First off, I want to address up front the seriousness with which I am taking COVID-19. My brand is missional at it’s heart and our mission with our nonprofit partnerships has always been to uplift vulnerable and underserved groups of people, such as orphans, victims of human trafficking, and Central Texans in need. Now more than ever, we need to go beyond our formal nonprofit partnerships and let our actions serve the most vulnerable. I am staying at home and only leaving when absolutely necessary, and I strongly encourage you to do the same.
SAFETY > STATIONERY
We are taking active measures to make sure that orders get delivered to your home safely and securely. Until further notice, due to the handmade nature of our products, all orders will be fully packaged and then sit untouched for 3 days before being shipped, as we are finding out that Coronavirus can last up to 3 days on surfaces, and we don’t want to take ANY risk.
With that, I’ve been brainstorming lately how now is the perfect time to think about sustainability. There are SO many reasons and excuses we have for not being sustainable, and times of financial uncertainty, of being at home a lot, and having a little extra free time, is the PERFECT time dive into a more sustainable lifestyle. See below for an overview of my tips!
ONE | Make your own coffee instead of going out.
For those of you who are used to picking up coffee at Starbucks on the way to work, that’s probably not feasible right now, and lets face it - it was never sustainable or financially wise anyways. The key to making this switch positive is to find coffee that you LOVE. I highly recommend Fara Coffee, as they are an ethical, single origin coffee that I have done a ton of research on.
I make butter coffee each morning with my very favorite Fara coffee, Vital Proteins collagen powder, Fourth and Heart Ghee, and almond milk, and a little Trader Joes pumpkin spice. No more paper cups, and if you truly find a ‘recipe’ you love, you’ll incorporate this into your post-Coronavirus routine too, and axe your trend of wasting paper cups - and money - for good.
TWO | At home self care with items you already have.
This one is twofold and also doubly beneficial. First, spend some time organizing your bathroom cabinets. I guarantee you there’s a bottle of nail polish, a facemark, a bath bomb, or something in there that you forgot you had.
Step two, take some time for yourself with the new item you just found in your cabinet (or that you already knew you had if you’re more organized than me :). Self care and mental health during this time is absolutely crucial.
THREE | Be hyperaware of your food waste.
I was on the phone with my aunt today and she said her son didn’t finish his milk last night. And for the first time instead of just pouring the other half out, she told him to put the glass back in the fridge for drinking later. Grocery stores are insane right now and it’s the last place any of us want to be, so stretching the food we already have as far as it will go is so important right now.
FOUR | Take an inventory of your pantry, and be creative making meals out of what you already have.
Let's not talk about how my pantry looks atrocious right now, and lets focus on how much dang food is actually in there.
My very favorite sustainability mantra, that anyone who follows me on social is tired of hearing, is: THE KEY TO SUSTAINABILITY IS USING WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE. I challenge you to go through your pantry and fridge and create a meal or two or seven with ingredients you already have. Again, this helps you avoid the grocery store and stretch what you already have a bit longer.
FIVE | Use this extra free time to go through and change your bills and statements to paperless.
If you, like me, have been sitting on the couch thinking to yourself ‘I’m so bored and lonely, what can I do to be productive right now?’, then I’ve got one for you! Think of all the mail you’ve received in the past month or so (it’s probably in a stack on your counter if we’re being honest), and either remove yourself from their marketing lists, or go online to your account and switch your statements to online.
SIX | Go through your drawers and create your own t-shirt ‘paper towels’ with old t-shirts you no longer are using.
The average American uses 7 trees per year in paper products. YIKES! I switched to a reusable paper towel option to try and lower that amount for myself.
Not to harp on this whole grocery store nightmare situation, but products like paper towels and toilet paper are FLYING off the shelves and totally sold out some places. I have a great substitute for paper towels (NOT toilet paper...) that I love, and that is making reusable ‘paper towels’ out of old t-shirts. I have a double drawer shelf under my sink, and the top one is for clean rags, and then the dirty ones go in the bottom drawer (ok you caught me - the first three striped towels are actually real towels, I have some of those too but I swear most of them are from old t-shirts). Once I’ve gone through all of these, I put them in the washer on ‘sanitize’ (basically extra hot water for a longer time). Yes, it obviously uses water to wash them, but WAY less water than it takes to make paper towels, and way less resources altogether.
Here are some great blog posts from other bloggers about how to make them!
Kalyn Brooke - Old T-Shirts into Dust Rags
The Frugal Girl - Tuesday Tip: Make Some T-Shirt Rags
Andrea Dekker - T-Shirt Rags
SEVEN | Take up running or walking instead of driving to the gym.
I’m not well versed on the exact figures and it can’t be THAT much, but bottom line is that driving to the gym uses carbon, and gyms use carbon. Also, they’re obviously a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria and a huge no-no right now. However, working out is super good for your immune system and endorphin levels, and being outside is also great for your mental health. If you’ve always wanted to get into running, there are so many Couch to 5K and other good training plans available on Pinterest. Set a goal and go for it! Just stay 10ish feet away from any neighbor you might see out on your runs.
EIGHT | If you’re now telecommuting, rearrange your home office space with things you already have, and turn it into a true sanctuary.
My 9-5 job at a tech company here in town is now on a work from home basis due to COVID-19. I’ve been mentally struggling to make this work for me since I’m so extroverted, but I spent a good hour or so yesterday brainstorming what in my house would make my newfound 9-5 workspace more productive, positive, and mood-boosting - and then moving things around to make it happen. I took some succulents from my living room coffee table, a picture of my sister and I from my nightstand, and an old canvas that I had in storage but that I really love and has a great message for times like right now, so I put it up on my wall. I also deep cleaned my room so it's clutter and chaos free so I can work with a clear mind.
The important thing here is to use things in your house already. Please don’t spread COVID-19 via your dire need for touching every pillow at HomeGoods - I know you can find things in your home that can be repurposed for the next few weeks.
So there you go - eight ways you can kickstart your sustainable lifestyle in our current situation in the world. Let’s turn this situation into good for our planet, everyone :) That, plus staying inside, is the least we can do for our fellow humans.
Until next time,
*No revenue is generated from this blog and none of these links are affiliate links, just blogs and brands that I know and trust.