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Want to reduce your carbon footprint? Work from home

traffic jam

Did you know that 150 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions would be saved if New York commuters biked to work?

And what if they didn’t go to work at all? What if they stayed home and got the job done?

It’s Earth Week around the world, with Earth Day marked yesterday, April 22. It’s a time when people around the world reflect on how they can reduce their carbon footprint and lesson their impact on the environment.

The commute — at least in my part of the world — is the worst part of having an office job. You may remember two weeks ago, I whined about the price of gas in my neighbourhood.

I spent about 25 minutes in traffic, twice a day. That’s right around the average for me and my fellow Canadians.

Canadians commute

What if there was no commute? According to the Telework Research Network, 5.8 billion gallons of gas would be saved annually if the 50 million Americans who could work from home did so at least on a part-time basis.But we couldn’t just save the environment by telecommuting.

We can also save ourselves … from stress, wasted time and a loss of productivity.

In the United Kingdom, where many commute by train into London, the Annual Population Survey found many commuters who between 60 and 90 minutes getting to and from work are freakin’ miserable.

And they have, on average:

✓ Lower life satisfaction
✓ A lower sense that their daily activities are worthwhile
✓ Lower levels of happiness
✓ Higher anxiety

Meanwhile, more than a handful of studies show that people who work from home are happier, healthier, more productive and less likely to fall into the churn of employee turnover.

Is your commute too long?

How awful is your commute? Can you storm the boss’s office and make your request to work from home?

Check out our infographic on the commute in the United States and Canada:

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<div class=’visually_embed’><img class=’visually_embed_infographic’ src=’’ alt=’Earth Week’ /><div class=’visually_embed_cycle’>Explore more <a href=’’>visuals</a> like this one on the web’s largest information design community – <a href=’’>Visually</a>.</div><script type=’text/javascript’ src=’′ class=’visually_embed_script’ id=’visually_embed_script_122334′></script></div>

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