Being Eco-Friendly During COVID-19
Updated: Jun 1, 2020
Written by: Sara Plucker | Program Manager of Fitness at SPS Tower | AdvantageHealth Corporation
What does being eco-friendly mean? Let's begin by defining a couple of terms.
Eco-conscious. Being eco-conscious can mean something different to different people, but in general it's a loose term that means showing concern for the environment.
Eco-friendly can be described as an activity or product that is not harmful to the environment.
If a person is eco-conscious, they are concerned for the environment, while eco-friendly is acting on the concerns.
How to be eco-friendly?
There are many, many ways to be eco-friendly. One of the most common practices is to follow the three R’s - reduce, reuse, recycle. Reduce your waste, reuse items for a new purpose instead of throwing them away, and recycle glass, paper, aluminum, and plastic. In some ways most of us are already eco-friendly!
Simple ways to be eco-friendly:
Plant more trees. Get your children involved and teach about the importance of trees.
Conserve water and electricity - turn off water and lights when they aren’t in use.
Drive less and walk or bike more. We've seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic a major reduction in smog and pollution from a drastic reduction in traffic. Plus, you will add more fitness into your day!
Buy locally grown products - visit the local farmers market or look for “locally grown” signs at your grocery store or co-op.
Wash your clothes on warm or cold - hot water uses more energy. Better yet, can you wear your clothes one more time without having to wash them?
Start a compost - there are at home compost kits to get you started, or check your local government for a public compost site.
Pick up litter. Again, get your children or neighborhood involved and make an afternoon of it.
Reduce the amount of plastic you use - make the switch to reusable grocery bags, mesh produce bags and reusable zip-top baggies. Better yet, can you simply consume less? We have seen a huge shift toward minimalism over the last decade - a practice of truly considering what you need in your life. What things can you do without? What things can you borrow/rent instead of buy?
Make a mini wildlife sanctuary in your yard - put up bird feeders, plant bee friendly herbs and flowers, or make a pond for insects and frogs. People are spending more time in their yards throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, so make it a place you actually want to be. If you have children, let them plant a small "fairy" flower garden or pizza garden - growing tomatoes, basil and other fresh veggies that go on a home-made pizza.
Use environmentally friendly cleaning products - Seventh Generation multi-surface cleaner, disinfecting wipes, and spray are approved by the CDC to effectively kill COVID-19.
Perhaps one of the most important things to remember right now is to be forgiving. Our world is going through a stressful time, and there are things in our lives that have been pushed to the back burner. That’s ok! Allow yourself to be imperfect now and in the future. Keep your personal mental and physical health and wellbeing at the forefront of your mind.
It is reasonable to set goals to become more eco-friendly, but accept that those goals might not be met right away. An intention to do your part to make our planet the best place for all of us to live.
Since 2001, Minnesota-based AdvantageHealth has been delivering award-winning employee wellbeing programs and fitness center design & management throughout the U.S.