Being Eco-Friendly During the Pandemic


Being Eco-Friendly During the Pandemic

Understanding the term “Eco-Friendly” is very important as we can further implement the practices that will lead to healthier living for the planet and its inhabitants. As the word suggests, eco-friendly literally means earth-friendly. This term commonly refers to being non-toxic to the environment, be it products or resources. In addition, these products or resources should also contribute to green living or practices that help conserve resources like water and energy. 

Eco-friendly products help promote green living that is becoming more and more critical these days. They prove to be boon for the environment and also prevent human deterioration. Hence, it is strongly encouraged to engage in eco-friendly habits and applications! The very first step to being eco-friendly is to be conscious of how you utilise resources, only consuming those that cause minimal environmental harm.

Image: https://co2living.com/reduce-your-carbon-footprint-7-instant-ways/

Next, one should start discovering and educating themselves on the carbon footprint produced. We generate tons of greenhouse gas without even realising, and this is extremely detrimental to the environment, as it leads to global warming and climate change. Although some carbon imprints may be unable to change, like living in a house or driving a car, it is still our responsibility to lessen our carbon footprint to the best of our ability!

Thus, it is important to be aware of your waste and resources usage. As the saying goes, “A small contribution goes a long way.” We encourage everyone to start doing your part and contribute to the well-being of our mother earth!

With work from home (WFH) arrangements being the new norm now, there are certainly some new changes in our daily lifestyle. Let’s do our part and incorporate sustainable habits alongside these changes! Here are 6 ways that you can stay eco-friendly while working from home: 

1. Ensuring air-con is at 26 degrees: With Singapore’s hot and humid weather, it is hard not to turn on the aircon at home while working. Relatable! While it is perfectly fine to turn the aircon on, we should be more aware of our aircon usage and how it affects the environment. Excessive use of aircon would release greenhouse gas and deplete the ozone layer, causing global warming!

Use your aircon moderately and only when you really need it. The lower your aircon temperature, the more power it consumes and the more it contributes to global warming. So, keep your aircon temperature to 26 degrees! Not only do you play a part in being eco-friendly, you also save on electricity bills - killing two birds with one stone!

Image: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-meal-prep

2. Make your own meals: Making your own meals is better for the environment as compared to getting food from outside! This is because when you make your own meals, you’re able to source sustainable options to incorporate into your cooking. Whereas for restaurants, you wouldn’t know where the ingredients are sourced from. Besides that, preparing your own meals also wastes less food as you can control how much you cook and prepare the right portion. So, put your apron on and start cooking! 

Image: http://www.byosingapore.com/

3. Bring Your Own (BYO): If your busy schedule does not allow for meal preparation, you can still do your part to reduce plastic waste by bringing your own containers when you dabao food! Besides bringing your own containers, you should also bring your own cup and straw when getting your bubble tea fix, and bring your own bag when going grocery shopping. Less plastic, more life! 

4. Utilise natural lighting: The bright and sunny weather in Singapore is not all that bad, as we get to utilise the natural lighting at home while working! Instead of turning on your light switches, try drawing your curtains to get some light into the room. Natural sunlight has been proven to increase one’s productivity and satisfaction at work, and also reduces the use of artificial lighting which consumes electricity - What a win-win situation!

Image: https://coconuts.co/singapore/news/local-inventor-left-hung-out-dry-after-losing-court-battle-hdb/

5. Air-dry laundry outside: As opposed to using a clothes dryer machine, we should air-dry our laundry as much as possible. This is because a clothes dryer machine needs a lot of energy to operate, and this can trigger climate change! Thus, refrain from using the dryer machine and just hang your clothes out in the sun to let it dry naturally. With Singapore’s weather, your clothes will dry in no time! 

6. Re-use groceries bag: Though it is advisable to refrain from using plastic, we definitely have NTUC and Sheng Siong plastic bags lying around our house. If you happen to have it, do not dispose of it just yet! There are so many ways that you can reuse this single-use plastic, be it lining your dustbin or for packing food. By reusing it, you play a part in reducing the plastic waste and help save the environment! 

Based on the research studies, it has shown that Singapore households generated 1,334 tonnes of plastic waste during circuit breaker. (Source: TODAYONLINE) Now that dining in is no longer an option, there has been a surge in food delivery and takeaway orders because of the circuit breaker restrictions. Thus, the consumption of single-use plastics has inevitably spiked. 

To further prevent the spread of COVID-19, we should remain top tier hygiene and safe distancing from one another. Thus, we should practice frequent cleaning and disinfecting of our hands, body, and even high-touch surfaces. Disinfecting is critical as it involves the destruction of microorganisms and gets rid of bacteria before they even get to you. If reusable items are not sanitized properly after each use, they can harbour dangerous viruses and bacteria. 

Next, you should always dry your reusables completely before using them. This is to prevent any leftover musty odours or bacteria that is still lingering inside your reusable items. 

Image: https://www.eatright.org/homefoodsafety/four-steps/separate/reusable-grocery-tote-safety

Another point to note about using the reusables safely is that one should separate grocery bags from other bags. This is to prevent any cross-contamination that could potentially occur, for example the raw meats coming into contact with other products. If not cared for properly, one might fall sick from the harmful bacteria! 

Lastly, as mentioned, it is highly encouraged for one to immediately take down and sanitise their reusables when homed. This prevents the bacteria or viruses from remaining in the item. If in any case you find this a hassle, do remember that you will still need to wash your hands and legs when homed. So why not include your reusable bag?

It has been shocking to witness the plastic industry take advantage of the pandemic to promote disposable plastics, and scare away people from reusables and other eco-friendly items. We should thus aim to prevent this situation from getting worse by doing our part!

Homely hoped you found this blog helpful and might try out 1 or 2 hacks from here. Head down to our Instagram @homely.global for more bite-sized tips and tricks for your anything revolving around the concept Home.