ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIONS TO DO AT HOME DURING COVID-19
Let's be real, the coronavirus is taking a toll on our mood and motivation. It can be hard to stay zero waste during COVID-19 since our priority right now is to stay safe and protect our community health while getting by financially and emotionally.
We might be stuck at home, but it's still possible to do our part. Also, doing some small actions can even help you feel good and boost your mood (we sure need some positive vibes here)! So, here are some ideas of practical, fun, and easy actions that you can do to help reduce your environmental footprint in the comfort of your home.
Eat local: There's no better time than now to encourage local business owners by buying from them. You will eat fresher products while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport.
- Try a new vegan/vegetarian recipe: With more time on your hands, why not try to cook a vegan or vegetarian version of your favourite recipe? Livestock farming is responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, 63% of deforestation in the Amazon, over-consumption of water, and soil impoverishment, not to mention animal suffering.
- Reduce food waste: In Canada, 58% of food is discarded somewhere along the food chain. Few tips to eliminate food waste are: cook with what you already have in your pantry instead of going to the grocery store, use your leftover vegetables peels to make a broth, freeze herbs if you have too much, store your produce properly to keep them fresher longer.
- Switch to soap bars: One of the most effective ways to protect yourself from COVID-19 is frequently washing your hands with soap and water. Switch to a package-free and plastic-free soap like this one.
- Make your own hard surface disinfectant: Per Health Canada's guidelines, you can make your own disinfecting with bleach and water in a ratio of 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of bleach per cup (250 mL) of water. Assuming that the bleach used is 5 % sodium hypochlorite, to give a 0.1 % sodium hypochlorite solution.
- Reduce toilet paper use: If you’re worried about toilet paper shortages, consider reducing your toilet paper use. Stretch your roll longer by limiting yourself to a square or two. You can also consider buying a bidet to eliminate your toilet paper usage completely.
- Use an ethical search engine: The digital world represents 4% of greenhouse gas emissions. You can reduce your ecological footprint by switching to a search engine like Ecosia which finances tree planting.
- Watch fewer online videos: In 2019, watching online videos that are hosted on massive servers around the world generated the equivalent of Spain’s CO2 emissions. Enjoy your time by reading a book, cooking, playing a board game, or spending time with your family at home.
- Limit the sending of emails: A typical year of incoming emails would add 136 kg to our carbon footprint, the same as 320 km travelled by car. To help, you can delete your emails regularly and not send large attachments.
- Switch to low-energy light bulbs: Low-energy light bulbs consume 80% less electricity than conventional light bulbs. An easy switch for a greener planet and more money in your pocket!
We hope our ideas got you going in your house and gave you motivation to stay green! Tell us how you stay low waste during these difficult times by leaving a comment below. Don't forget to be safe and take care of one another 🌈.