Staying Green Under Quarantine

Published: April 30, 2020

Before COVID-19, many of us were already making eco-friendly choices such as recycling, using reusable coffee mugs, composting and drinking through metal straws. Now that we have some extra time on our hands, we have a unique opportunity to reset our routines and be even more environmentally conscious in our day to day lives.

Here are ten ways you can continue to help the environment during self-isolation.

Ditch the vehicle, if you can.

Most people aren't driving to work, or anywhere else, while social distancing measures are in place. Why not challenge yourself to ditch your vehicle altogether? Most of us live within walking distance to important amenities like grocery and convenience stores. If you're physically able, you can also use your bike to get around. Biking is the perfect way to stay fit, get some fresh air and do some quick local shopping.

Take shorter showers.

Now that we are spending more time at home, it might be tempting to take long, luxurious showers. Ideally, we should try to shower for five minutes or less. However, even shaving off two minutes of your regular shower time can significantly reduce water waste.

Turn the tap off while washing your hands.

With all this extra handwashing, we're using a lot more water. Consider turning off the tap when washing your hands for the recommended 20 seconds. Wet one hand, squirt soap in the other and then turn the tap off. Lather and then turn the tap back on to rinse.

Cut down on energy consumption.

If your apartment, townhome or house has enough natural light for you to work, don't turn your lights on during the day. Additionally, turning off appliances and other electronics when they're not in use is the easiest way to make sure you're not wasting energy. Simple actions such as turning off your laptop at your work-from-home station at the end of the day can save a lot of energy over time and could save money from your energy bill in the long run!

Shop on online consignment stores.

When you're bored at home, it may be tempting to do some online shopping from your favourite stores. Why not take this time and research if there are any online consignment stores in your area? You'd be surprised by what you could find at an affordable price while still being eco-friendly.

Buy only what you need.

Buying the essentials not only ensures that other people can also supply for their families, but it also prevents you from creating unnecessary food waste. Do your best to keep track of what's in your fridge and cook with leftovers when possible to reduce waste. Having a well-stocked fridge makes sense and offers peace of mind, but impulse buying items that may go to waste quickly doesn't benefit you or the environment.

Say no to napkins and plastic utensils.

If you're craving takeout and don't feel like cooking, ask the restaurant to leave out disposable utensils and napkins, and use what you have at home instead.

Order less takeout and cook from home.

We should be taking advantage of the extra time to make some delicious home-cooked meals.  Pull out old family cookbooks or search online for new recipes. Cooking from home means you're more likely to be throwing away less plastic packaging typical in takeout meals.

Continue to recycle.

Be sure that you are still recycling all that you can and making sure that the items are clean with no food residue beforehand. Try choosing foods that come in recyclable packaging. If you want to get a bit more creative, you can re-use your old packaging by repurposing it for some arts and crafts projects. It's easy, inexpensive and can be fun for the whole family.

Shop local.

Need to order something online? Check out local small businesses first before placing your order on Amazon. You'll help support a small business while reducing your carbon footprint. This is an excellent way to source local sustainably farmed food too!

With all that's been going on in the world, we understand if your eco-efforts haven't been the priority they once were. While it may seem difficult to focus on being environmentally conscious, remember that living a greener lifestyle doesn't have to be difficult, and any small change helps!

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