Aloha, friends! How is everyone feeling this week? The sun came out to play a few days, which always puts a little spring in my step. We’ve made it through six whole weeks of solitude, and it seems like many of us are starting to get into a routine. We’ve started to accept this as the new normal, at least for now, and we’ve made some peace with where we’re at. I hope you’ve all continued to choose joy, schedule time to do things you love and hit the pause button. If you’re still feeling pretty down, you’re not alone. While sustainability is a hot topic this week, your well being is always top priority. Call if you need to chat, or check out the Boston Globe series further down for suggestions from actual medical professionals. We’ve made it this far, and though it may be just a glimmer, we may be starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
In case you aren’t sure what month it is, we’re nearing the end of April, which means that we celebrated Earth Day on Wednesday! Did you do anything to celebrate? Did you read any interesting news about good ol’ Mother Earth? There have been a lot of feel-good stories floating around the internet regarding the quarantine’s effects on the planet. Here are a few of my favorites that you may be familiar with:
- Video Captures Gliding Jellyfish Visible in Venice’s Canals as Italy Remains on Lockdown
- People in India can see the Himalayas for the first time in ‘decades,’ as the lockdown eases air pollution
- Fearing Shortages, People Are Planting More Vegetable Gardens
- ‘It’s positively alpine!’: Disbelief in big cities as air pollution falls
Despite all these inspiring stories, most scientists say that when this is over, we will snap right back to where we were pre-Covid. It’s sad to think about, but at the very least, this pandemic has opened our eyes to the drastic measures we need to take in order to get our planet back to a state where people can breathe fresh air and animals can roam freely in their natural environments. How do we reduce air pollution? How can we slow the production of greenhouse gases? The magnitude of those questions is enough to discourage even the most enthusiastic tree hugger, but if we each make an effort to reduce our own impact on the environment, small changes can add up. For a crash course in Climate Change, check out this article from the New York Times.
I may be up on my soapbox every week talking about what you can do, but don’t be fooled. I’ve got a lot of work to do myself. My next big project to tackle is minimizing our recycling. While I’ve reduced the actual garbage that we amass at home, our recycling pile is through the roof. At any given time we have mounds of recycling in the corner of our kitchen, and it accumulates again as quickly as we dump it outside into the bin. Even though it’s not going to a landfill, we’re definitely using more plastic and paper than we need to, so these are a few things I’m focusing on to reduce our consumption.
Fewer shipments – In an age where it’s so easy to order online, Matt and I definely order more than we need to. Reducing how often we order and trying to consolidate into fewer packages is top of mind for me right now.
Buying in bulk – Buying staples like rice and beans from the bulk bins and using our own reusable bags will prevent us from having to get rid of extra packaging. I don’t think Costco is the right move for us, but if you’ve got a lot of mouths to feed, maybe it is for you! The more packaging eliminated, the better.
Fresh instead of frozen – Matt could keep Trader Joe’s in business just from shopping the freezer section. The result is dozens of boxes and plastic trays that end up in the recycling bin. He loves their fried rice, so instead of buying multiple bags of it from the grocery store, I’ve started making fresh batches at home. I haven’t found a recipe that completely measures up yet, but I’m working on it!
What are you doing at home to decrease your carbon footprint? Share your ideas if you have them, and read on for more suggestions!