The novel coronavirus went from suspicious isolated viral outbreak to global pandemic in just as few short weeks, massively impacting the lives of people all around the world. In the U.S., many major cities are under lockdown, ordered to shelter in place until further notice. Schools are closed, restaurants are closed, and people have been instructed not to come within 6 feet of others.
Although our world has been turned upside down by COVID-19, in many ways, life is business as usual. No, you can’t go out to your favorite restaurant, but you can still order in! No, you can’t go to the gym, but you can go for a walk with the dog! No, you can’t go touch all the trinkets in your local stores, but you can still get the essentials as long as you take proper sanitary measures. The best we can all do as we ride out this strange time is to support one another by staying in, following local directives, and practicing proper hygiene and sanitation procedures.
For those of you that are concerned about the many chemical-heavy cleaners and hand-sanitizers being used, or the mass numbers of disposable gloves and masks finding their way to landfills, don’t panic. We’ve collected a few simple ways for you to participate in proper social distancing and sanitation practices without using products that are harmful to the environment.
Use Reusable Produce Bags
While you should avoid unnecessary shopping trips and outings during the COVID-19 outbreak, you are encouraged to go pick up the things you need from your local grocery store. Though there have been some horror stories relating to people overbuying and hoarding supplies, the majority of stores are still relatively well-stocked, and most people are not panicking or overbuying.
The best approach is to keep buying a week or two’s worth of groceries, and stocking up as usual on paper goods like paper towels and toilet paper. While you may feel the urge to grab as much as you can all at once, this will actually make it harder for you to get supplies later, as huge demand from the start will keep stock low and demand high. Buying only what you need at the grocery store will ensure there is enough for everyone, including you.
Though you don’t need to worry too much about exposure at the store, you will want to be sure to take the proper precautions to ensure you don’t bring COVID-19 home with you. When you unpack your groceries you should immediately dispose of all bags and packaging that you can, wipe all remaining packaging, and wash all produce thoroughly before putting anything away.
To make the process of grocery shopping during the COVID-19 outbreak a little easier, consider bringing your own reusable produce bags and grocery bags rather than relying on disposable ones from the store. Reusable bags can instantly be thrown in the washing machine once you get home for easy sanitation, and you won’t find yourself throwing away dozens of plastic bags in the process.
Bring a Water Bottle
If you are in an area that has yet to mandate widespread social distancing or work in a field deemed essential during this troubled time, you will need to take extra precautions to avoid coming in contact with the novel coronavirus. In our day to day lives, picking up a cup of coffee or buying a bottle of water is a practically thoughtless act, as innocuous as something could possibly be. Now, the risk of coming into contact with the rapidly spreading virus is encouraging more people to bring their own water bottles with them on the go.
Avoid buying bottled water from convenience and grocery stores, and avoid using public drinking fountains and water dispensers by bringing a water bottle with you next time you head out of the house. At Wowe, we sell a Stainless Steel Water Bottle that holds 25oz so you can keep hydrated and fend off illness on the go. Stainless steel is easy to clean material with certain sterile properties that make it the perfect choice when you want things extra clean. Highly resistant to corrosion and moisture and a good insulator, stainless steel is also an excellent choice for hot and cold beverage containers alike.
Don’t Wear Gloves
You may have heard that you should be wearing a mask and gloves every time you leave the house, but we’re here to tell you that you shouldn’t. Though gloves might protect your skin from coming in contact with germs or the novel coronavirus, they won’t stop you from touching your face, coming in contact with a sick person, inhaling viral droplets, or putting things in your mouth. Gloves are more essential for medical professionals and individuals with immune disorders and diseases and are more redundant for non-healthcare workers and people without underlying conditions.
Rubber gloves are also, unfortunately, pretty bad for the environment. Like many other single-use plastic and rubber items, rubber gloves are non-recyclable, and instead must be thrown away and sent to landfills. Gloves that don’t make it to landfills are left to pollute natural eco-systems from lakes and oceans to parks and wildlife preserves. Though they play an essential role for medical practitioners, the average person has little need for rubber gloves, even during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rather than wearing disposable rubber gloves, you should instead wash your hands regularly, use hand sanitizer, avoid touching public services and keep your hands away from your face at all times in public. Hands should be washed every time you come in from outside the home, before all meals, and as often as possible throughout the day. If hand sanitizer is available to you, regular through applications can help you stay clean during long stretches away from home. Hand washing is better for the environment, and something you should be doing anyway, so don’t waste your time, money, effort, or carbon footprint on disposable rubber gloves if they aren’t absolutely necessary.
Shop Online with Wowe Lifestyle
You may not be able to go out and enjoy window shopping downtown or a trip to the mall, but you can still get your retail therapy online during COVID-19! Online shopping has been helping introverts, busy parents, late-night-shoppers, and practically everyone else to find unique and exciting items for decades, and despite a global pandemic on our hands, the mail system is still functioning as normal - just, maybe don’t greet your mailman at the door for a few weeks.
With plenty of time at home, you’ll probably come up with some projects you’ll want to complete, and we’re here to encourage you to add making your home more eco-friendly to that list! Take a few minutes to shop online with Wowe Lifestyle, and you’ll discover a full range of eco-friendly products that make living green a little more attainable. We carry lots of alternatives to everyday lifestyle items that you may not have realized were doing harm to the environment. Choose from eco-friendly bamboo toothbrushes and Peace Silk floss or check out our stainless steel reusable straws, perfect for giving you that cafe-feel at home while you self-isolate.
Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Cleaners
Chances are good that a global viral outbreak has given you the cleaning bug, but if you’re like us, you always feel hesitant using harsh chemical cleaners, no matter how many germs they promise to kill for you. The trouble with some cleaners is that their ingredients can kill even good bacteria, potentially creating highly-resistant strains, or “superbugs”, that can’t be eradicated with the usual methods.
Beyond potentially creating a bigger problem than you already had, harsh chemical cleaners may also be harmful to the environment, exposing water, soil, and natural wildlife to toxic and corrosive ingredients that can poison food and water supplies as well as create unsafe living conditions for plants and animals.
If you have been wanting to give your home and everything in it a good scrub down, you absolutely should, but you should also consider doing so without the use of harsh ingredients. One way you can do this is by making your own eco-friendly cleaners from gentle but nevertheless effective ingredients that will give you the clean you crave without the harm you hate. Check out some of our Going Green Tips to find recipes for eco-friendly toilet cleaners, hand sanitizers, laundry detergents, and more.Change how you impact the planet by incorporating Wowe into your lifestyle. When you visit, be sure to check out our blog to discover tips, tricks, and advice on living green.