Pollution is plummeting in Italy in the wake of the coronavirus according to WashingtonPost and CNN have labelled the planet as the true winner. Most of us will soon be self-isolating and working from home for weeks on end, and we can use this time to create massive social impact.
Here is a list of how you can create impact while staying indoors.
There is a lot of advice out there on how to start reducing waste and how to move towards zero waste, but use this as an opportunity to collect your waste over the course of a week or two and look at it. Count the number of milk cartons - how much of it is recyclable, etc. Being aware of how much waste you produce in a given time can really help you know where you need to cut down. Make sure you bring your reusable bags when stocking up on supplies and choose minimalist packaging. Do bananas really need one of those transparent plastic bags?
Join online Community groups offering support
Most cities now have groups on social media, connecting people who need assistance with people who are happy to offer a helping hand. The Edinburgh Coronavirus Community Support group is an example of this. Find your local group. If there isn’t one, create it. You will be able to post your areas and help someone in need. This could entail picking up groceries or medicines, or keeping tabs on someone living alone and calling them for a friendly chat.
Volunteer your skills to social enterprises and small businesses
Do you have a knack for blogging, love creating social media posts, or designing marketing campaigns? Many small businesses and social enterprises have taken a hit from the coronavirus. If you have some spare time due to self-isolation then this could be a good way to provide enormous benefit to these small businesses and social enterprises. Find a venture that has similar values to yourself, tell them about your skills and how you believe you can help. There are ways you can help while maintaining social distancing.
Cut out red meat from your diet
The Guardian states that avoiding red meat and dairy is the single biggest way you can reduce your impact on the Earth. Scientific American found that red meat such as beef and lamb is responsible for 10 to 40 times as many greenhouse gas emissions as common vegetables and grain. You now have the time to take a look at your diet and evaluate a more sustainable approach.
Support social enterprise and independent businesses
Before you purchase anything new, think could you do without this? We will still need resources, so look at what you are buying and think of social enterprises you can support instead. If you need period products, Hey Girls make period products and give one to a UK girl in period poverty for each one purchased. If you need olive oil, Zaytoun oil promotes fairly traded, artisan Palestinian produce and reinvests its profits back into supporting the livelihoods of Palestinian farming communities.
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