How A Freelance Economy Is Keeping The Planet Green

MSN recently published an article which claims the 9 to 5 job may be dying. One of the reasons is because freelancing and contracting are now seen as viable options for both people and companies, whereas this didn’t used to be the case at all. Technology has also allowed for this in many ways. After all, telecommuting to work wasnít even considered an option until relatively recently.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 23 million people were self-employed in 2013. Thatís up 1.2 percent from the year before and itís a 24 percent increase from 2003. Some other organizations, such as The Freelancerís Union, claim the number is actually around 53 million which would mean about one third of the American workforce is self-employed.

While there may be a 20 million difference between the two figures, it remains true that the American workforce is going through a major revolution – one that has been going on for years and is now getting some attention.

Thereís a lot of good news that comes with this shift including better work life balance, more affordable healthcare and a plethora of other benefits. But perhaps one benefit that hasnít been mentioned is how these new work structures actually help keep the planet green.

Freelancers and Contractors Telecommute

Global Workplace Analytics has put together a series of statistics that show us the state of telecommuting in the U.S. According to their findings telework has risen 80 percent since 2005. Additionally, while traditional jobs were declining in 2011 and 2012, telecommuting was still on the rise.

From getting rid of the use of fuel required to get to work to having to use cloud systems to communicate and transfer files, telecommuting alone could single-handedly take care of a lot of eco issues that arise in the workplace.

Freelancers And Contractors Eat Leftovers

The EPA has found that Americans waste more food per year than anything else – 35 million tons to be exact. Theories to solve this issue state that solving hunger in the U.S. isnít a matter of producing more food but rather learning to eat what we already have.

I remember when I worked at an office outside my home I would spend an obscene amount of money on food. Since working from home full-time, I find myself cooking more and eating leftovers. In fact, cooking has become a way for me to unwind and relax and Iím sure Iím not the only self-employed individual who takes full advantage of whatís available in their kitchen as they work from home.

Freelancers And Contractors Barely Use Paper

The materials required to run a business have been slashed thanks to the internet. I speak from experience when I say my colleagues and I run our businesses from our laptops and donít really need anything else. For many freelancers, as long as they have the internet they can work.

This has led to several online services being created to meet our needs – from project management cloud systems to accounting. Ultimately this all leads to less paper being used up in office environments.

New work structures have paved the way for us to work with an eco-friendly view in mind. While this probably wasn’t the primary reason for creating these structures, it is a nice byproduct of the changes going on in our workforce.


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

Igor Panteleyev
Past Member 3 years ago

Interesting point! Also it would be nice if can work locally at least :)

Caroline Asgard
Caroline Asgard3 years ago

Well that's good

Rika S.
Rika S3 years ago


Janis K.
Janis K3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Hussein Khalil
Hussein Khalil3 years ago


Muff-Anne York-Haley

These are the positive virtues of freelancing:))

Janet B.
Janet B3 years ago


Stardust Noel
Past Member 3 years ago


Anne Moran
Anne M3 years ago

Sure the 9 - 5 job is dying,, with so many people working from home, on their computers..

The times-they-are-a-changing... [in case you didn't notice...]