Right now it’s hard to think about anything more than staying at home and being surrounded by COVID-19. At this moment in time it feels almost impossible to work towards being zero waste.
I live with my grandparents who are susceptible to the virus and I have no desire to find out what would happen if they did contract the virus. In order to ensure our safety we have been confined to our pretty spacious, but two bedroom New York City apartment. For the first few weeks I was the only one going outside to buy groceries. Where I could control the amount of plastic and single-use items. But since the virus has gotten much scarier and severe we have relied on grocery delivery services. The numbers of cases keep rising and it feels so does the threat of being infected with the virus. I now have no control over the packing, or plastic bag usage, and it truly pains my earth-conscious heart to see things double bagged in plastic bags, or a single potato in a plastic produce bag.
In this unprecedented time, I recognize our health is most important and so I focus on what I can control. My unavoidable increase in single-use plastic products doesn’t change what sustainable swaps that I continue to do. For example, I
Nothing is perfect right now. We need to focus on self care and health. We have all been affected by this in different ways, so taking care of ourselves, is the most important to get us and others through it. The planet is healing itself as we isolate ourselves, and for us to further help our one and only planet we must be healthy and heal ourselves.
Even when everything is looking gloomy as we tune in on the news, there is some positive news relating to our planet, in a sort of, reset state. People in Punjab are able to see the Himalayas for the first time in nearly thirty years! Also india as jobs came to a halt, “In Delhi, where air is normally choking, levels of both PM2.5 and the harmful gas nitrogen dioxide fell more that 70 percent.” (National Geographic) “In China, carbon emissions were down an estimated 18 percent between early February and mid-March due to falls in coal consumption and industrial output”’ (National Geographic) Overall, our toxic emissions have lowered since there are fewer cars on the road, fewer factories are up and running, fewer planes are flying. We are all in a standstill moment, which gives good old Mother Nature a nice breather.
If you have the resources, making your own hand sanitizer and masks will help the health of both yourself and others. I suggest using the actual Aloe Vera plant to be completely plastic free and you can compost the skin. I got mine in my local grocery store!
Hand sanitizer is:
⅔ rubbing alcohol
⅓ aloe Vera gel
For mine I add tea tree essential oils for the antibacterial properties and lavender essential oils for a nice smell (plus it is relaxing).