As this series continues to be published in the paper, a number of people have provided Wildsight Golden with feedback that what we are advocating cannot be done during a global pandemic. Many of our tools to reduce waste have been taken away under public health guidelines, such as buying bulk and reusing our coffee cups.
It is still important to reduce waste wherever possible, and resist using the cardboard containers that many take-out places are giving out or taking plastic bags at the grocery store.
The number of steps backwards that we have taken during this global pandemic in order to keep everyone safe is saddening. Plastic waste is going to be even more of an issue going forward, especially with the number of disposable items we are using to keep people safe.
We still have choices though. The products that we used prior to the rampage of the Coronavirus are still available. We can still use soap primarily to wash our hands for 20 seconds which is just as effective as hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer may be purchased in bulk or you can make it yourself.
Disinfecting can be done with hydrogen peroxide or a disinfecting bleach solution, with the chemicals purchased in bulk containers, added to a spray bottle, and wiped off with a rag.
Making your coffee or tea at home and carrying it in your to-go cup takes just a few extra minutes. Purchasing it at the restaurant in a “to stay” mug and then transferring yourself into your “to go” mug creates dishes but not waste.
At the grocery store, ask for paper bags, boxes, or simply load your groceries back into the cart and then into your bags or boxes in the trunk of your car. Buy bulk items in the biggest packages you can. Don’t put your produce in plastic bags, it can be placed loose on the checkout carousel and washed carefully when you get home. There are a few grocery stores now that are allowing you to pack your own groceries into your reusable bags in your cart; consider seeking these out.
Use cotton gloves and cloth masks instead of disposable. You may need a few extra of each item in order to wash them in between uses, but this saves money as well as the environment.
People do have choices to carry on. Please do your best to reduce, reuse and recycle in this pandemic time.
Please feel free to email Golden@wildsight.ca to give me feedback on this article and share your ideas and questions regarding Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.