Minimizing Waste for Sustainable Living in COVID

Plastic bags can be reused or repurposed as many necessary items, such as a reusable bag. This helps reduce plastic waste in oceans and the environment, while still looking stylish.

An emphasis on sustainable living and protecting the environment has been important for many years as individuals start to shift their lives in order to produce a smaller carbon footprint. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the rise of many regular and unsustainable habits, and one of its many consequences has been the increased production of plastic. 

Due to the heightened dependence on non-reusable containers, disposable masks and plastic utensils, the environment continues to worsen day-by-day through increased plastic waste. As we move forward into the new year, there are several significant yet easy ways we can help contribute to the sustainability movement and to the health of our planet.

Reusable masks

The holy grail of COVID containment and human protectors, masks have been a daily part of our lives last year. Disposable masks, though practical and accessible to everyone, could accumulate over 129 million pounds of waste in the coming year, according to Science Magazine. 

Rather than producing wasteful amounts of masks, we could switch over to reusable cloth masks. Cloth masks not only provide a substantial amount of protection, but they are also fashionable and cheap. By buying masks from small sellers, you are not only supporting sustainable living, but also small businesses, who continue to face financial hardship due to COVID.

Eat at home

One aspect of COVID that has helped the sustainability movement is the ability to eat homemade food. However, COVID has also popularized take-out food, mostly packaged in plastic, non-reusable containers with a handful of plastic utensils. 

While take-out once in a while will not lead to a significant amount of waste, regular outdoor eating is not only wasteful but also unhealthy and expensive. Making food at home is extremely simple with a large number of recipes online and is typically healthier and tastier than many restaurant foods. It also reduces food waste produced in restaurant kitchens. 

Reuse disposable bags 

As COVID has taught us, using plastic is sometimes inevitable, but you can mitigate its negative effect by repurposing the plastic you do use. Turn your plastic yogurt tub into a new planter, knit plastic bags into baskets or use plastic coffee cups to paint with. The possibilities are endless with several YouTube tutorials to follow. 

Additionally, these creations like plastic mats and scarves can be donated to many homeless shelters and other places in need to provide comfort to struggling individuals. Not only are you helping the planet, but you are also helping local communities.

Be patient

Switching to completely sustainable living within a pandemic is not possible, to say the least. Do not feel guilty if you have to resort to using plastic or disposable masks. Keep in mind that you are just a human and living a perfectly sustainable life is a long process. Focus on your creativity and resourcefulness to practice small sustainable habits to slowly help the environment as we move into 2021.