The world is a little bit upside down for many people due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, that can derail the best intentions to lead greener lifestyles and reduce carbon footprints. While parts of the country are still on restrictions on various levels, you still have opportunities to make earth-friendly choices in the midst of a pandemic. These are some of the things you can do to live green and maintain that small degree of control when the rest of the world seems to be spiraling out of it.
Plant a Vegetable Garden
It doesn’t have to be a large garden. In fact, it can be a small container garden. Additionally, you can plant a windowsill herb garden to add delightful, fresh flavor to your meals and keep your home smelling delicious all the time. You can grow peppers, tomatoes, and other vegetables from hanging baskets. You only need to produce enough fruits and vegetables to supplement your family’s favorites. Not only will this help you save money on groceries, it can also reduce the number of trips you make to the supermarket. Plus, plants are good for the planet.
Another added benefit of a vegetable garden at home is that it encourages you to prepare your own meals rather than ordering takeout or delivery – which each cause their own shares of pollution for the planet. It might also encourage you to enjoy more meatless meals throughout the week as well. Regardless, eating more veggies is better for your health and growing more vegetables is better for the air around you.
Reduce Your Reliance on Plastic (and the Waste it Creates)
You can stop relying on plastic bags when shopping and choose reusable grocery bags instead. National Geographic reports that nearly half of all plastic products ever made have been made since the year 2000. What’s even more alarming is that in the U.S. shoppers use plastic bags at rate of one bag per resident per day, compared to Denmark where shoppers use an average of four plastic bags per year.
While plastic bags aren’t the only culprit when it comes to the damage plastics leave in their wake, plastic bags are big problems for the planet that are completely preventable by making small changes. You will be amazed by the many options available to you and how stylish many of them can be.
Even businesses, looking for ways to make an impact during the time of pandemic might consider offering reusable food and restaurant bags for takeout and delivery orders from restaurants or foldable bags to give out to loyal curbside customers as the pandemic continues. It’s a way to share your commitment to the planet with your customers while encouraging them to do good things for the planet by reducing their reliance on plastic bags at the same time.
Other plastics to reduce your dependence on during the pandemic include plastic bottles and plastic packaging. You can buy from companies that go out of their way to reduce or limit excessive packaging materials and plastic straws.
Eliminate Food Waste in Your Home
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 30 to 40 percent of the food supply chain in the U.S. is lost to food waste. Reducing food waste must become a priority for American households.
For many homes, that is difficult to do. It’s especially difficult in a world where you buy a bag of lemons and only use one or two for recipes. However, if you’re looking for ways to help the planet, eliminating food waste in your home is a good place to start.
One way many families are discovering to do this is with meal kit services. With these services, families are sent only the ingredients you need to prepare the meals you’ve selected for the week along with detailed instructions to make the process simple. This creates no waste, assuming you eat the meals you’ve prepared, and keeps family at home for dinner. It can also be a convenient option for busy families.
They even have meal kit services for people who do not cook where they deliver chef-prepared meals to your home that you simply heat and eat. Again, this reduces the waste of overbuying and the planetary damage caused by idling in endless drive-thru lines. Plus, you get great food that is good for you in the process.
Dig in When it Comes to Recycling
Many households try to recycle, but aren’t all that committed to it. You might understand that it needs to be done, but aren’t overly concerned if the wrong item gets placed in the wrong bin – or even if you miss a week or two of sorting your recycled goods appropriately.
Now is the perfect time to dig in and begin taking your recycling efforts seriously. Create a system that works for your family and makes the process of recycling almost effortless. Even if it takes a little effort to get started, the less effort it takes to implement daily, the more likely your family is to get on board and stick with it.
Recycling offers many benefits for your home and the planet. The deeper your commitment to recycling, the better it is for your family today and long into the future. Your efforts to recycle today can pay off for generations to come by consuming far less energy and using far fewer non-renewable resources to create goods that could easily be recycled.
It doesn’t take great huge strides to live greener and be earth-friendly during a pandemic. It only requires a few baby steps along the way. The more people who take these steps, the better it is for the planet and all those who call Earth home.