5 ways to be more GREEN in Quarantine.
Have you noticed the positive impact this global quarantine has had on the environment? Increases in air quality and a drop in CO2 emissions has resulted in stunning changes all over the world. Most of the increase in air quality is due to the reduction in commuting, industry and global travel. This news is exciting to hear, however, the continuous increase of air quality will be a reflection of our world-wide changes moving forward. Right now is a crucial time to start making habits that will have a continuous and positive effect on our environment!
Here are 5 ways you can start making changes. It’s all about the little daily steps at home.
Properly dispose of waste. What goes where? For starters, Black plastic is not recyclable and single-use plastic goes in the garbage. Disposable coffee cups go in the garbage and the lid (unless it’s black plastic) in the recycling. It is so important to rinse out containers before recycling and properly compost of food items, as food residue wreaks havoc on recycling processes. There are many resources online to help remind us as it’s easy to forget!
Reduce food waste. In other words, only buy what you need! As we all try to reduce our trips to the grocery store, planning your meals can go a long way to ensure you’re only buying what you need. Here is a great meal planning template you can use. You can also take steps to extend the life of your food. For example, wash and wrap herbs or greens in wet paper towels, and place in a sealed container, or use reusable produce bags (instead of plastic) to increase the airflow around your produce.
Turn off the lights. The kitchen light does not need to be on while you are working in the living room. Also! Who has a habit of leaving the water running while washing dishes or brushing your teeth? Turning the water off in between scrubbing will help preserve our freshwater, which we are so lucky to have here in Ontario. These little things make a BIG difference.
Shop locally. All this has reminded me of the importance of supporting small businesses and the Canadian economy. We live in an incredibly fast-paced society; if we need something, we can have it from Amazon the same day! But have you noticed how much plastic comes in your online purchases, sometimes arriving at your door from halfway across the globe? If you need to buy something that can’t wait, look for a way you could support a local business to reduce shipping emissions and waste. Many local businesses are doing online orders with contactless pay or pick up! Online community groups are a great resource for finding locally made items.
Reduce single-use plastic. Ordering take-out might be a necessary part of your life right now, or you may be tired of cooking the same old thing week over week. Supporting local restaurants is fantastic, however, think about all of the (non- recyclable) black plastic and stylophone that comes with it. When ordering out, look for businesses that use compostable containers. And let them know you don’t need utensils if you’re eating at home.
Here’s to making our world continuously more green!