It goes without saying that amidst the current and ever evolving circumstances of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we at Recover extend our well wishes to you, your families, and your communities and their safety and well-being. As there continue to be updated resources, protocols, and guidelines, more and more of which outline ways of avoiding the spread of the virus such as washing your hands, working from home if possible, and stockpiling on essentials, here are some sustainability tips to consider in the current situation.
1. There’s no better time to bring your own bag to the grocery store
By bringing your own reusable bags to the store to stock up on essential food items, etc., you can use your bags to put items in while you shop instead of a basket or cart. Experts are encouraging minimizing contact with commonly-touched surfaces, and the handles of shopping baskets and carts fit that category.
2. Get Outside, get some fresh air, and exercise
It is important to remember that getting outside, getting some fresh air, and exercising not only improves our physical and mental health, but also has been shown to boost our immune systems. According to WebMD, “Better vitamin D production because of more sunlight is already good for your immune system. But the outdoors seems to help in other ways. Many plants put substances, including organic compounds called phytoncides, into the air that seem to boost immune function. Sunlight also seems to energize special cells in your immune system called T cells that help fight infection.” While your weekly run group or yoga class may be cancelled, remember you can still get outside and move on your own, and it’s important to do so.
3. Finding yourself with more time? How about catching up on some reading…
Many Americans are reporting finding themselves with more time in light of less commuting to work, and events, activities, and gatherings shutting down. It has been reported that culturally, Americans have a tendency to overbook ourselves and it may seem disorienting at first to have time to do things like… read. Here are what we’re getting into as we settle into quiet nights at home these days: Turning the Tide on Plastic, The Golden Spruce, the Secret Knowledge of Water, Food Matters, and the Omnivore’s Dilemma: Young Reader’s Edition (for your kids that are home from school). We’re also re-engaging with the American Classics of Hemingway and Zora Neale Hurston.
4. Consider using eco-friendly soaps and cleaners that work
In times of panic or fear, we can all be tempted to take on extremes with the best intention, but it’s also important to take a check in on the big picture. In terms of soaps and cleaners, rather than going for the toxic stuff, here is NY Magazine’s list of top recommendations of best eco-friendly cleaners, and on top of that, don’t forget good old fashion diluted white vinegar. Consider that sticking with natural cleaners and sanitizers reduces your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.
6. If stocking up on water, continue to fill reusable containers at home
By filling up your reusable water bottles and water containers at home, you can ensure any potential personal or expert recommendation for preparation and also minimize exposure by reducing runs to the store. At this time, no reports imply water insecurity or spread of virus via water sources, so consider reusable water bottles, containers, and a good old glass of water at home rather than purchasing large quantities of bottled water.
We’ll have more sustainability tips coming your way soon, including how to plant an edible garden. In the meantime, also consider that “social distancing” may be better described as “physical distancing,” as now more than ever it is important for our communities to unite during this time, even from the space of spending time in our homes and on trails on our own, or with small groups of family and friends.