It seems counterintuitive celebrating Earth Day inside, right? Trust me I want to go out as much as the next person, but staying in and collectively flattening the Coronavirus curve has surprisingly made a huge impact on the environment. Scientists are reporting a drastic increase in air quality because of lower CO2 and NO2 emissions from transportation vehicles. This is something we have not seen in a decade! But is it enough? Earth Day is celebrating 50 years transforming environmental change for the planet, and this may be the most important year yet as scientists predict emissions will bounce back harder after the pandemic. This year we may not be celebrating with a parade or community garden, but there are little shifts anyone can do to benefit the environment. Yep, even during a pandemic. Here are 5 things anyone can do to celebrate Earth Day during Coronavirus from the comfort of your own home.
Ditch Disposable Masks
Safety is a priority amidst the Coronavirus and masks seem to be a universal need. However, there is growing concern where they will wash up. Environmental group OceansAsisa recently spoke about finding masses of surgical masks washed up along the shore of Hong Kong. With the masks containing polypropylene, a non-biodegradable ingredient, they are a huge hazard to marine wildlife as plastics affect more than 100,000 ocean animals each year. As state parks and beaches begin to reopen in the U.S it is likely we will also see disposable surgical masks polluting our surroundings. Good news is we can stay safe while protecting the environment. Cloth masks are on the rise as the CDC recommends them to help reserve surgical and N95 masks for medical workers. At KE’ALA BIKINIS we are doing our part to contribute. If you are in need of a cloth mask, we are accepting order requests on our website or Instagram DM. How to order? Reach out on our site through the pop-up chat box in the lower right corner. Be sure to include your name, address and number of masks needed so we can get in contact with you. Oh, and feel free to pass the message along! Or if you’re up for the craft, you can celebrate Earth Day by making an easy version at home. Here is a fun way to DIY your own face mask. Just remember to give them a wash!
Make Meals With What You Have
One of the easiest ways to celebrate Earth Day during Coronavirus is to stay home. Not only does staying in help decrease food waste, but it helps limit Coronavirus spread too. Yet time and time again many of us find ourselves taking biweekly trips to the grocery store. We are all doing our best to avoid stockpiling, but often that means going to the store a few times a week for forgotten items. This Earth Day instead of running to the store for a couple ingredients to top off your dinner, make meals solely off what you have at home. Most of us have staples on hand to throw together for a complete meal. Soups, stir-frys, pasta dishes and casseroles are easy dishes to whip up with basics kept in our kitchens. No ingredient run necessary!
Contrary to popular belief, we do not have to Lysol everything. We should maintain good sanitation practices, wash our hands and clean surfaces that are potentially infected. This standard is the new normal to insure a clean bill of health during the Coronavirus. Just keep in mind there are repercussions to over sanitizing. Ingredients in household cleaners like phosphates, phthalates, triclosan, NPs and VOCs pose concerns for human and environmental safety. When we think of pollution often what comes to mind are giant oil tanks being dumped in the ocean or factories emitting fumes into the air. Yet household and industrial cleaning products go down the drain every day and do a number on water pollution. Local septic filtration usually does the trick, but not enough to remove these harsh chemicals from making way into lakes, rivers and streams where wildlife are susceptible. To celebrate Earth Day during Coronavirus, here are 13 household cleaning products with less of an environmental footprint. Don’t worry, they work too! Now you can sanitize with the Earth in mind.
Buy A House Plant
We have all been told to plant a tree to help the environment, and celebrated Earth Day for decades doing just that. This year things are a little different, but we can improvise! Considering the Coronavirus pandemic a lot of people lack the resources to start a backyard garden. Not to mention the space. Houseplants are a great alternative to gardens and a great addition to houses and apartments alike as they naturally regulate air quality of your home. Having house plants can remove up to 87% of volatile compounds from cleaning products while increasing humidity in the room which can aid in easy breathing. This is also a great opportunity to shop local as most neighborhood plant shops are offering curbside pickup or delivery. To celebrate Earth Day during Coronavirus look into spider plants, aloe vera, Chinese evergreen and elephant ears. They really bring a space to life!
Trips to the grocery store amidst Coronavirus have revealed bare shelves and shoppers frantic to get their share. I get it, the empty shelves trigger fear of not having enough to go around. But I ensure you there is! If anything, the increased demand of paper products and non perishable goods drive more environmental issues. The largest concern is supply chain keeping up with demands, and with a recent surge of demands comes increased transportation and use of resources. As stores struggle to refill their shelves farmers struggle too. Crops like wheat, corn and soy being made into most non-perishable goods have a certain growth cycle, and speeding up that growth cycle through synthetic methods often leads to mineral stripped soils. This sets up a future of lower food quality. Let’s celebrate Earth Day during Coronavirus by avoiding stockpiling and being conscious of the amount of food bought. This will help our farmers preserve the Earth, keep up demand and decrease the amount of food and packaging waste that often comes with frantic shopping.
Staying inside is not always something to rejoice about, but we can still celebrate Earth Day during Coronavirus. It just takes a bit of creativity and thinking outside the box (or inside in this case). I hope these tips inspire you to do something good for the planet and incorporate environmentally healthy habits into your lifestyle. Do good for the Earth and it will do good unto you! What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?