As you know, our new normal is looking vastly different than what our lives used to look like. There have been a lot of reports about how the earth is healing itself since there is less pollution with people staying home more.
While, I’ve put together a list of ways you can continue to work toward being green during this global pandemic. I am not a science expert. I’m simply sharing what I know about and some basic ways to help the environment during this time.
- Use reusable containers or materials. For instance, if you normally use a napkin or paper towel to clean up a mess, use a dishtowel. You can reuse the dishtowel, unlike that napkin or paper towel. We all know that paper goods like paper towels, napkins, and toilet paper are at an all-time low as far as availability goes, so this will you to really use those products when you need to, not just as a convenience.
- Purchase only drinks that you need. When you go to the grocery store and by individual drinks, the likelihood of you reusing the bottle is slim. You can get water from the tap (or buy a water filter if needed). Put water (or your drink) in your reusable cup. If you’re saying “but I really want milk” don’t buy a smaller size milk container, buy the gallon and put it in a cup or another container to drink.
- Drive with purpose. If you are going out, don’t just go for a drive. Instead, run the few errands you have on your way back. If you’re driving to pick something out that is not in town, make sure you have multiple errands to run in that direction.
- Order in “bulk”. I’m using the term bulk here loosely. Instead of buying one thing on Amazon, buy a handful of things and ask it to consolidate your purchases. This means that less packaging will be used. There is the chance it might take longer to ship and get to you, but you will not have multiple boxes or multiple trips by the carrier to get you these items. For instance, I knew I was going to need my daily vitamins and toothpaste, so I went through my bathroom and ordered everything I would need for a while. I ended up getting some more soap, my daily supplement, toothpaste, vitamins, and a few other things so I would be extra prepared. I had Target ship it all to me in one package. Keep in mind when you do this, to make sure these are things you need, not just want or might use. This is a great time to order from retailers where you can buy more than one type of thing (i.e. Target, Walmart, Amazon, etc.) to help minimize how many packages are being sent out.
- Plant some flowers or trees. If you have the property and space available, now is a great time to plant. This will help bees with pollination, your landscape, and overall happiness. I recently created a cactus and succulent terrarium. It’s small and can sit in my room. This is also a great time to plant a garden! In fact, this could be a big help if we have to continue social distancing in the future. Back during the World Wars, people planting gardens became an expectation and they were known as “victory gardens”. I talk more about them here. If you have space outside, planting trees and plants directly into the ground helps prevent erosion and to keep waterways cleaner.
- Turn off electricity and spend time outside. It’s springtime! While Virginia’s weather can be very temperamental this time of the year (really all year long). Go outside and play, exercise, read, etc. Technically, as long as something is plugged into the wall you are drawing electricity, but you will still save by turning it off and just spending some time outside. Now is also a great time to catch up on all those outside projects!
- Shop locally. If you can, now is the time to stop online ordering and call stores. While this is a big push for only ordering from small local businesses, it is totally okay to shop locally at a chain store. You’re still helping your local economy when you do this (just not to the same degree as shopping at a locally owned store). You can find great places to find books here.
- Do laundry as needed. If you’re like me you’re rotating through t-shirts, shorts, and a sweatshirt each day. Spread out your laundry and do it when you have a full load. If you’re going “oh but I really just want to wash this one sweatshirt” and don’t have a full load, change the amount of water that you use. Change settings on the drier as needed, or air-dry your items.
- Recycle your gloves. If you’re using gloves to protect yourself, make sure to toss them in a recycle bin, not a trash can. The only time you actually should throw them away is if they have a biohazard or some sort of drug on them.
- Talk to others! This is a great time to make sure you are sharing the information that you know. Share how you’re helping the environment!
As I said earlier, I’m no expert, but there are tons of resources to learn more. Please make sure they’re reliable sources before jumping to conclusions.
If you want to learn more about the Coronavirus Pandemic and managing the climate, check out my best friend, Lili’s blog here.
How are you helping? Leave a comment below!