Sustainability and COVID-19
Sustainability is more important than ever during this unprecedented time.
Employing economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable practices can help your household by saving money, time, and resources - making it easier and more enjoyable for you to stay at home.
Check out the ideas below for ways to practice sustainability while social distancing!
Protect yourself, your family, and essential workers
- Familiarize yourself with the CDC Coronavirus Guidelines, which are updated regularly.
- Make a reusable cloth face mask with these guidelines from the CDC. If you enjoy sewing, reach out to a local essential business and see if they want some.
- Follow tested steps to clean your home and workplace, and consider using lab-tested safer cleaning products to protect your lungs, skin, and environment.
- Make your own hand sanitizer if you’ve run out, but remember that soap is most effective.
- Break out any old bar soaps you have hanging around instead of buying new soap (and make sure you wash your hands for 20 seconds). They work just as well!
- Take an inventory of all of the food and necessities you have in your house and read about the truth about best-by labels so you can maximize your trips to the store and go less often.
- If you’re using reusable bags to shop, make sure you keep them clean. Otherwise, recycle your paper or plastic bags. ***Plastic bags can only be recycled at plastic bag recycling drop-offs, NOT in your curbside recycling. Drop-offs are located in most grocery stores.***
- Dispose of waste correctly - don’t flush cleaning supplies or wipes, and don’t recycle any personal protective equipment like gloves, masks, or cleaning products.
- DON’T hoard - buy only what you need. Here’s a good list to consider stocking up on to make sure you have what you need for isolation and potential sickness.
- Read this list of money-saving tips for grocery shopping before suiting up and heading out to the store.
- Start a victory garden for cheap, healthy, delicious food. Get some plants for free (and reduce food waste!) by growing new plants from your kitchen scraps, and check our Facebook for information about the Park Forest Seed Library for free seeds.
- Purchase and cook with a mind to reduce your food waste. Then, consider starting a compost pile in your yard to truly use all of your food.
- Put a plastic bottle in your toilet tank to save water and money on your water bill.
- Consider switching to ComEd’s Hourly Pricing Program to potentially save a lot on your electricity bill.
Keep boredom at bay
- If you’re cleaning up your yard, consider working in some pollinator-friendly practices. If you want to get really creative, start a native plant pollinator garden to add some color to your lawn.
- Need something to do with the kids? Try this wide array of fun (and educational!) activities, games, and experiments from the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network.
- Declutter your house with these tips, then consider donating or offering online anything you don’t want anymore. You may have to wait for Goodwill, the Veterans Closet, etc. to open back up - call in advance to make sure they’re still taking donations.
- Volunteer or request help with shopping, checking in on neighbors, and other social distancing tasks on the Help Map from NextDoor.
- Break a sweat with these free online workouts.
- Try plogging - bring gloves and a plastic bag when you go on a walk or run around Park Forest and pick up litter.