The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on all our lives and disastrous effect on the global economy. It’s likely that nothing will ever be the same again for most of us and who knows what the new ‘normal’ will look like when we finally get out of this. However, we do have an opportunity to be more sustainable during lockdown and beyond.
Unsurprisingly, we’ve already seen that carbon emissions have fallen significantly around the world. It’s not just down to reduced travel and factory operations but a slowdown of economic activity in all industries. Having access to cleaner air and natural resources will help improve the health of our environment and our bodies. This is why sustainability is so closely connected to public health.
When we get out of this, we’ll need to make positive changes to the way we live now and prepare for a future that is more sustainable and resilient. We all have responsibility to make this happen – governments, businesses, and consumers.
Right now, for many, it’s very much about coping in survival mode. But there’s no better time than now to also shift our thinking to forge a more positive way of living that benefits people and the planet.
Here are some practical ways you can live a more sustainable life during lockdown with our top 10 lockdown tips:
1. Reduce Food & Packaging Waste
- Try to resist the temptation to buy more food than you need during lockdown, especially fresh foods which might end up being binned.
- Is now a good time to try a more plant-based diet if it’s something you’ve wanted to do? If you have more time to cook, it’s a great excuse to experiment with different recipes.
- Some foods readily available before the pandemic are now considered a luxury. Take bread flour – it’s like gold dust these days! This means you’ll likely need to relax any rules you may have set yourself around not buying single-use plastic products and packaging. If you used to make your own bread and bought loose fruit and veggies before lockdown, don’t stress if you have to buy the plastic-packaged versions now. Bottom line – do your best but don’t feel guilty. It’s all about survival right now!
2. Shop Independent
- Small businesses need your help more than ever right now to stay afloat so consider shopping at ethical, independent shops that have a purpose that value more than just profits. It’s such a nice thought that when you buy from a small business, somebody does a little happy dance.
3. Shop Online
- With more purchases being made online than ever before, the amount of plastic packaging will likely be on the increase. Request plastic-free packaging and try to buy in bulk to limit the carbon footprint from deliveries.
4. Rethink Fashion
- Being in lockdown doesn’t mean you can’t dress up at home. But with less need to go out, it’s a great opportunity to rethink your fashion habits. Get creative with what you already own rather than buy more of what you don’t need. Fix what needs mending and maybe even try making your own.
- Find out who made your clothes and if you do buy from big brands, support fashion houses that are helping their workers impacted by COVID-19 by providing financial support packages.
5. Keep Fit & Healthy
- If you can, make your essential shop a walk, run or bike trip. It will help your health and mental wellbeing and reduce carbon emissions at the same time.
- Take advantage of your regulatory daily exercise outing, especially if you don’t have a garden. Sunlight and fresh air are great for the body and mind. Don’t fancy a walk or run in the rain? There are lots of virtual exercise classes available online from yoga to high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Is this your chance to try something new?
6. Learn About Sustainability
- Take the time to increase your knowledge about what’s good for the environment and for you. There are plenty of good books and online resources.
7. Teach Kids Through Play
- Earth Day has been a big topic in many schools in April so, if you have children, it’s a great opportunity to talk to them about sustainability. There are plenty of fun ways to get them learning by getting involved in practical activities – eco crafts, gardening and growing food, even educational gaming.
8. Rethink Your Post-Lockdown World
- Do you need to commute to work every day? Do you need to get on a plane to travel? Does your work life balance need to change?
9. Switch to Green Energy
- COVID-19 has shown just how vulnerable non-renewable energy is with oil prices at their lowest in years and continuing to fall (at the time of writing). There’s no better time to switch your energy to a greener renewable source. It will help tackle the climate crisis and stimulate economic growth, which means more jobs and improved health for more people.
10. Care for Your Community
- If there’s one positive resulting from this pandemic, it’s the way communities have come together to help one another. Reach out to your neighbours to offer support (shopping or messaging/calling), particularly those vulnerable or on their own, and you’ll not only make their lives a bit easier but get a warm fuzzy feeling from helping others.
Do you have any other sustainable lockdown tips?
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