Sustainability, Pandemic and Climate change: It is more imperative than ever how they all are interconnected. But still we see life on planet and environment as a separate entity. What the pandemic has demonstrated to us is a realization that our health depends on the climate and the health of the climate depends on us. We can use this challenging time as a catalyst to recognize that Covid19 is the greatest reset towards building global sustainability.
Covid19 whether we call it a new reality or a short term reality has the majority of people working from home. Which means bulk buying is difficult, using reusable container at the restaurants and grocery stores is temporarily suspended. Food delivery in single use container has sky rocketed. Use of single use plastic is in high demand which means there is more drilling for oil to make more plastic and profiting on disaster capitalism. As a result, there is an increase in residential waste, which is making sorting and recycling of different kind of plastics really difficult.
On the positive note, shutting down of factories, power plants and restriction in movements has significantly dropped air pollution levels. We all have heard and seen the images of improvements in air quality in India and China and other densely populated countries. It is sad to say that we are seeing environmental gains in times of health and economic crisis.
So while sheltering at home how can we generate less waste? Below are just a few ways you can bring sustainable practice in your daily routine:
- Cook food and brew coffee at home. Reduce your food waste by composting at home or find a compost location near by.
- If you must order in food, opt out of single-use utensils. Reuse take out containers for leftovers or meal prep.
- Bulk buying is temporarily suspended in majority of the stores, if you must buy packaged items, opt for paper packaging as opposed to plastic packaging.
- Carry reusable bags when grocery shopping.
- Recycling is super confusing in itself, when your recycle clean containers before putting them into recycling bins and place them in the proper bins.
- Magazine collage: If you have magazines lying around, make a scrap book.
- Opt for reusable solutions for your home.
- Bottle Planter: Reuse plastic bottles to grow plants, or find a creative way to reuse.
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth and limit your shower to 5 mins.
- Avoid plastic wraps and use wax wrap for wrapping. You can wash and reuse the vegan wax wraps many times.
- Shop at local community: they are the hardest hit, and the best place that will not say No to reusables.
- Wear a reusable mask : single use mask and latex gloves are making its way to rivers and oceans. Again oil companies are benefiting and banking from this disaster capitalism. Instead, use a cloth mask, and leave the single use mask for frontend workers.
- With people working from home and spending majority of time sheltering at home, it is more important than ever to replace Incandescent bulb with LED bulbs.