With everything that is going on at the moment many of my usual practices have had to go out the window. This has meant that in some ways I am not able to live in as eco-friendly a way as I normally would. To begin with I was finding this difficult to not feel guilty about, which was the last thing I needed at the moment. So, today I wanted to share how I’m balancing eco living in quarantine. I’d love to hear your thoughts too.
Focus on the bigger picture
One of the changes I was struggling with early on was the fact I could no longer take my reusable cup to a café. I hadn’t used a disposable takeaway cup in a very long time, and I hated that the only way I could get coffee was going to result in that waste. I knew my options were to just make coffee at home, or to manage the waste. In this instance, supporting the local businesses that I have loved for years is more important to me, so I have chosen to buy coffee a few times a week even though I hate the waste it is creating. It might not be the choice everyone would make, but for me supporting those local jobs is the right call.
Similarly, I have been ordering a lot more takeaway than I usually would, as my small way to help local restaurants. Most of the places I order from don’t supply unnecessary cutlery, and use cardboard packaging which can be recycled which is excellent. However, occasionally I will end up with a plastic bag, or some disposable containers. In those instances I just ensure I dispose of it as best as I can. Not ideal, but for me it fits the bigger picture priorities I am focusing on.
Find new ways to reduce waste
Normally I can do my fruit and vegetable shop with almost no waste by using produce bags, however it isn’t always completely zero waste. For example, sometimes the only way I can get pumpkin or spinach is with plastic, same with things like cherry tomatoes. One of the benefits of being at home is I can order a produce box as I’m actually here when it arrives (there is nowhere safe to leave it if I’m not here). I have been ordering from Organic Ease and everything arrives completely plastic free – plus I’m supporting local farmers. It’s been a great way that I can actually reduce my waste, helping with balancing eco living in quarantine.
Remember the wins you already had
It’s funny how one change – like disposable coffee cups – can make you feel like you’re now single handily responsible for the destruction of the planet. When I start to think like that I remember all the changes I have made along the way that I am still able to stick to. My kitchen is still full of reusable options like beeswax wraps, I’ve switched to reusable makeup wipes in the bathroom, I take bags with me to the shops and so many other small and large changes. The current situation hasn’t resulted in whole scale changes at this stage, so remembering how many wins you continue to have is super helpful.
Know that it’s not permanent
One of the key ways I am balancing eco living in quarantine is to focus on the fact this won’t be permanent. Eventually, much of our lives will return to normal and I will be able to go back to my former eco-friendly practices. Hopefully some of the new practices I have picked up will be able to be kept too! Everything is topsy-turvy at the moment and we all have to do what we can to stay safe, and stay sane, so there’s no point in adding extra pressure on ourselves.