From going to school at home to socially distancing from friends, the coronavirus has changed so much about how we live our lives. When we went into lockdowns during spring, many of us thought it would just be for a few weeks or maybe even a few months. But here we are, several months later, still using face masks and hand sanitiser — and maybe even going to school at home.
But while the coronavirus pandemic has made big changes to the way we live, it’s also important to think about ways that the pandemic is affecting what’s around us: the environment. If you think of climate change like a big boulder rolling down a hill, the pandemic is a bunch of extra baggage added that makes the boulder roll even faster.
So how can we do our part to help slow the boulder of climate change? Well, we can start by reducing our plastic use. Here are 6 ways you can be eco-friendly during the pandemic.
Bring Reusable Bags
Reusable bags are a fun and easy way to reduce the amount of plastic bags you use. Next time you go on a grocery trip with your parents, see if you can bring a reusable bag, or ask them to buy one for you so you can do your part in helping the future of our planet.
Get Reusable Face Masks
Reusable face masks are a great way to show your style while being a friend to the earth. Back in March and April, single-use face masks were very hard to get, but now that they are more easily available, we should be saving them for doctors and nurses so they can stay protected while they help sick people. To get a reusable face mask, ask your parents to buy some for you in your favourite styles and colours.
Ask For Less Food Packaging
Even though you might not be bringing lunch to school every day, food packaging at home can be really wasteful too. If your family decides to get takeaway for dinner, make sure you tell the restaurant not to include plastic forks, knives, or spoons, and see if you can go without the plastic bag too (This is a great time to use your reusable bag instead)!
Reuse Plastic Bags
If you do have to use plastic bags, you can at least get twice as much out of them by reusing each one. If you have plastic bags at home, ask your parents to use them as rubbish bags instead of buying brand new rubbish bags.
Bring Reusable Water Bottles
Did you know that the average person uses up to 167 plastic water bottles every single year? This might seem like a lot — and that’s because it is. Instead of buying reusable water bottles every day, ask your parents to get you a reusable bottle. Reusable bottles come in all different sizes and patterns, so you can get a water bottle that’s stylish and cool, all while being friendly to our planet!
Next time you go shopping with your parents, encourage them to shop at sustainable stores. You can also ask them to go to secondhand stores, which are the most sustainable way to shop for clothing. Shopping eco-friendly brands is a habit we should be practicing now, so kids of the future are able to see what they can do to be environmentally friendly to our planet.
Our generation is going to be living on this planet for a long time, so it’s important that we know how to take care of it.
Pick one thing from our list and talk to your parents about it today. While the ways to reduce plastic use we listed above might seem small, change begins with one person — and that person can be you. If we can all get our families to make these small changes, we can begin to see a big difference.