Today, we are all feeling the same frustration caused by COVID-19 pandemic. We all are instructed to stay at home safely and apparently it has been more than a month since the initial instruction. Start losing control of yourself? Well, most of us feel that too.
For the victims and those who are affected with the condition, this is a seriously frustrating period. However, looking from another point of view, this pandemic is not a really bad condition for the nature. With the lack of human activity throughout the globe, we may have heard about how nature has started to reclaim its belongings and cure itself.
Starting from how the air is getting clearer, animals and plants are showing, growing, thriving, and breeding everywhere. In this case, it is good, and just as what we expected to happen for the nature, and even though after this condition, we must have high hopes for the positive thing to continue.
However, there is another thing that we must have noticed and this is not too good: the amount of waste we produce seems like out of control. There are many factors why it happens, and in this article, we are going to talk about it. Plus, how to tackle this rising problem.
Waste Management Nowadays
We are locked behind our own doors which means we cannot go anywhere and by logic we should’ve not consume more things than ordinary days, isn’t it? Big no, it isn’t like that and here we will tell you the reason why you have more trash than ordinary days.
During the lockdown you, your daily consumption, and your trashes stay at your home. You are not eating your lunch in the office; thus, your leftovers are not thrown out to the bins in your office. You also don’t take the food wraps out of your house.
Also don’t forget about how you make yourself clean from the virus all the time nowadays. You might notice that you wipe things with paper towel more often now. You might also buy more hand sanitizer and other cleaning products more often.
We should also mention the consumption of face masks. The consumption of those things, even though it seems small, is underrated. Almost every one on earth does and consume the same things as you because the scale of this pandemic is global.
In addition, do you participate in online shopping during your stay at home? Yes, that’s another factor that we should consider adding up more trash in our house. The packaging that usually come with plastic, cardboard, and woods are mostly discarded directly after arriving at your house.
Another thing that happens during this condition is panic buying. Have you heard in the news about paper towel and toilet paper shortage in grocery stores all around places? People were in panic because they thought they would run out of those stuff because of the lockdown, while in fact they won’t.
“In this strange time of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to be mindful of our materials management while going about our daily lives,” Celeste McNickle, director of Client Solutions at TRUE Zero Waste said in an article.
In many parts of the world, the condition is made even worse because sanitary workers are not doing the things they used to be. It is because their demands for proper equipment (to protect themselves from the virus) have not been fulfilled.
This condition has been predicted by experts. Greenpeace Indonesia campaigner Atha Rasyadi said that personal use of face masks and gloves, especially the single-use ones, would increase. And it would add up our daily waste production.
“We believe the increase (of waste) will come from the household level instead, from daily consumer goods to personal medical waste, particularly from the use of face masks or gloves,” he said to The Jakarta Post.
McNickle has her own way to deal with such negativity, and she said that what she does can be done everywhere too. “With constant news of neighbors and loved ones dealing with shortages of paper towels and cleaning supplies, I’m reminded of why I committed to a zero-waste lifestyle to begin with,” she said.
Time To Go Zero Waste
Why going zero waste now? By going zero waste, not only we don’t need to participate in panic buying, we can also reduce the waste we produce in our house. Thus, we will not feel annoyed and upset with the amount of waste we produce during this stressful time.
Going zero waste is not that difficult, actually. There are many single-use stuffs that we can easily replace with other stuffs that we can use many times. McNickle offers a list of replacements to help us learn going zero waste starting from now.
First, we can use old clothing to replace paper towels. We can cut old clothing into pieces or just use it as a whole to wipe the things we needed to wipe using paper towel. This way, we don’t need to buy and throw away used paper towels anymore, and instead we can just wash the cloth.
For reducing our food waste, during this condition we can start learning to cook. In this case, we need to prioritize all of our ingredients available. It might be a little bit difficult for those who are still learning, but the key is to utilize every single part we get.
Rationing our food is also necessary, and it means we should not cook too much that we produce many leftovers, nor too little that we need to snack later. Make sure to make compost from the waste you produce from cooking, such as peels and cut-down parts of the ingredients.
The world after this pandemic would definitely be different from what it used to be. People are given more time to reminisce and contemplate more during the self-quarantine period, and thus many of us would change. So does the whole system.
The change can be either bad or good, but if we have the power to make it good, why don’t we use it? Going zero waste is a good thing, and if you start learning how important it is starting from now, you will find better understanding about it later on.
The important thing is, during this quarantine, our family members including our children are staying at home with us. Children are fast learners, and most of them learn best from imitating their role models especially their parents.
By giving them the example and explanation about zero waste lifestyle, they will more likely adopt it. In conclusion, this is the best time to start going zero waste. We can get so many benefits, starting from having less waste in our homes, being able to help sanitary workers, becoming more efficient, even educating the next generation about positive lifestyle.
Start from now, and see the advantages as soon as possible.