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At a time that can feel so helpless and daunting, we assure you that there’s still some light in the midst of all the turmoil. With an overwhelming amount of negative news in the past five months, we thought it would be helpful to share a few ways to continue our sustainable journey while in quarantine. Being a conscious human doesn’t get put on hold until this pandemic is over. In fact, with a significant amount of increased time on our hands, we can continue practicing a zero-waste lifestyle while learning even more!
Usually too busy for DIY? We get it. DIY projects do take a little extra time, and of course, we’re always searching for something as convenient as possible. However, the beauty in creating your own products is that you know every ingredient inside of it. You reduce the amount of plastic waste from unnecessary packaging and product containers, and you can upcycle or reuse your jars after you finish each product. Under the current circumstances of COVID-19, it’s a much safer, not to mention sustainable, option to stock up on products that you use daily.
Whether you’ve run out of your body butter, lip balm, or face cream, we have kits with all the ingredients you’ll need to make your own. No need to run to the store or order each ingredient separately, we’ll ship it right to your door. We’ve made our DIY kits with convenience in mind and to help reduce our waste from some of these essential, everyday products.
Before the pandemic, we’d typically always encourage buying produce from a local farmer’s market or independent shop as they’re much more sustainable and friendlier on the pockets than supermarket chains. Now that we’re in quarantine and some farmer’s markets may be out of the question, it’s a great time to start your own indoor or outdoor garden. The Climate Action Business Association says that we can individually reduce our carbon footprint by 68 lbs of CO2 per year by simply replacing 20% of store-bought food with home-grown food!
Growing your own food can be much easier than it might seem. Max La Manna, a zero-waste chef, provides helpful tips on how to turn food scraps into an herb garden right from your window sill! It can be as simple as taking an old milk carton and repurposing it into a planter, adding soil, and planting a few pieces of basil to regrow your scaps. This can also be done with other vegetables such as celery, carrots, spring onions, and lettuce!
Take a moment to think about the typical energy expenditure of transportation of food to the grocery store. Aside from the environmental benefit of shopping locally, you’re also enhancing your own community by supporting local farmers and grocers. Starting a garden may have been on your to-do list for quite some time now, and there’s no better time than to start growing your own vegetables. If you need help starting your indoor or outdoor garden, check out Shape’s article to get you started!
Reducing our food waste is something that we should always be working towards. Now that more meals are cooked at home during this time, food waste is likely to increase due to overcooking or over purchasing. To avoid this, simply only buy what you need. Make a list, be intentional about your diet, and utilise your freezer to extend the life of produce!
If you notice you always end up with wasted food at the end of the week, not to worry because you can start using OLIO, an app that helps you share your food with your neighbors and vice versa! Say you have leftover food that’ll go to waste, purchased an item you didn’t quite like, or overestimated dinner one night, you can post your food to OLIO and people nearby you can request to come to take it off your hands!
Lastly, one more way to reduce food waste is to start composting, which can reduce your household waste by 20-50%. Whether you already have a garden or are currently building one in quarantine, you can use food scraps like fruits, vegetables, eggshells, coffee grounds, and so much more, which you can learn about here. Alternatively we encourage you to check if your council offers a food waste collection service and a food caddy.
As we mentioned in our previous blog post 5 Easy Ways You Can Protect the Amazon Rainforest, now is the time to cancel your Amazon Prime membership and support local and small businesses. COVID’s impact on small businesses is not only devastating for the business owners but to communities who rely on them.
We know that purchasing from companies like Amazon is convenient, especially when you don’t have control over whether you can leave the house or not. We just ask that you do your best during times like these to continue fighting against companies that neglect their environmental and ethical responsibility. Give your business to local business owners and small online shops who need it the most right now. Chances are, you’re already making a much more sustainable choice to support small businesses rather than large when it comes to fair wages, ethical production, packaging, and energy expenditure.
One of the best ways to utilise this extra time on your hands is to put your energy towards learning more about environmentalism, sustainability, and the benefits of zero-waste. When life is running as usual, we get so caught up at work, checking things off our to-do list and finding time for our loved ones that there’s simply no time to learn more about subjects vital to our wellbeing and our planet. It might be tempting to turn on a mindless Netflix show to pass the time, but we strongly encourage that you take a few hours out of your week to learn more about how important the fight towards sustainability really is. For a list of documentaries ranging from climate change, environmentalism, and nature, check out this list.
At a time of so much doubt, remember that we still have control over what we focus on, what we purchase, and how we react in times of uncertainty. It can feel challenging to simultaneously fight against a pandemic and wasteful consumerism, but we’re here to support you every step of the way!