It’s Earth Day, and what a strange time to be celebrating.
We all share a common goal to be kind to the Earth. As long as we embrace will this consciousness to preserve and sustain our planet, it will benefit all of us and the future. Hear us out, and take a minute to learn ways you can make small changes for a better world.
Like so many challenges, it’s important to be mindful in taking beginning steps towards any goal is important. While we all are currently ‘sheltering in place’ during the pandemic, we were able to witness how the world became slower, quieter and even cleaner. Traffic has subsided, rivers are returning to clearer waters and our skies less polluted with smog. Globally, we have witnessed the effects of a slower world and cleaner planet. In India, residents claim their air pollution has dropped 71% from the COVID-19 lockdown.
A recent article in WIRED magazine illustrates the analogy between COVID-19 and climate change. These stories are relative to how the effects of a global slowdown have a profound effect on the environment. While there is significant downside to the pandemic with casualties and economic downturn, we’re witnessing some surprising benefits to the planet.
While we all recognize a phrase like ‘climate change’ can be trigger and evoke polarizing viewpoints, our goal and messaging is to focus on evaluating our everyday consumption and usages while working towards sustainable and measurable practices. Less politics and more consciousness towards while making steps for a larger impact.
Here are a few examples for how to limit waste while social distancing from the editors at medium.com. Below are some highlights:
Almost everything you don when going out in public can be reused. Now that we’re all wearing masks, opt for cloth and wash it after every use. It may feel like you’re doing a lot of laundry these days, but you can do that more wisely as well, opting for low-water-use wash settings and even hang-drying if possible.
Most reusable gloves can be washed and reused as though they were an extra pair of hands. For disposable gloves, use them just once and get rid of them. Better still, go without gloves, as it’s just added waste and the World Health Organization suggests that they do little to protect anyway.
There’s no shame in the amount of frozen food and takeout you may be ingesting right now. In fact, look to support your local restaurants by ordering directly from them. In the spirit of being green, pick the closest eateries to lighten the fuel demands.
When it comes to takeout, try to go for places that use recyclable containers. Avoid drinks that could just as easily be put together and served at home as they tend to involve plastic straws and other enemies to our oceans. And order accordingly — there’s no need to hoard, especially where perishables are concerned. Food waste, while typically biodegradable, is still waste, so don’t overdo it. Compost them in your yard or in your municipal container if your city recycles food waste.
At the store, be aware of your plastic footprint. Packaged goods are popular right now as they can offer an added protective layer or at least the sense of one. However, plastic likes to hold onto germs just like naked produce does. Things at stores get handled a lot so it’s expected that just about everything will have to get sanitized. Excess packaging is not a germ fortress. In fact, one could argue that there’s more surface area for pathogens to hang out on.
All of this at-home entertainment, of course, puts a lot of stress on the grid. There are easy ways to limit your electricity use:Turn off lights when you’re not in the room.
Keep the thermostat at a reasonable temperature.
Defrost your frozen foods before cooking them.
Set the fridge to 38 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer to 5 degrees.
Do your laundry in cold water.
There are some things you should always be doing to conserve water, although it’s easier to forget now because things are nuts. A few reminders:
Don’t leave the water on while brushing teeth or shaving.
Shower often but do so efficiently, employing tricks like cooler water or shampooing and conditioning simultaneously.
Capture rainwater at your house for watering things like your plants, garden, and lawn.
Be on the lookout for running toilets and leaks.
Let your dishwasher do the dishes, it’s likely the most efficient way.
Making small steps can lead to bigger goals and benchmarks. Everyone one of us can adopt one small effort to sustain our planet. The Butterfly Effect is a heroic example how this effort can have a greater impact.
We hope you continue to stay safe during the pandemic and continue to find ways to evaluate success in your own home for a greener planet. Happy Earth Day.
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