Everyone is stuck home in quarantine, and that is generating a lot of extra waste. However, the same cannot be said for the normal recycling kings in our country. Thus, Andrew Wheeler, the EPA Administrator, has said: “Right now there is a critical need for all raw materials in the manufacturing supply chain, especially paper and cardboard.” If you want to help fight the COVID-19 virus, you need to go green today.
Why Recycling Matters More Than Ever?
With everyone stuck at home, workplaces, stadiums, restaurants, and even the streets are empty. These places collect a tremendous amount of recycled material but are no longer able to.
Instead, raw materials, namely paper and cardboard, are beginning to run low because most people do not take the time to recycle at home. A shortage of raw materials can significantly hurt relief efforts around the country because of a lack of shipping supplies.
With online and curbside deliveries at an all-time high, the number of supplies needed is greater than ever. Thus, everyone has to do their job and go green.
Do It Safely
Without a doubt, everyone is being extra safe whenever they receive something from the outside. Make sure to take the proper steps to ensure you are safe by wearing gloves when touching goods that were delivered to your home.
And if your lucky enough to have some, consider using Lysol wipes to sanitize anything you bring in.
Recycling is the basic idea of going green. You should recycle at home, and with so much free time on your hands, there really isn’t any excuse to not do it at the moment. In particular, the country has a very strong need for paper and cardboard.
Start organizing your garbage. For example, look at when you order some takeout that has cardboard dividers in it or a paper bag. Don’t just throw those in the garbage can. Instead, separate them into a pile for your recyclables.
And just because it is not in need, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t recycle plastic. This can really help clean up the ocean if you do.
2. Minimize Takeout Waste
No one is going out to eat anymore, but many people are still ordering out. However, you can significantly reduce the amount of takeout waste you produce with one simple trick.
Ask the restaurant to not include necessary utensils that you already have at home.
Seriously, you are home and have silverware, you do not need the restaurant to send out plastic utensils for the family. The same applies to napkins and unused sauce packets.
While this might sound like more work, it can go a long way to reduce the amount of waste you produce. And it also helps the restaurant out. After all, this stuff isn’t free for them.
3. Actually Use Reusable Goods
Even though something is reusable, many people do not actually reuse them. And while people should be careful in what they reuse, there are a lot of things that simply go to waste.
Look no further than the plastic bag. The odds are you’re going to receive all of your takeout in a plastic or paper bag. While I recommend recycling the paper bag, you can reuse the plastic one.
You can use them as garbage bags or even a new recyclables bag, clean up after your dog on a long walk, or just use them to carry stuff.
Just remember that safety should be a priority. So if something isn’t hygienic to reuse, don’t do so.
4. Utilize Natural Lighting
Electricity demand has fallen significantly as a result of the lockdown, but just because you are stuck at home doesn’t mean you need every light on.
Instead, look for ways to utilize natural light by keeping your blinds open. You might want to consider doing some gardening work outside if something is blocking the sunlight from reaching your window.
And it’s not just lighting that you should worry about. Consider reducing your electricity usage in other areas, especially when it comes to heating and airconditioning. This is a huge part of going green.
5. PPE is NOT Recyclable
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is NOT recyclable. Yes, your face mask, gloves, and other equipment all contain plastic, but they should not be recycled.
This risks contaminating everything else at the recycling plant. These items belong in the garbage. I also should not have to say this, but throwing them on the street is also not the proper way to dispose of them.
When it rains these items will find their way into the sewers, which one way or another makes their way to the oceans. Trust me, sea life does not want your used face masks and plastic gloves. So, properly throw them out.
A Lot Can Be Done When You Go Green
Going green goes beyond being a “hippie” or “leftist.” In reality, it can reduce how much you spend, promote good health and create less garbage that you throw away every week.
During the current pandemic, do yourself a favor and consider being more “green.” You’ll lose nothing and have so much to gain.