How to enjoy summer post-coronavirus quarantine responsibly, safely while being eco-friendly
May 20, 2020
With the novel coronavirus prompting quarantine and restrictions across the globe, it can feel like we skipped a whole season as we sheltered in place. Alas, (in the northern hemisphere anyway) summer is here! Arriving on the other side of a global pandemic to warm weather deserves celebration.
While indoors, we heard reports of fowl returning to now-clear waters and nature growing in our absence. Now, restrictions are starting to ease, but uncertainties about safety may remain in people’s minds. Whether you’re stepping out into the world or taking an extended stay away from crowds, Recycle Coach is sharing how to bask in the warm weather outdoors while staying responsible, safe, and environmentally friendly.
A silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic: more Americans have become more eco-friendly
The novel coronavirus pandemic devastated lives and economies, and we cannot diminish what it has wrought on people. For those of us remaining, we can still seek positive take-aways. Many benefited from spending time at home and how this time has allowed for personal growth, quality time with loved ones, and reflection. In America, 64% of respondents to a survey reported experiencing “eco wake-up calls” to be more eco-friendly, likely because being at home more allowed them to pay closer attention to their lives.
Among the top behaviour changes reported by 2,000 respondents were reducing food waste; shopping more sustainably; and recycling more often.
In this new post-COVID-19 world, how can you maintain your healthy new behaviours out of the home and onto the sunny outdoors? Here are summer activities that you can do, whether or not you continue to practice social distancing.
How to celebrate the sunny outdoors after pandemic restrictions
Stay hydrated under the sun without one-time use bottles
While reusable bottle and cup programs were paused during the pandemic as an added safety precaution for workers, reusable cups and bottles are making a comeback. Opt for a reusable water bottle over a disposable bottled water.
Hiking? Playing at the park? Be sure to pack a reusable water bottle. You’ll save money, save the environment from unnecessary plastics, and keep you hydrated. If you didn’t pack one on a last-minute day out, be sure to dispose of plastic water bottles correctly at least.
Picnic in the park or in your backyard
Even during quarantine, picnics are a good way to break up a day and step out for fresh air, if you have a backyard or a deck to step onto. Now with parks reopening, a picnic is a great way to enjoy the warm weather with your family.
Grab a blanket, pack food in reusable glass or plastic containers, and pick a spot under partial shade (or under full sun, your choice!) and enjoy quality time out in nature. If you’re packing food in disposable food containers, be sure to dispose of them correctly according to your municipality’s rules – from black plastic containers, Styrofoam takeaways, to milk and juice cartons.
Have a water fight, minus the balloons
Still want to keep distance from friends or family who are not from the same household as you? A water balloon fight would be a great activity to keep your distance while playing with water – if it wasn’t for the risks that balloon pose to wildlife and the environment.
But there are alternatives!
You can make water fights reusable with sponges tied to each other into a “ball”-like shape or crocheted “balloons”. As long as they absorb water, can make a splash when it hits the target, and are reusable, they’re already a fun alternative to water balloons.
How to enjoy summer responsibly, safely, and in an eco-friendly way
The plastic crisis reached new heights during the Coronavirus pandemic. But with more individuals having eco wake-up calls after having to stay home more, there’s hope!
As we enter a new world where there’s (hopefully) continued emphasis on hygiene, respecting individuals’ personal space, and being vigilant of where our hands have been, we can also carry on new habits that help the environment. If learning to recycle better was a resolution you and your family realized was needed in your home, downloading the Recycle Coach app is the first step to pursuing an eco-friendly summer.
Need specific information for where you live?
Wondering about recycling instructions for items in your municipality? Use our Find My Municipality tool and learn recycling information specific to your municipality.
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