Sustainability and Coronavirus: Can They Coexist? Part Two
(Cont’d from last post)
Avoiding grocery stores and take out
Due to the virus, restaurants and bars have had to suspend dining in, however, takeout is still a reliable option. The European Food Safety Authority has said there is “currently no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission” of COVID-19. Heat from cooking kills off the virus, deliveries can be paid for in advance and remain contactless for pickup, thus the risk of contracting the virus is low.
Unfortunately, however, take out containers and plastic bags do add up. Consider local farmers and food co-ops that are still delivering. Or, grow your produce at home. Certain vegetables and sprouts – herbs, radishes, lettuce and microgreens, for example – can be grown quickly and easily in a small garden or on a balcony or window ledge. Compost scraps from veggies like carrots and leeks, among others, can also be used to regrow sprouts.
The CDC has recommended that we wash clothing “using the warmest appropriate water setting… and dry items completely.” But the additional use of very hot water and electric dryers will increase energy consumption. However, as we know, the additional use of very hot water and electric dryers will increase energy consumption.
We do not have to resort to harsh, polluting chemicals, since all soaps and detergents can help eliminate the virus in every day situations. It is recommended that we treat clothing and other textiles from sick people differently, washing these items “at a temperature of at least 140 degrees F with a heavy-duty detergent. Ensure that you dry clothing completely, whether in the dryer or on the line.
To cut back on laundry, consider keeping a set of clothing to wear outside the house for trips to the grocery store or pharmacy. Once back at home, remove them immediately and store in a closed bag, to give the virus time to die off.
While it may be a bit more difficult to continue to practice sustainability during the pandemic, it is still possible. The best way to practice it is still through minimalism. Only leave home and buy what is necessary. While this is a difficult and changing time for many, we need to try to stick to our priorities.