Healthy, Sustainable, Actions During a Pandemic

By Melanie Stewart

It’s April and that means it’s Earth Month—even if it doesn’t really feel like it.  COVID-19 has dominated our lives for the past month and forced all kinds of changes, with many working from home and/or trying to keep kids occupied.

We recognize the seriousness of the situation, but also know that this could be a time to make changes that will have a positive impact—on your family’s health, your pocketbook, and the environment around you.

The first is a home waste audit.  With limited trips outside your home, the waste stream you are responsible for is easy to track—and make changes.  Count the number of bags of trash vs. recyclables for a week (or day, whatever is easiest) and then work with everyone in your family to get the right things in the right container.  Maybe your spouse doesn’t know the gable-topped milk/juice containers can be recycled, or maybe your family needs a place to collect glass.  Check out KeepOmahaBeautiful’s page or Wasteline for more information.  If your family has a lot of organics, consider composting in your backyard, or through a compost club.

Don’t forget to reduce!  Replace disposable items with reusable–no need to hoard paper towels/napkins if you have fabric alternatives, and they’ll save you money in the long run.  Consider the packaging of items you buy and find alternatives whenever possible.

Other possibilities:

  • Swap out some home cleaning products with less toxic, cheaper, versions. LiveGreen has some recipes we tested/like, and more on our Pinterest page (including reusable disinfecting wipes!).
  • Eat more fruits/veggies, more locally grown items, less packaged food, and consider reducing the amount of meat you consume. Try out some new recipes, and have your kids help!  If you have a green thumb, consider planting a garden and plan a neighborhood vegetable exchange.
  • Spring cleaning? Don’t forget to set aside your recycling for our collection event.   Clothing, toys, and goods can be donated or sold for extra money on a variety of apps or websites.  Don’t forget to repair what you can.
  • If it’s safe to do so, get outside. Movement/exercise is good for you and relieves stress.  If you can spend time in nature, even in your backyard, your mental health will benefit.
  • Follow LiveGreen Nebraska on Facebook. We’ll continue to share activities that individuals and families can do to have fun, learn something, and keep busy.

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