Let’s face it, nobody loves lockdown. And a part of me didn’t really want to write this post, because it feels like everything we hear and read at the moment is to do with the pandemic.
But I do think that sustainability can provide purpose and a positive distraction, which I feel many of us could do with right now!
So, in this post I’m going to focus on some easy, useful and rewarding things you can do to be more sustainable, productive and positive during the lockdown.
1. Homemade & Reusable Masks
You knew it had to be number one! The environmental issues with single use disposable masks are fairly obvious so I won’t harp on about them too much. Suffice to say that reusable masks are the way to go.
2. Natural Hand Soaps
Hand washing is another thing that has defined the past year, and just like with face masks there are greener ways to do it.
By all means have a hand sanitizer for trips to the shops or other essential travel, but when it comes to hand washing at home, look for some natural soap bars from your local stores. They’ll be easy on your hands, they smell amazing and will help support local businesses as well.
3. Support Local Businesses
You may be seeing a pattern here!
I think the key to being productive and sustainable during lockdown is to make the most of what is around you, and that includes supporting all kinds of local businesses.
Small businesses have been some of the hardest hit since the pandemic began, so any support you can offer is a huge plus for them.
Over Christmas there was a big push toward buying local and I think this is an amazing sentiment that we should all try to embrace going forward.
If you’re in Ireland check out this list of online shops for all your online retail needs.
4. Take on a DIY Project
I find that when it comes to taking my mind off things, there’s nothing like a little side project or creative task to distract and motivate me.
Many of us have a lot more “free” time now than we are used to and what better way to fill that time than by getting creative.
Fixing up or revamping old belongings is a great start, or you could upcycle a bunch of old items to create something completely new.
Check out my post on homemade projects for some upcycling and DIY ideas!
5. Grow Something
And if you want a slightly less hands on project to keep you going why not try doing a bit of gardening.
With limited space you could grow some herbs, or just keep a couple of houseplants to brighten your home.
And if you have the space you can go full farmer mode and try your hand at some larger fruit and veg!
6. Learn a New Skill or Subject
Like many others, I struggle when I don’t have a goal or something to work towards. And for me, learning something new is a rewarding way to fill that gap, especially if it dovetails with my sustainability goals.
Make a list of things to try out and see which one really clicks with you.
Sustainable skills might include; cooking, baking, sewing, embroidery, knitting, painting and decorating, arts and crafts and more.
But honestly anything that motivates you and has a positive impact on you and your surroundings is a sustainable win in my book!
7. Cook Your Own Meals
Cooking is one of the skills mentioned above, and for good reason. There are few more useful, sustainable and healthy habits to adopt than learning to cook your own meals from scratch.
I can definitely see the temptation to opt for regular takeaways during lockdown, but home cooked food is the greener option.
And if you do go for a takeaway the odd time (no judgement, we all do it!), try to support a local restaurant or café rather than one of the big chains.
8. Get Out and Stay Active
Whether it’s a short walk, a quick jog around the block or something more adventurous, getting out and active is one of the best things you can do during lockdown.
And if you ask me it’s a sustainable choice too. Less time cooped up inside means less time using appliances and less energy consumed, not to mention less opportunity for needless online shopping!
9. Go Foraging
If you wanted to add a little more sustainability to your outdoor adventures you could try to do a bit of foraging as you go.
Foraging is the act of looking for and gathering wild berries and plants that are edible or usable.
Obviously this is very location dependant and I must stress that you need to be careful of local property and wildlife laws when doing so. But it is a relaxing, sustainable and free way to live off your local surroundings and feel more at one with nature.
10. Local Litter Picking
Another great outdoor activity to add a bit more purpose to your daily walks. Bring a small bag with you and pick up litter as you go.
I know that picking up other people’s rubbish during a pandemic might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you use gloves or a litter picker and put the rubbish straight in the bin then it’s a very safe and rewarding way to make a difference in your day to day.
11. Allow Yourself to Slow Down
One of the elements of sustainable living that sometimes gets overlooked is simply slowing down. So much of our waste and pollution is a product of the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Lockdown is a perfect time to try out some of those slower activities such as meditation, yoga, pilates and tai chi. These relaxing activities can really help to take your mind off the goings on around you and provide a bit of structure and purpose to your spare time.
12. Spread the Word Online
With so many of our daily interactions taking place online, now is also a great time to use social media to spread the word of your sustainable habits.
Sharing posts, photos and vidoes of your eco-freindly hobbies and knowledge is a great way to stay connected to your friends and family while spreading the word of sustainability.
So there you have it, a few of the ways you can continue to make positive and sustainable choices during lockdown.
Hopefully in the near future this post will be no longer necessary, and we can all get back to living safely and sustainably!