The COVID-19 pandemic has been a unique and unprecedented global experience. It has shown us how vulnerable we are as a species, as well as being an alarming wake-up call regarding the health of our planet. Thankfully, with reduced air traffic, cars, and industry, pollution levels have started to drop. But this isn’t enough.
Although it’s easy to lose track of long-term issues like climate change during such an acute period of fear, COVID-19 needs to be seen as a lesson in how we treat nature. We are all in this together, and small change can make a lasting impact. We have compiled a list of ways to maintain an eco-conscious lifestyle during the pandemic and beyond.
Here are some tips:
Choose your food!
Social isolation means spending a bit more time in the kitchen, whether it may be for banana bread or quarantine date-night dinners. Two easy ways to make an impact through food are: making sustainable choices and buying local. If you choose to eat meat and fish, ensure that you are choosing sustainable options, and making informed decisions. Buying local produce reduces emissions, and supports Australian companies, farmers, and families during these challenging times.
With many countries implementing mandatory face mask regulations or due to personal choice, PPE usage has dramatically increased. Finding an environmentally friendly solution can be tricky; however reusable face masks are a great start. These are easy to make (if you’re crafty), or possible to buy from local stores and online. All you have to do is throw them in the washing machine. This helps reduce a huge amount of waste that would otherwise end up in landfill.
Waste reduction is still essential, even during COVID-19. Although it can be tricky, with restaurants mainly offering takeaway and no reusable coffee cups, it’s important we maintain a sustainable outlook during the crisis. Methods include:
• Only buy what you need – don’t panic-buy enormous amounts of food that you won’t end up using. Reduce food wastage!
• Opt for environmentally friendly restaurants – many businesses are beginning to implement plastic free- or reduced plastic packaging.
• Buy smart – make environmentally conscious purchase decisions. This includes the materials, quality, packaging, and location.
Gardening is an excellent way to implement an environmentally friendly approach to your lifestyle. It’s not only therapeutic and great exercise, but is also amazing for the planet. Firstly, plants are essential in removing carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. So, more plants mean better air quality! Growing some of your own produce also helps reduce your carbon footprint – and bonus that it tastes even better if it’s from your garden! Finally, composting is an excellent way to reduce landfill and recycle organic nutrients.
Are you looking for ways to fill your isolation boredom? Take advantage of the situation and educate yourself on environmental sustainability. With documentaries, movies, fiction and non-fiction books, or articles – we can make the most of this quiet period in our lives and expand our knowledge. Education is the most powerful tool for change, so share the information with family and friends.
Another way to fill the hours in the day is to spring clean your wardrobe. We live in a world focused on consumerism and fast-fashion, so we’re quick to end up with a cupboard full of clothes we’ve barely worn. On the other end of the scale, there are many people doing it tough, especially considering the current financial situation. Therefore, why not help out by sorting through your clothes, and donating those you haven’t looked at for a while?