As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make its rounds throughout the globe, people are finding it increasingly difficult to focus their attention on anything other than the virus. Still, there are existing issues, like sustainability, that you may still be concerned about. To help you keep your carbon footprint small, even during the coronavirus pandemic, we put together a short list of things you can do to make your home more sustainable.
1. Reduce Energy Consumption
With millions of people in quarantine, household energy use is going to reach an all-time high. Whether you are working from home or entertaining your children with TV and video games, you may notice a significant difference in the types and amounts of energy you use throughout your home.
To mitigate your energy consumption, you can:
- Turn off any appliances you are not currently using.
- Reduce your use of the A/C by opening windows instead (or bundle up more with blankets rather than setting your heater at high temperatures).
- Play games in the backyard or out in the front yard as a substitute for video games once in a while.
2. Reduce Plastic Use
Every now and then you may have to leave your home to get groceries (if there are no delivery options). This is another opportunity to make sustainable choices! Instead of using single-use plastic, bring your reusable bags instead.
Note that some grocery stores are no longer allowing reusable bags to prevent any possibility of the virus being spread from shoppers’ homes. If this is the case in your area, simply have your reusable bags ready in your car after you’re done in the store, or request to bag your groceries yourself at checkout.
3. Reusable Food Storage
Instead of using saran wrap or plastic Tupperware for leftovers, you can choose more sustainable materials such as:
- Beeswax wrapping paper
- Glass Tupperware
- Mason jars
- Parchment paper
4. Reduce Waster
Being stuck at home may mean that you are producing more waste than usual as well. Instead of dumping everything in the garbage, there are two things you can do:
- Separate your landfill waste from the recyclables – your cardboard, paper, metal, and plastic can still be repurposed, even during quarantine!
- Use food waste like banana peels, used coffee grounds, and even eggshells to create a rich compost that can be used in a small home garden or even for growing a few herbs in a windowsill.
5. Save Water
You use water in many everyday tasks – laundry, dishes, showers, etc. Instead of constantly running the tap, you can fill up a water filtration system, like a Brita, instead. For laundry, you can designate only one day per week that you wash your clothes, so your washer isn’t wasting water by operating every other day. Pay attention to how water is used in your household to find ways to reduce your water consumption.
6. Choose Fair-Trade Products
Whether you are buying groceries or shopping for clothes and accessories online, you still have the power to choose what organizations you support. Research sellers and suppliers that are sustainably sourced – meaning they do not rely on environmentally harmful practices to produce their inventory.
We understand how stressful it can be to make your life more sustainable during this pandemic. With these six easy methods, you can reduce your carbon footprint all while remaining safe and healthy in your home. We encourage you to implement this list and more to contribute to a stronger future for us all.