In an unprecedented world where people are wearing plastic gloves and surgical masks to run errands... How do we minimize our waste? How do we care for our Earth? A lot of us are focused on survival right now and not putting earth care as a top priority, myself included, but I thought I'd put together a post of things we CAN do despite all the restrictions and changes caused by the pandemic. 1. Dispose of your waste properly. Litter laying in the grass is unfortunately not an uncommon site, but lately I'm seeing it everywhere I go (so. many. plastic. gloves.) This is not cool! Protecting yourself is your right, but when you take off your gloves, make sure they end up in a bin! Disposing of your waste properly includes recycling any products that can be recycled. If you're local to Iowa City, you can find out which items can be recycled curbside here: https://www.icgov.org/recycling 2. Only purchase what you need. Resist the urge to panic buy more than you need, or more than you'll use! If at the end of all this you realize you have more than you'll use before it expires, donate the excess! Don't let it go to waste. 3. Make sustainable purchases. There are many online zero waste stores still up and running. The next time you run out of a household product such as shampoo or deodorant, consider switching to a plastic free alternative. Some sites to consider: Well Earth Goods, EcoRoots, or Zerovana. The Grove Collaborative also has many zero waste products and their seedling line is a great option for bamboo paper products. 4. Shop local. Now, more than ever, local businesses need your support! Many are offering online ordering then curbside pick up. Shopping locally not only supports your local economy, but it also reduces waste created by shipping. John's Grocery is an excellent local grocer that is offering free pick up right now! 5. Grow your own food. One benefit of being stuck at home? Many of us are finding we have extra time to pick up new hobbies, or start off where we left off with old ones. If you have the space - start a garden! Johnny's Selected Seeds has amazing resources for beginner gardeners in their growers library. If you live in the Iowa City area and don't have space in your own yard, they still have community garden plots available!
6. Compost. Organic food waste in landfills breaks down and produces a methane gas that is 21 times more harmful than CO2. Composting is a HUGE thing you can do anytime for your environment. Iowa City offers counter-top and curbside bins for composting. You can find more information on obtaining containers from the city here: https://www.icgov.org/foodwaste 7. Ask for paper bags. Many stores aren't allowing shoppers to bring their own bags right now. This is very disappointing, though understandable, but you still have the option to ask for recyclable paper bags! You can even request them for delivery / pickup orders. If you have any ideas to add, leave them in the comments below!