Top 5 Tips for Living Greener and Safer During COVID-19

August 14, 2020

There is a lot going on in the world right now. Two important issues we are facing are the COVID-19 pandemic and a climate crisis. Luckily, there are some things we can do in our every day lives that will help stop the spread of both these issues! Equitas has compiled a list of 5 top tips to help you continue to protect yourself against COVID-19 during de-confinement in Canada while also taking care of our planet during this global climate crisis!

1. Making your own liquid soap for your home.

According to the government of Canada, a good practice to reduce the risk of infection of COVID-19 for yourself and others includes 'washing your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds'. This means that having a significant amount of liquid soap in the home is very important!

However, when you buy liquid soap it often comes in wasteful plastic bottles. A solution to reducing this type of unnecessary waste while also ensuring safety from COVID-19 is to make your own liquid soap! Once you've made this, you can place your DIY liquid soap into whatever liquid soap container you already have!

Here's how Green Peace Canada recommends you make homemade liquid soap:

2. Making your own reusable face mask.

As wearing face masks is of course very important during this pandemic (as declared by the Canadian government and the World Health Organisation), non-reusable face masks have become huge polluters of our land and seas. There is an answer though- reusable face masks! Many Canadians have begun making reusable masks, and are doing a great job at it! But did you know you can also make your own? Here is a list of helpful resources to take you through the process of making your own face mask and face coverings:

  1. A visual explanation of how to make a face mask by London, Ontario youth face-mask makers 'London Mask Makers': How To Make a Facemask (with Sewing)
  2. A visual and audio explanation of how to make a face covering by 'Global News': How to Make a Face Covering (No Sewing)
  3. Options for Sewing and Non-Sewing Masks by 'BBC': How to Make a Safe Face Mask

3. Try out a new form of transport!

The Government of Canada also recommends avoiding "closed spaces, crowded spaces, and closed contact" in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. This can be difficult when it comes to transportation options such as cars or public transportation. As such, it may be the perfect time to try a new form of transport! An added benefit to trying a new form of transport is that it may be more environmentally friendly too! Forms of transport that are better to limit closed contact with others while also being environmentally friendly include: walking, biking, rollerblading, scootering, or skateboarding!

4. Zero-waste local take out.

The Government of Canada's recommendation of avoiding "closed spaces, crowded spaces, and closed contact" to stop the spread of COVID-19 also applies to spaces like restaurants and cafés. You can still safely do take-out from these spaces though! In fact, during COVID-19 having a good meal is good for you and your morale, and supporting local businesses is great for your community. However, take-out can come with wasteful and ultimately unnecessary packaging which you should avoid as much as possible.

Here are two different ways to avoid packaging during take-out:

  1. If the business accepts your reusable containers - bring your own reusable containers, such as reusable cups, metal straws, and Tupperwares so that they can directly place the take-out into these containers. Ensure that this material was thoroughly washed recently before this with hot water and dishwashing soap so that it is safe for the staff to touch.
  2. If the business does not accept your reusable containers - bring your own reusable containers, such as reusable cups, metal straws, and Tupperwares. Have the business place your food and drink in their own reusable containers, and move it yourself into your reusable containers. Ensure that you have thoroughly disinfected your hands before doing this so that it is safe for the staff to touch their containers when you are finished.

5. Eat healthy!

Eating healthy is always good for you, but it is particularly good for you when you are trying to avoid getting sick, as a good diet normally produces a strong body! According to the World Health Organisation, eating healthy includes eating lots of fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains .

The good news is that eating healthy is also often linked with eating in a way that is environmentally-friendly! Organisations like Green Peace urge us to try and eat vegetarian, eat simple, and also to eat locally-produced products when we can!

Here is a simple recipe that Green Peace promotes for it's health and environmental benefits:

This is a stressful time - COVID-19 and climate change are both very stressful topics. These tips may be unfeasible for you, and that is totally fine! The good news is that if we all take a few simple steps we can still have a big impact, even in these times of uncertainty. No action is too small. Feel free to share these tips with your community to begin the change!