Whether you are in a lockdown epicenter at the moment or not, it’s fair to say, we have all had our share of ‘lockdowns’. The challenges of staying cooped up and isolated include: reduced exercise, anxiety, stress, and depression. One study in the U.S showed that 36% of people had difficulty sleeping, 32% had difficulty eating, 12% reported increases in alcohol consumption or substance use and 12% cited worsening chronic conditions due to worry and stress over the coronavirus.
However, navigating a lockdown while trying to stay sustainable is also a challenge and I want to share some tips on how you can feel good about supporting our planet, while also not being too hard on yourself (for example eating takeout that comes in (unfortunately) disposable containers).
Tip 1: Try not to buy unnecessary things.
I know, what else is there to do!? But personal consumption is one of the things we can control (and make a difference collectively). For example, do you really need new shoes? Or a new jumper? I’m guilty myself of justifying purchases on 1) creating a new look for myself and 2) treating myself. But if it ain’t broken, don’t try to fix it! And if it is broken, 100% try to fix it before trashing it and getting something new. Ways around the need to buy something is to buy from a second hand shop like a Vinnies or Lifeline. What’s obviously great about shopping second hand is that these organisations donate proceeds to their charity affilation which supports people in need. Same goes for non fashion items. I recently needed a casserole dish and bought a 2nd hand one from Vinnies, that I totally intend on bringing back there once I am done with it.
Tip 2: Re-use or re-purpose traditionally single use products.
Yes you can! Take coffee. In the non-COVID environment, I am totally a BYOC (bring your own cup) kind of person. I actually deny myself coffee if I don’t bring my own cup because if every person allowed themselves to use 1 disposable cup in a day, that could be millions of cups going into landfill. Got to love ABC’s War on Waste program for exposing how many cups tragically end up in land fill. Anyways, back to the COVID environment and wanting to support your local coffee shop. Well in this case, I have a solution for those people who are bummed out about having to get a disposable cup. Turn it into a planter! I was fortunate enough that the takeaway coffee cups I got were super cute so I simply dug up some dirt outside my apartment (dirt is pretty accessible, otherwise try buying a small bag from Bunnings), and dumped it in the cup along with a clipping of a sidewalk plant! I am not encouraging stealing people’s plants, but if you see a little seedling of a plant on the sidewalk (and thus is not on someone’s property), why not. I think it turned out well!
Anyways, that’s just two tips I wanted to share. As always, hope something in this was useful and thanks for reading!