Minimising Waste while practising Social Distancing
Since the World has gone into lock down due to Coronavirus Disease our environmental concerns have quickly faded away while we focus on keeping healthy, well and stopping the spread. COVID-19 is most definitely where our focus should be first and foremost but it has also shown us just how quickly our way of life as it is can collapse in an instant.
Up until now we have been living in a disposable world which has been having catastrophic impacts on our Eco-systems and contributing to Global Warming. Our increasingly busy lifestyle means we are choosing convenience which inevitably comes packaged, usually in single use plastic. I too have fallen victim to the convenience of on the go snacks and food. While I do my best to reduce the amount of waste that comes through my door, we still do on occasion opt for the pre-packaged snacks. We ensure the packaging does not go to landfill and instead we collect it and send it to REDcycle for recycling.
While confined to our house and limiting exposure to the supermarket I have discovered how easy Low Waste living can be if you have access to the right resources. A couple of things I have noticed in the past 2 weeks with shortages of items at the supermarket and social distancing;
- Our recycling bin was less than half full because I am buying less.
- Our toilet paper is lasting longer as we are now far more cautious with how much we use. I bought a 48 pack of Who Gives a Crap in January and we still have 30 rolls left at the end of March. I have not bought a single pack of loo roll from the supermarket this year.
- We have switched to full time cloth wipes for my baby and disposable wipes are used sparingly for my toddler.
- We aren't buying takeaway or eating out so we are saving money.
- Fuel consumption and emissions from our car is minimal since we aren't driving often and not very far.
Here are a few other idea's to minimise waste while practising Social Distancing
Make your own Snacks - We have been using whatever we can find in the pantry to make our own snacks from Banana Bread to Anzac Biscuits and Muesli Bars. Some other idea's among many - Pizza or Vegemite scrolls, mini quiches, muffins etc. Not only can you avoid pre-packaged snacks but they are can also be a healthier alternative and you know exactly what ingredients are in them.
We find most of our recipes here at Bake Play Smile.
Consider swapping to Cloth Nappies - If you have a child in Disposable nappies you have probably noticed they are getting harder to come by due to panic buying and stockpiling. There are many benefits to using cloth nappies which can include, saving money in the long term, significantly reducing landfill, no nasty chemicals on your babies skin, resale value and they look darn cute. Here are some of my favourite cloth nappy suppliers; Little Sunshine Kids, Earth Babes, Designer Bums, Econaps & Little Cubs.
Grow your own produce - We do have a small selection of home grown fruit and vegetables but I must admit I am still learning how to make the most of my veggie patches. Currently we have Capsicum, onion, cabbage, strawberries and am attempting broccoli. We do however buy a weekly fruit and veg box from Fresco Produce. They source local and in season produce and deliver direct to my door each week with minimal plastic packaging, brilliant. This past week I have started to try and re-grow some veggies from cuttings. Here is a Leek I am attempting to re-grow. I chopped off the bottom and popped it in water, this is after 3 days of growth, I will be planting it in my veggie patch soon to continue growing.
Composting - We have been composting for a while before the pandemic, it is definitely something to be considered if you haven't already. I use a tumbling compost bin that was purchased pre-pandemic, however if you have the space you can do it directly in your garden. Check out this link from better homes and gardens for some more information.
Support Local and Small Business - The little guys need you more than ever right now. From fresh produce to meat and dairy, head to your local grocer, farmers market or butcher - some are even offering delivery service like Malibu Fresh Essentials. The big supermarkets already have enough of our money with everyone panic buying and stocking up. If you do find yourself needing to buy something new during this time, whether it be gifts for Birthday's, Easter or Mother's Day consider supporting a small Eco-friendly business, they need you more than ever right now. Many of them will have sales at the moment to help out those who have lost their jobs.
*Note, I am not affiliated with any of the tagged brands they are just my personal recommendations.*
Above all of this, the most important thing right now is to keep yourself, your family and your community safe and well. Stay home unless it is for an essential reason such as food shopping, medical care or work. If you do need to head out for essential purposes be sure to maintain a safe distance from others and be vigilant with hand hygiene.