With the pandemic taking over the lives of billions across the world, you might feel like your attempt to be eco friendly was thwarted. Community clean-ups and tree planting drives have all halted to a stop. Social distancing has become the norm as we’ve all taken up the responsibility of keeping ourselves safe, and subsequently, the community around us. However, it is still possible for all of us to take measures to ensure the health of our environment.
We can utilize this time to assess our habits and create sustainable ones. The longer you exercise habits, the higher the chance of it sticking, even when everything resumes again. That’s what we’re going to address today.
The pandemic has got nothing on us! We’ve got 10 great ways you can be eco-friendly right from home.
Be mindful of your electricity consumption
It might seem as if there is nothing much to do besides binge-watching a show or streaming a movie. That doesn’t have to be the case! Give your devices a rest and find other outlets where you can channel your energy and time. Dust off a book you’ve been meaning to read. Or learn something you never had the time for.
Though electricity consumption has taken a slump globally, building healthy digital habits can be a great way to stay eco friendly.
Make use of your food scraps by turning them into compost! All you need is a bin with a few drilled in holes. The holes allow air inside. Layer the waste by alternating between wet and dry waste.
Wet waste comprises of kitchen scraps. You can use dry leaves for the dry waste (smaller material breaks down faster). Make sure to aerate the pile every few days to quicken the process. You can add to the bin daily and should have compost ready within 2 to 3 weeks. Mix some in with soil to give your plants a healthy boost.
There’s something about taking care of plants and watching them grow that is therapeutic. You might not be able to live off of your garden anytime soon, but you can get started. And that’s what counts.
Leafy veggies like spinach and mint are easy to maintain and quick to grow. Honing your gardening skills now can make it easier for you to maintain your garden once you return to the hustle and bustle of ordinary life.
Cook away with greens
Ordering in isn’t as accessible as it was before and has turned a lot of us into home cooks. Why not keep it going? Or get started, if you haven’t already? Find ways to make veggies interesting. Try to eat more plant-based and get creative with what you have in your kitchen! Plant-based diets reduce water use and also lowers pollution. You don’t have to forego your current diet entirely. Just introduce more vegetables into them.
Don’t throw it, fix it.
Find ways to give a new life to the things that you intended to throw away. You can get your creative juices flowing and minimise your waste! Add a fresh coat of paint, or find a completely new use for them. The options when it comes to upcycling waste goes as far as your imagination.
Upcycling reduces what would go to the landfill and minimises the use of natural resources. You get a creative project on your hands too!
Making disinfectant is easy peasy lemon squeezy. Literally. Instead of throwing away lemon peels, store them in a container. Add vinegar and let it infuse for at least two weeks. Make sure that the vinegar completely covers the lemon peels as exposed peels can mold.
Once done, strain the liquid and discard the peels(just add it to your compost bin). Add this liquid along with distilled water in a 1:1 ratio to a spray bottle. Your homemade disinfectant is ready! Add a few drops of lemon essential oil to bring out the lemony smell.
Check your fridge
Grocery store runs have drastically reduced since the lockdown. That means a lot of groceries in one go. Plan your grocery trips and make sure that you have everything jotted down on your grocery list. Minimal trips to the store are great for the environment, but keep tabs on what you have in your fridge and pantry. This will help you to avoid wastage and make the most of everything that was bought.
If you’ve had something in the back of your fridge for too long, you can salvage it by making vegetable stock. If it’s too far gone, add it to your compost bin.
Rummage through your closet
Clean out your closet! Now’s the time to evaluate what’s in your wardrobe. Do you wear them often? Are there items that you’ve outgrown? Take stock of what you have and find a way to make use of the pieces that you don’t wear. If they’re in good condition, put them in the donate pile. You can donate them if it is safe to do so. Or stitch a cleaning rag from them. The purpose is to make use of what you have by giving them a new life.
Segregate Your Waste
Segregating is important for multiple reasons. Recycling and composting become easier. It also makes it easier for the people that dispose of it. Their health and well being on the job is our responsibility as they’re handling waste we produced. They shouldn’t have to sift through our garbage. Making this tiny change to our everyday routine can make all the difference in theirs.
Keep separate bins for paper and plastic waste. They can be then sent out to be recycled. Food waste from the kitchen goes to the compost bin. Keep nonrecyclable waste like sanitary waste in a different bin. It might be challenging at first, but a little bit of extra effort can go a long way.
Masks have become an integral part of all of our lives. Reusable masks are comfortable to wear and also help to avoid unnecessary waste. Hand wash the masks using warm water and detergent. Line dry them and they’re good to go again.
The lockdown might be stressful, but what it has given us in plenty, is time. Building and making eco-friendly habits now can help you sustain them once everything goes back to normal. An eco-friendly routine is not a bad takeaway from a global pandemic, is it?
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