The COVID-19 pandemic has put many people's goals and plans on hold indefinitely. However, there's one thing you can start practicing now that you're spending your time at home and steering clear of the risk of virus transmission, and that's maintaining eco-friendly habits.
During this time of difficulty and change, one way to maintain a good outlook in life is by adapting to the changes and embracing positive habits. Since people's carbon footprint is reduced following the lockdown measures, it has left a significant effect on the environment. You can continue this positive impact in keeping the planet healthy starting in your home.
Remember that small, consistent actions can lead to significant results over time. Have a look at some eco-friendly and sustainable living ideas you can do during this pandemic and while you're at home. Let's get started!
1. Collect rainwater
Because of the lockdown, many people had the time to look at their spaces to see what's missing or could be improved. At the same time, some have taken up a new hobby to keep themselves going. Chances are, you're one of the people who have started getting into plants to help make life brighter during the pandemic.
If you've managed to get a hold of several plants, then you know how much water they consume. Some plants even prefer and thrive with distilled or filtered water over tap water. One way you can reduce your water consumption while you take care of your plant babies is by collecting rainwater. Plants love rain, for it contains nutrients that help them thrive and grow lush.
2. Become a Master Chef
Food businesses managed to innovate to continue serving their customers even with lockdown protocols in place, making it too easy and convenient to get food delivered. While that's a good thing, takeaways come with paper packaging and plastic, which goes against your sustainable and eco-friendly habits.
Instead of ordering-in, cook your own food and dine at home. Not only does this help reduce waste, but you can also make it healthier based on your preference since you know exactly what's going in on your food. Also, it's a more economical option, especially in a time when it's essential to cut back on unnecessary costs.
3. Say no to disposables
As much as possible, ditch single-use items like plastics, disposable gloves, wipes, plastic grocery bags, and masks. You can replace your disposable gloves with latex gloves or rubber gloves. When going grocery shopping, bring your own grocery bags. If you ever need to order to-go meals, ask the restaurant to skip plastic utensils and limit the plastic packaging.
4. Invest in quality reusable masks
Speaking of ditching disposable, it's vital during this time of pandemic to wear a mask. However, it can be frustrating and sad to see medical-grade masks disposed of after one use (it's not advisable to reuse it). Thankfully, some brands produce reusable cloth masks that you can wash after use by soaking it in water and mild detergent.
5. Cut down energy use
Simple practices like turning off your computer and pulling the plug at your work-from-home station or switching off your appliances and lights when not in use help decrease your energy use at home. This also ensures that you're not wasting energy and adding up unnecessary costs on your bill.
If you have the budget, you can install solar panels on your roof. Solar panels can help with energy consumption with regards to cutting back and using renewable energy to power your appliances and the entire house.
6.Make your own disinfectants
You know what they say: when life gives you lemons, you make disinfectants! If you're looking for ways on how you can slowly shift to natural, making your own disinfectant solution is a good place to start. You can make your natural lemon disinfectant spray with ingredients you can find in your home, such as white vinegar, lemon, baking soda, hot water, and lemon essential oil.
Once you try making your own natural cleaners, you'll never go back to store-bought products. What's more, you get to save money as you enjoy the process of making them.
7. Keep in mind the three R's
The three R's—reduce, reuse, recycle—is a golden rule for people who choose to practice a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. Investing in reusable goods, such as metal straws, reusable cups, and menstrual cups, helps you cut down on unnecessary waste and purchases.
Whenever you can, avoid single-use containers and utensils to help reduce waste. You can also opt to buy from secondhand stores and shop goods at local farmers markets to reduce packaging waste.
When it comes to recycling, think before you throw away items. You can bring your old appliances or tech products to electronics stores, while you can bring plastic bottles, paper items, glass, and aluminum to recycling services or junk shops.
8. Wrapping it up
Take as much time you need to understand how you can better help the planet by observing environmentally-friendly and sustainable practices. Hopefully, you can slowly but surely integrate the tips above to maintain a green home.
Enrique Hormillo is a Business Development Executive at SolarNRG Philippines. Its parent company, SolarNRG Netherlands is one of the largest suppliers and installers of solar power system in Europe.
Enrique’s experience stretches beyond business development as he also works as a Marketing Director for a motorsport store -- further solidifying his business acumen.