Sustainability In The Time Of Covid
By Jeffrey Selamutu & Athena Hair
May 21, 2021
With the recently announced Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) measures, a lot of us will be spending more time at home. Outside of the hours set aside for work, you might have a bit of extra time on your hands. Why not make the most of it and take your first steps towards living a more sustainable lifestyle?
Here are 9 ways you can make a change towards sustainability in the time of Covid.
1. Closet CleanoutTime to channel your inner Marie Kondo and clean out items in good condition that have been collecting dust at the back of your closet. You can donate or repurpose them, and just like that, you declutter and contribute to the sustainable fashion scene in Singapore.
2. Grow your own gardenBrighten up your walkways or front yards with some greenery. Not only will plants purify the air, but they will give you and your family more activities to do together. You don't have to spend much or even buy seeds – ask a friend or family member for a plant cutting or a new shoot thaw's rooted, and you can start from there. You can even make your own compost with your fruit scraps and cut down on your food wastage.
3. Use What You NeedRemember those social education campaigns which reminded us to you save electricity and water by switching off the lights and turning off the taps when not in use? Well, they still apply now. Also, if you do not need a physical printout, stick to the soft copies. If you have to print something, use recycled paper. A little goes a long way, and this daily habit can help you save on electricity bills too.
4. Make your own cleaning productsDid you know that some items in your kitchen work as effective cleaning products? A kitchen cleaner can be made with just baking soda and warm water, and it's non-toxic and eco-friendly. You can find many more ‘recipes' for home-made cleaners online, and all you can even reuse your old bottles to store the mixtures.
5. Switch To Earth-Friendly BrandsResearch which eco-friendly products you can swap with the brands that you currently use at home. You could look at replacing plastic straws with reusable silicone ones, and swap your plastic combs and hairbrushes with those made from bamboo. You can find these easily on any of your favourite online shopping platforms, or you can look out for them in brick and mortar shops when the current safety measures are relaxed.
6. Switch your lights to LED or CFL bulbsWhile there are a lot of things that you can do to help your home become more eco-friendly and more in line with sustainability, we feel that this one of the easier starting points. LED (light emitting diode) and CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) lighting use less energy and last longer than conventional halogen incandescent bulbs. By making this switch, not only are you being eco-friendly, you'll also be saving some money from having to replace your bulbs in the long term.
7. Observe Safety ProtocolIn an ideal world, you might already be living in a sustainable home, and you would probably planned for any emergencies. So when you need to leave your house, do remember to mask up and keep a safe distance as outlined by the Ministry of Health. When you feel like it's all too much to take in, breath and consider this: the ongoing monitoring, testing and contact tracing is a big part of the government's strategy of managing everyone's health and well-being. On top of that, we've mentioned the guidelines on social distancing and masking up, plus vaccinations continue to be priority measures.
8. Your mental health mattersTalk to loved ones or friends and you'll see that everyone is handling the situation the best way that they can. You are not alone in this. Have daily/weekly online meetups with your friends and other family members with video calls on your messaging apps, or through online platforms such as Zoom or backyard.co, which allows you to play games while video chatting with your friends.
9. Plan for the futureLook at making plans for the near-future because these plans can build towards a bigger goal. It could be finally taking swimming lessons or learning a new trade or skill which might lead you to working in a new area altogether. Or perhaps you might want to get more information and learn how you can be more eco-friendly and move towards sustainable living. You can start with reading through Sunseap's blogs as an introduction and then decide what specific area you might want to do deep-dive in.
You might have come across an article where a clinical psychologist said that living sustainability not only helps save the earth, but can also improve your mental health. That's good news, for sure, and in times like these, we sure can do with more of that. We hope the tips we've shared can give you some ideas of making good news for yourself.