By Asitha Jayawardena
World-wide, we are more home-bound than ever before because of the coronavirus pandemic. How long we must remain so, nobody knows.
While staying at home, why don’t we explore ways of making the home-life more sustainable? There are 12 of them:
• Grow vegetables, fruit and flowers
• Compost food and yard waste
• Use renewable energy
• Switch off unwanted lights and ‘stand by’ mode at night
• Use natural ventilation and light
• Draught-proof your home
• Save water
• Recycle DVDs, books and other materials
• Reduce and reuse stuff
• Go paperless
• Work from home if possible
• Support sustainable charities
Grow vegetables, fruit and flowers: Fruit and vegetables are first and flowers are next – the pandemic way of gardening. We are more likely to stay at home so why not doing the exercise, especially with growing vegetables. In the first lockdown in April 2020, we planted spring onions, beans, tomatoes, chilli and potatoes.
Compost food and yard waste: If your garden is big, why not composting yard waste as well as food waste? Compost bins are widely available to buy in stores.
Use renewable energy: Energy comes in two ways: non-renewable and renewable. Non-renewable energy is basically fossil fuels (coal, petroleum and natural gas). Renewable energy is wind, solar, tide, waves and geothermal energy. So, go for renewable! In the UK, you can switch your energy provider by http://www.uswitch.com.
Switch off unwanted lights and ‘stand by’ mode at night: Whether it’s renewable energy or not, switching off lights that are not needed saves energy. Overnight, switch off ‘stand by’ mode from your TV set as it wastes energy. Multiply the small amount of electricity by 365 to calculate the total waste.
Use natural ventilation and light: In summer, opening windows will improve cross ventilation. Opening the curtains in day time will bring natural light. The natural air as well as light are better that the artificial counterpart.
Draught-proof your home: In winter, draught-proof your home so that heated indoor air will not sneak outside.
Save water: Water is a precious resource so saving it is a must. Dripping taps and leaky loos should be fixed first as they waste water unnecessarily. Turn off the tap when it is not needed will save water when brushing your teeth or scrubbing your hands. And take shorter showers. A shower shorter than two minutes will save water up to 15 to 20 litres and this should be multiplied by 365 (if you shower every day) to obtain the total water saved for the year.
Recycle DVDs, books and other materials: Especially if you work from home, watching a film on DVD or reading a book is a relaxation to the mind. But what you should do with the DVD or the book? Recycle them because there are many people, like you, who would want it to view or read.
Reduce and reuse stuff: If you buy stuff that you find too much to handle in the end, reduce the amount next time. ‘Buy two get one free’ means three items, say a loaf of bread with an expiry date. Next, buy just one loaf. If you have bought too many loaves, put in the freezer to eat them after the expiry date.
Go paperless: Go paperless and keep your online copy instead. An important email or an annual statement would do the trick.
Work from home if possible: In the UK as well as many other European nations, the current arrangement is working from home if you can. Home working with Zoom will deliver many benefits, such as reduction of travel as well as ironing. But if working from home is not possible due to the nature of the job, you have to go.
Support sustainable charities: While working from home, what you can do is supporting a sustainable charity. There are many ways to do it, such as volunteering to financial support. Do it!
2021 is coming! Why don’t we bring these 12 items as our ways to make home-life more sustainable?
Benefits from growing vegetables in coronavirus lockdown https://sustain-blog.com/2020/07/10/benefits-from-growing-vegetables-in-coronavirus-lockdown/
Make post-lockdown green https://sustain-blog.com/2020/05/08/make-post-lockdown-green/