5 Ways You Can Practice Sustainability - Even Amid Covid19

 

With billions of people around the world under stay-at-home measures, we at Hello-Bag have been focusing on the unexpected silver linings for the environment. Traffic-free roads, plane-free skies and widespread brick-and-mortar closings have made the planet a beneficiary of the coronavirus pandemic. The air is cleaner and wild animals are reclaiming their natural habitats — at least  in the short term.

As we endure the necessary challenges to fight this virus, we are being given clear signs for the planet's request for consideration, consciousness, and awareness.

It’s especially important to consider that while our world is currently operating under strict coronavirus safety measures, this won't be the case forever. We look forward to the day when our children can return to schools, parents can return to work, and social interaction can once again take place “offline”. However we also hope that we won't forget the apparent message that the planet is trying to send us. It remains as important as ever to do our part by making small lifestyle choices that help protect our planet. 

Whatever quarantine pastime brings you joy - cooking, gardening, home improvement, impulse shopping - can be reassessed to have a positive impact on the planet.

1. Plan To Shop Sustainably

Buying locally sourced food helps reduce the carbon footprint of your diet. Small farms contribute far less CO2 than comparable levels of production from megafarms and massive feedlots so aim to shop local whenever you can. 

When purchasing items that aren’t available locally, aim to choose recycled, or minimized packaging options such as Amazon’s Certified Frustration-Free Packaging option. Through the program, Amazon.com works with manufacturers to box products in “Certified Frustration-Free Packaging”, which reduces the overall amount of packing materials used. The product inside is the same, but the packaging is recyclable and comes without excess packaging materials. 

If you go into a store, plan to go to the store at most once a week, and aim to work out a route that lets you cover all your needs in one trip to avoid excess driving. And of course, make sure to choose paper over plastic at checkout.

 

2. Go Green - Literally

Swap those flowers in your front yard (or inside your apartment) for edible herbs you can use in the kitchen. Thyme, basil and sage all look great and will add an amazing smell to your home. 

 

3. Save Those Precious Drops

The average American household uses 378,000 liters (100,000 gallons) of water every year. Switch your faucets to low-flow showerheads, turn off the water when brushing teeth, fix leaky pipes, and don't waste water by rinsing the dishes before loading your dishwasher. 

 

4. Make Your Own Cleaning Products

Many everyday cleaning products are toxic - not just for yourself and your family, but also for the environment. Borax, vinegar, baking soda, salt, and lemon juice are only a few of the many natural alternatives you can use to whip up your own cleaning products

 

5. Connect with Your Community! 

While traditional Earth Day festivals have had to be put on hold, there are a number of virtual celebrations taking place. We’re looking forward to engaging in the Community Environmental Council’s Santa Barbara Earth Day Virtual Festival on March 22. Learn more about the festival and how you can join in.