Time flies, and in the blink of an eye, it’s July. This is a significant month for us, and we are eager to get started. You may be wondering why. Well, during the 31 days in July, many people around the world will take action to help the environment, mainly by avoiding the use of single-use plastic items.
Many of us are still under quarantine, and this has been a time of many challenges. But it has also allowed us to use our creativity to make the most of being at home. From preparing a new recipe to learning a new language, and the list goes on and on. That is why we want to share some ideas with you to make your quarantine more sustainable. Yes, you heard right. Let’s begin!
Create a home recycling station
If you can’t avoid buying products in plastic packaging, don’t worry. This is a great time to learn how to separate waste or, if you’ve been doing it all along, how to improve your technique. Remember, it is very important that items you recycle be clean and dry.
What can we recycle?
● Plastic Bottles: Of course, we try not to buy items packaged in single-use plastic bottles, but, there are some items that are hard to avoid, like antibacterial soap. So, what do you do with the bottle when it’s empty? First ask yourself if it is recyclable. If it is, store it in the appropriate container with other recyclables. When your container is full, set it out for pickup, or when you can, take it to your local recycling center.
● Paper and cardboard: After doing homework, your children most likely have several pieces of paper to recycle. Remind your children to put papers they don’t need any more in the appropriate container. If you subscribe to a newspaper or magazine and no longer want them, recycle them.
● Glass: Many beverages, dressings, and vegetables come in glass containers. Before discarding them, ask yourself if you can give them a second chance to be useful. Clean glass containers are great for storing condiments, spices, small items like candy and buttons and can be used for crafting.
● Organic waste: This is all the waste we can’t use, such as food waste. Check the entire house, kitchen, pantry, and refrigerator and remove all that waste. This is also a good excuse to clean and tidy up your home. Remember not to mix food waste with clean recyclables.
Tip: Use 3 different containers for recyclables. Use one for organic waste such as food waste, one for paper and cardboard, and one for plastic. Get the children involved. They can have a fun time decorating the containers or doing crafts with items to give them new life.
Buy only what you need.
We must not fall into the mistake of accumulating products at home. They could be spoiled if we don’t consume them on time. Remember that we must make our purchases taking into account the number of members of our family and what they need at the moment.
Avoid buying food packaged in plastic.
This seems tricky, but it isn’t. With these tips, you can take your first steps. When you visit the supermarket, focus on products that use biodegradable or recyclable materials. Remember that the fewer packages or packaged items you buy, the less waste you will have. Whenever possible, buy fruits and vegetables without packaging. Instead of buying fruit, buy fresh fruit and freeze it yourself. If you like bread, buy it fresh without packaging at the bakery. If this isn’t possible, try to find bread in paper packaging.
Avoid using plastic straws.
Now that you are at home more, you’ve probably forgotten all about them. This is a good habit to keep even when things return to normal. If you must use a straw, try a metal one to avoid waste with every drink you consume. Straws you use and discard may end up in our environment and their damage is beyond our control.
Reuse everything you can.
Some disposable plastic items and glass containers are great to use when making crafts. Get your kids involved in making attractive home-made items for the garden or kitchen. Glass containers also make great organizers for small items and look good in the pantry.
Tip: To reuse a glass container, first remove the label and glue. To make it easy, immerse the container in hot water for a few minutes, then peel off the label, and remove the glue by rubbing with a little vegetable oil and baking soda. You will have a clean glass container to reuse.
These are just some of the daily actions you can take during quarantine to make a difference. Despite the current situation, we can still reduce the use of disposable plastic in our day-to-day lives. If we all do what we can, it will make a difference. With every small action, our children will learn that choosing sustainable options isn’t complicated. If they do it often enough, it will become a habit.
Let’s Celebrate Plastic-Free July! Let us know if you have other ideas on how to help by leaving a comment. Which ones do you already practice at home?