We’ve heard a lot about how coronavirus has reduced our carbon emissions and bought us some more time in the fight against climate change.
While it is important not to overstate this, what I have noticed is how many of the small changes that my family made for green reasons turned out to be helpful in the world of COVID-19 and lockdown.
As we face the next 6 months – which at best will involve significant restrictions on our lives and at worst could lead to a full second lockdown – I thought I’d share five of our green lockdown wins…
1. Who Gives A Crap about toilet roll
As the country was panic-buying toilet roll, we could sit back and rely on our two-monthly delivery from Who Gives A Crap. Not only is the roll made from bamboo and plastic-wrapper free but the business gives 50% of its profits to building toilets for those who don’t have them. With toilet paper sales going through the roof, they have already given £3.2m to charity this year.
2. Craving our Oddbox
Our weekly delivery of oddly shaped vegetables from Oddbox truly came into its own; its arrival greeted as an offering from an outside world that we weren’t allowed anywhere near. There’s nothing like a wonky cucumber to lift the spirits. And the beauty of Oddbox is that every single thing in it has been saved from being thrown away at some point in the food chain. As demand grows they are expanding to new areas of the country so worth checking out if they have made it to you yet.
3. Infinite nappies and baby wipes
I’ve written at length about the environmental benefits of reusable nappies and baby wipes but the unforeseen benefit during lockdown was that we essentially had an endless supply of both! No shortages and no need to take unnecessary trips to the shops for more.
4. Circular cleaning and care products
Lockdown also encouraged us to embrace a couple of things that had long been lurking under our sink. First we finally tried out our stash of Oceansaver cleaning products. They send you a reusable spray bottle and pods to mix with water for all your household needs – reducing transport emissions, plastic waste and saving on shopping trips. Alongside this, my wife switched to Liz Earle reusable face wipes, saving hundreds from ending up in the bin during lockdown alone.
5. The Square Mile High Club
Perhaps an obvious one to finish on but the environmental impact of all of the above are dwarfed by the carbon emissions from even the shortest of flights. Lockdown gave us a chance to do less without offending anyone, to realise how much of our work can be done by video conference and to explore the beauty and nature much closer to our home. Yes we will still fly places but for us the threshold for doing so is now much higher.
None of these changes will save the world but every little thing each of us can do to develop greener habits is a part of the solution.
They say it takes four months to change a habit – if that habit will also help to make the next six months easier then surely there is no better time to start.