Earth Day 2020

Has COVID-19 changed the way you look at the world? With Earth Day 2020 just around the corner, I decided to take a look at the way I’ve been living life before, during, and (hopefully soon), after COVID-19. The world is going through a transition, and people’s lives have been turned upside down. I venture to guess even the most extreme introverts are struggling right now with social distancing. We’ve faced long lines, food shortages, and let’s not forget the weirdest of all, toilet paper hoarding. Although I kind of prefer social distancing, I struggle with wearing face masks and gloves while in the store or other public places. Not to mention not having a haircut for weeks (actually going on a couple of months), I look like an old shaggy dog with a muzzle.

Just like so many other things, Earth Day 2020 is going digital, and people are still making a difference. Just because we’re stuck at home doesn’t mean we can’t make better choices for the environment. I know I’ve had to make new choices, some based on the situation rather than education.

10 Things COVID Has Taught Me

  1. Shopping at the grocery store during COVID-19 has shown me how to reduce consumption. It wasn’t until particular items weren’t available or I needed to save money that I realized how necessary it was for me to reduce my consumption. And in the end, I bought healthier items.
  2. With the need to ration and prepare for the week ahead, I’ve come to love my silicone bags. I can reuse them over and over again. They are suitable for dry goods and for storing food in the fridge and freezer.
  3. Have you tried going down from three squares of toilet paper to two? I have. I realized that there are so many things I take for granted until they are hard to obtain. Being able to conserve has reduced my wastefulness.
  4. I thought I was doing a decent job of not wasting food. I’d have leftovers for lunch made from the dinner the night before, and I would have “fend for yourself Friday,” which is eating the leftovers from the previous week. But in all actuality, I was still wasting food. Now we eat what we make, eat the produce before it spoils, and rarely throw food out.  
  5. Am I the only one who’s had time to clean out a closet or two? I collected several boxes full of items I never use or no longer want. And it’s a great time to donate to others that are in need.
  6. Has anyone ever washed their hands for 20 seconds before COVID-19? I sure didn’t. Don’t get me wrong; I washed my hands and thought I was doing an excellent job, but 20 seconds spent lathering up the old digits is quite a long time. While cleaning your hands, there’s no need to keep the water running the entire time. 
  7. Cleaning and disinfecting is almost a new habit. At the start of each day, I carefully clean and sanitize my public work area, so I’m not putting myself in jeopardy, even though the past 25 years I never gave it a second thought, or first thought for that matter. I believe there is a happy medium that I need to find, but still, I realize that we all should disinfect our spaces more. 
  8. It is incredible how companies have found to way to react to a changing world. Who knew Costco delivered? What about take-out from local restaurants that are known for fine dining? I’d love to continue doing these things even after the pandemic.
  9. I felt a wave of panic rush over me that first week when I went to the grocery store and saw all the empty shelves. I was so used to buying whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it. Now, I only buy what is necessary.
  10. Keep recycling; it is making a difference.