: Perfect 10!
Water & Energy Conservation: Ladies will save a fair amount of water by not having to lather their war paint off at the end of the night.

7) Do you tap into your inner dog by completely licking clean whatever utensil and/or dish you’re using before air-drying it in anticipation of your next meal? (What -- it’s your spit – why is that gross?)

Grungy Ewww Factor: Not so bad…maybe bordering on hmmm and whoa.
Convenience Factor: Right up there with peeled grapes and sliced bread.
Water & Energy Conservation: 10 all the way, baybee.

8) Do you try to avoid having to do the dishes altogether by eating directly out of cans, jars and the refrigerator? Then, do you summon your dog or cat to tidy up your finger “utensils” before finally drying them off on your sock? (What -- it’s your pet’s spit – why is that gross?)

Grungy Ewww Factor: Full tilt – off the scales grossossity (unless you swap spit with your pet on a regular basis, in which case we definitely don’t want to know any of the details)!!
Convenience Factor: Would definitely have its merits if pet saliva weren’t involved…although they say that it’s surprisingly sanitizing.
Water & Energy Conservation: Unquestionably a 10!

Elizah Leigh | @elizahleigh
Elizah Leigh's master's degree in education combined with her passion for the written word and deep-seated interest in environmental issues has proven to be the ideal trifecta for her present status as a green journalist. Currently commissioned to write a reference book on vegetarianism, Elizah hopes to inspire people through her words. Follow Elizah on Facebook.

Photo credit: cc:flickr.com/photos/marcamos