Updated: Oct 10, 2020
COVID and working from home has certainly presented some challenges. Not only does it mean we've had kids at home whilst we are trying to work, but also getting take-out and deliveries have definitely increased.
It's no secret that children are passionate about the environment and we find they are drivers to recycling at home and Eco practices.
However, during the pandemic we have been forced to change habits and our ways. Adairs and similar companies, have benefited off of Australian's spending big on their homes during lockdowns. This has been reflected in the company's 221% increase in online sales since March, as consumers are opting for delivery or 'click and collect' options, as opposed to going into store. Consequently, this has resulted in additional use of plastic and packaging.
Similarly, since the pandemic started, there has been a notable increase in waste from protective equipment such as masks, gloves and gowns and from purchases such as hand sanitiser bottles, disposable wipes and their packaging. Plastic waste has also surged as more people are ordering takeaway with restaurants now using more disposable packaging.
Despite plastic use increasing, it provides an opportunity for consumers whilst at home to get into good environmental practices and habits. We can learn from spending a lot of time at home, being with one another and having a 'green' stay-at-home routine.
Just because we’re in a period of change, doesn’t mean we have to lose our sight of limiting waste-to-landfill. Single-use plastics are a huge environmental problem that we can continue to address by changing our behaviours, even during COVID.
Similarly, the average household throws out $3,800 of food waste per year. However, with staying at home and the inability to eat out, our food waste is likely to increase. Despite this, there is opportunity for all of us during COVID to change our habits.
Easy hacks to keep you and your kids on track with eco-friendly stay-at-home routines include: planting herbs in the veggie patch, cooking together using home grown herbs or plants, looking to reuse food rather than throwing it out, sorting your waste and implementing a bin systems, charging phones and electronic items until they're recharged rather than keeping them on charge overnight, and opting for reusable alternatives such as beeswax or silicone wraps or reusable containers.
Whilst we might be using more plastic and single use items to stay healthy, if we can all do small things at home we can still help our environment through this pandemic.