Most of us in the world are currently stuck in quarantaine due to the coronavirus, and so am I! I’ve been at home for about 6 weeks now and I have been struggling with staying as sustainable as I usually am. We try to go to the store about once every 2 weeks which means no more trips to the zero waste or bulk store, not going on a separate trip to the market or organic produce store,.. We’ve been doing all of our shopping in our local supermarket, which is luckily very big with a great selection of items.. but a lot of it is packaged!
I decided it would be a good idea to give you all some ideas and advice on how to handle this lockdown when you’re feeling guilty about not being sustainable! I’ve been stressing out about this but quickly realised this situation has also made me MORE sustainable in other ways! Here’s 9 ways to be more sustainable during a quarantaine!
1. Don’t buy any new clothes
Listen, I know it can be tempting to do some online shopping right now. You can’t go out to look at clothes and trust me, I know how easy it is to just fill up that cart and not really think about it. But think about how many resources you can save by not getting new clothes (you don’t really need), not having it packaged and shipped to you and not having to throw that packaging away… Don’t get me wrong, if you need something, by all means get it! I just had to buy some shorts because my other ones are nearly giving up and I lost some weight since last summer. If you still feel like doing some shopping, check out any local, ethical or sustainable stores that have online shops or try websites like Vinted or United Wardrobe!
2. Next level home-cooking
During this lockdown I’ve had food delivered twice, which isn’t as often as I would usually do it! Food delivery is one of those things I’m most ashamed about when it comes to making sustainable decisions. I’m often too tired to cook or simply not in the mood AT ALL. But during this lockdown I do worry about contamination so I’m keeping it to a minimum. Try to support local or struggling business if you do decide to order food. I’ve been really stepping up my game with the cooking and I’ve been trying so many new and cool recipes! I’ve been creative with things in my cupboard, the freezer and leftovers I didn’t know what to do with at first. Think about all of the meals you usually get at a restaurant, takeaway place or pre-packaged and then about the impact home cooking can have! I’ve been trying new spice combos, awesome new recipes and I’ve discovered some super delicious things!
3. Support local businesses
Besides supporting local restaurants or clothing stores you can think about the other local businesses suffering. You can buy giftcards, pre-order things, get care packages created especially for this lockdown or you can simply choose to visit a local food store. Think about the local bakery, flower shop or even a farmer and check online to see if there’s a way to support them! I bought some diner coupons, pre-ordered a cook-book and ordered some things from a sustainable webshop.
4. Repurpose items
Usually we can all be very quick to go online or to the store to find something you think you NEED. But during this lockdown we have to be creative. Look around your house and check out how many things you actually have. Don’t have a good storage box? What about that old gift box? Need a plant pot? Maybe an old teacup? My dog is currently sleeping on some old pillows and she loves it! We even repurposed old leggings when our cat had surgery so she didn’t need a cone! I used this old makeup pad container to store zero waste tooth tabs!
5. Use those forgotten beauty products
I’m most guilty of buying beauty products when I actually still have something I could finish first. I’ve been using up beauty products left and right these past weeks! It has forced me to think about what I actually like and need and what I would repurchase. My shower routine has become almost zero waste and I’ve been using up things I didn’t like in different ways. A face-cream I didn’t like is now being used up as hand and elbow moisturiser!
6. Make no unnecessary trips and go for walking and biking
It’s very tempting to take any excuse to go outside but take this opportunity to not use your car and give your city some room to breathe! If you do need to go somewhere, why not combine it with a healthy workout and bike or walk there? I’m hoping this lockdown will make people realise you don’t always immediately need your car. Group your errands, don’t make unnecessary trips or get some fresh air instead!
7. Get new sustainable hobbies
I’ve seen many people find new creative and sustainable hobbies and I’m loving it! Keeping an herb or produce garden, tending to houseplants, making your own beauty or cleaning products, mending old clothes,.. the possibilities are endless! Take this time to figure out what you love that can also be sustainable! I’ve personally been loving taking care of my plants and figuring out how to make recipes I love myself!
8. Read, listen & watch sustainable content
If you have some more free time why not read a book about sustainability, watch a documentary or check out some bloggers and Youtubers spreading the eco message? From science to DIY and from veganism to zero waste, there’s so much great content out there to inspire you!
9. Realise you need less
The biggest and easiest way to be sustainable right now, is to realise you can go on with less. You don’t need all the fancy ingredients, the newest clothes or things. Check out what you have, rediscovers hobbies and items in your house and be creative! Minimalism is a beautiful way to find more peace while being the most sustainable you can be! Appreciate what you have and make it work!
I hope you enjoyed these tips and feel at least a little inspired and more at ease during this difficult time. I hope you all stay safe and healthy!