With the emergence and spread of COVID-19, a zoonotic disease that is the direct result of our destruction of nature. Although this pandemic is changing our world and interactions with each other, it has made clear the urgent need for all of us to take part in conservation action however we can. Here are Ways to Help the Environment from Home while you spend time self-quarantined and social distancing.
Ways to Help the Environment from Home
Buy sustainable food products
Food production is a major driver of deforestation and the loss of wildlife. Agricultural production for meat and dairy not only causes deforestation but also uses large amounts of energy. Try navigating away from a meat-dominated diet, and buy locally or organically sourced foods. These options are often more sustainably produced and consume fewer fossil fuels required in transportation.
Choose reusable over single-use
Think about how many people you see each day drinking beverages from disposable cups or disposable bottles, sipping from disposable straws, carrying disposable grocery bags, eating from disposable plates or containers, and using disposable utensils. All that single-use plastic has to go somewhere, and it’s had a devastating effect on our soil, oceans, and marine life.
All of the above items (and more) have more environmentally responsible counterparts. Switch to reusable items and make a commitment to use them as often as possible. You’ll have less trash piling up at your curb, and you’ll be helping to protect the environment in a major way.
As we sit at home, many of us are drawn to our various screens throughout the day. We have all the information we could ever need right at our fingertips, so take time to read reputable sources and be cognizant of how the world is changing around us. Knowledge is power; one of the greatest ways to have an impact is to be aware.
If you can’t refuse it…and you can’t rot it…and you can’t reduce it…and you can’t upcycle or reuse it. Educate yourself on what can and cannot be recycled in your bins at home. Throwing the wrong items in the recycle bin can result in an entire load being rejected, which means … back to the landfill.
You can also easily find out how to recycle special items such as electronics, batteries, and appliances. Check with your local municipality for drop-off sites, and make an effort to get your items to the proper disposal sites.
Donate to the right organizations (if you can)
There are many organizations that are working tirelessly right now to protect our planet. Rainforest Trust’s work to safeguard habitat and species would not be possible without your support. You can help by donating to our Conservation Action Fund where we will ensure your donation goes to our most urgent projects, or by becoming a Conservation Hero by donating monthly.
Don’t buy single-use plastics
Pop a flask or reusable bottle in your bag next time you are out and about. Make this a habit and cut your weekly bottle buying altogether, stopping 52 bottles from ending up in landfills and oceans.
More than 2,600 plastic bottles a year would be stopped from entering our environment altogether if just 50 people packed a flask instead of buying a bottle. Small changes can make a big difference.
Use windows to regulate the temperature
Keep windows and doors closed properly to avoid the loss of heat in winter.
Open the windows in summer. The cross breeze will often keep you cool and flushes out stale air (indoor air is often more highly polluted than the air outside). Importantly, the use of fresh air to cycle through your home saves the cost of running an air conditioner.
Update your refrigerator
Fridges are the most energy-intensive appliance in a house. This means that a poorly maintained and energy inefficient fridge is costing you money, let alone adding its burden to the atmosphere. Recent fridges use 40% less energy than fridges of 10 years ago. If you do decide to upgrade the fridge, make sure that you buy for its excellent energy rating, longevity and durability and that you have the old fridge recycled.
Leave the car at home
Let the car contribute less to the atmosphere by resting at home whenever possible. Walk to your local stores, take public transport to work, and cycle to your friends’ houses for dinner. Join a carpool and ferry others to work rather than driving in alone. You’ll make new friends and you’ll all share the costs -Ways to Help the Environment from Home!