Stay-at-home orders around the world have positively impacted the Earth by lowering pollution levels and allowing wildlife to return to their natural habitats. Although this is extremely beneficial to our environment now, many countries are already starting to return to the status quo, reopening factories and driving wildlife back out. The quarantine has provided us with an opportunity to fix our mistakes, and if we do not take advantage of it, we may never get it again.
In that spirit, here are 10 things you can do to help the planet, even after social distancing is over!
- Ride your bike! This has proven to be a very popular activity during quarantine, and if continued, eliminates fossil fuels from being emitted into the atmosphere.
- Cut down on your plastic usage. Using reusable water bottles, metal straws, and other plastic alternatives all contribute to removing plastic from our oceans and keeping animals safe.
- Be smart about what you are recycling. Not everything is recyclable! Just one mistake can put the entire recycling bin in a landfill, where there is a high chance that it will end up in waterways or animals' mouths.
- Try Meatless Mondays. Although it can be difficult to commit to being vegetarian or vegan 24/7, one day a week still has the ability to make a tremendous impact.
- Use less energy. Showering in colder water, turning the lights off when you leave a room, and turning down your thermostat can all contribute to reducing your carbon footprint. Studies show that adjusting the temperature in your home by just one degree can save you 10% on your energy use over the year.
- Spread awareness! The more people who know about the severe impacts they have on the earth, the more they will start to become more conscious of their actions.
- Buy from eco-friendly sellers. Try thrifting clothes or buying eco-friendly products, such as reef protective sunscreen, and avoiding real-fur producers.
- Stop receiving junk mail. The massive unwanted catalogs you receive from companies are wasting a huge amount of paper. By canceling them, you can save so many trees!
- Ride public transportation when possible! If you can't bike somewhere, maybe reconsider driving if you have the option of taking the train or bus.
- Donate! There are many reputable wildlife funds that need support—anything helps!