In the summer, I have a natural-light–induced version of FOMO: If the sun’s out, I feel like I need to be too. So in the winter, I relax, and there is very little that can coax me out of the domain of hygge and Netflix. And as it turns out, all this staying in and canceling plans might actually be good for something beyond my desire to chill out (but warmly, under blankets). According to a new study published in the scientific journal Joule, the environment may actually be benefitting from your cozy hours on the couch.
The study found that between 2003 and 2012, Americans spent eight more days per year at home, which could be due to a number of factors like technology, changing lifestyle habits, and a growing work culture that allows for some employees to WFH. All of this contributed to a 1.8 percent decrease in national energy demand in 2012.
The long and short of it is that people are spending more time at home. They’re visiting brick-and-mortar retail spaces less frequently (hello, Amazon), working from home more often (it’s good for everyone involved), and just generally spending more time on the couch with their computers (AKA watching Netflix and Hulu). This translates to reduced energy consumption and other benefits for the environment (fewer cars on the road, for example), the study says.
So, simply staying home helps the environment? Count me in. And if I whip up a Beyond Meat burger to fuel my binge-watching sesh, well, there are my good deeds for the week.
There’s even more reason to stay at home now that you can bring your Peloton into your living room and also stream all of your favorite boutique classes.