Can we still keep green habits and live sustainably even during a pandemic? That’s one question eco-warriors have asked themselves at one point in this time of ‘Rona. We’re here to tell you that it is indeed possible to retain your environmental values and habits while fighting off this virus! Before we begin, let us recognize first that having this eco-dilemma in the first place comes from a privileged place as it means that your basic safety, security, and survival are somehow certain. Knowing this, let us empathize with others who are not as fortunate by helping in any we can may it be from donating or staying at home.
Now that we have settled that we are (still) in a position to help Mother Earth, here’s five (5) checklists you can follow to live sustainably even during a pandemic depending on the day’s activity:
When going out of the house (only when you really have to!)
- A cloth mask is a good and still effective alternative to single-use medical masks and N95 masks provided that you’re not considered a high risk, do not work in the medical field, and where you’re going isn’t too crowded and proper social distancing is implemented.
- Repurpose pieces of cloth at home by making your own mask. Make sure to make use of at least 2 layers of washable and breathable fabric. Follow this DIY cloth face guide approved by the CDC to make sure that your mask is up to standards.
- Global emissions have dropped to 4.6% since the lockdowns started. Make it drop further by choosing to go on foot, bike or skate to your destination especially when it’s just nearby. Bonus points that you get to exercise after being cooped up at home!
When going on a grocery run
- Your totes, cloth bags, and eco bags are fine so long as you wash them after every use. However, if the store doesn’t allow it, ask them if they have boxes or paper bags to place your groceries in.
- Bring your produce and mesh bags with you when buying fresh vegetables and fruits. Let’s stay away from that plastic!
- Check if you have local organic stores, bulk stores, and zero waste stores that are open and running in your area. These stores have minimal to no plastic being used when it comes to their products and packaging.
When ordering takeout
- Ditch the plastic utensils and request them to not include any. You have perfectly fine silverware at home.
- Sachet away! Request the restaurant to hold the plastic packed condiments when you have these already in your pantry. This will help lower down the whopping 855 billion pieces of sachets disposed each year.
- Plastic cups and bottles? No, thank you! If you’ve got perfectly safe drinking water or any other drinks at home, then choose to go á la carte.
When doing online shopping
- Request the business you’re buying from to go for minimal plastic and packaging. There are brands such as Satori Revolution that make use of eco-friendly shipping materials and recycled packaging to place their sustainable clothing pieces in.
- For deliveries that sadly make use of plastic bags and boxes, recycle and repurpose them. Turn them into an art installation piece, trash bins, and the box can even be used for layering soil and mulch in your garden.
- Consider the carbon footprint your purchase will be making based on shipping alone. If you think you’ll be making a purchase from the same store any time soon, might as well bump up the quantity to save on carbon emissions.
When staying and lounging in
- Start with your meals. We waste about 25% of the food that we buy so only cook what you’re sure to eat to avoid spoilage. Spoilage is the most wasteful and avoidable problem when it comes to food waste. First off, the food you had took up resources to make and created emissions to get on your plate for only to end up in landfills to emit methane. Totally avoidable!
- Surf the web while planting trees whenever you use Ecosia as your search engine. By the way, their servers run on 200% renewable energy, which removes 1kg of CO2 from the atmosphere for every search request.
- Inventory check! Find out what you already have at home so you make less unneeded purchases, repurpose what’s lying around, and actually get to use the things you own.
Take note that as we continue to learn about COVID-19 and navigate our way through new developments brought about this pandemic, we must adjust and adapt accordingly to prioritize our safety. When doing so, let’s keep in mind how we can continue to make the least amount of waste and damage to the Earth.
Ultimately, as we fight our way out of this health pandemic, let’s not forget that we have also been living through an environmental pandemic for a time now. Much like how we can prevent the spreading of the virus through handwashing, wearing facemasks, and maintaining social distancing, we can also still prevent adding further damage to the environment by adapting greener habits when running quarantine errands even while staying at home!
Photo from the gorgeous @johannaymills wearing our Aleah top in nude 💕