How have the effects of COVID-19 been on you? First of all: 2020 has been a year like no other. Moreover: We’re still only in June. Two of the biggest issues that we have faced recently are the Coronavirus pandemic and the environmental state of the planet. Since the almost worldwide lockdown, we have seen reductions in air pollution. As well as the liberation of wildlife. So the planet is beginning to repair itself. I mean it’s some more positive environmental news.
The Coronavirus has, of course, devastated many people’s lives. I know people with the virus personally. As well as people that have died from it. Yet one of the most important things that we can do now, as we begin to come out the other side, is to ensure that we have learnt something. I mean that we try to make these positive environmental effects of Covid-19 last.
We have recently heard from former labour leader Ed Miliband. The one who talked about how we should be creating a ‘zero carbon army. Thereby comprising people who have lost their jobs to build our green industries.
However, we all have a part to play in the fight against climate change and maintaining the eco effect of Covid-19, so here are some ideas of what you can do as a homeowner:
Protect your Local Environment
One of the most important things that you can do as a homeowner is to ensure that your home isn’t having a detrimental effect on a local level. This means protecting your local environment from oil leaks, sewage leaks, or nasty fumes, for example.
Bunded heating storage tanks are recommended as a safe way to secure your oil, ensuring that you have a robust septic tank, that your pipes are in good condition, and that you don’t burn anything that is detrimental to the environment.
You could also encourage a wildlife garden if you have a garden; a space where plants are free to grow wildly, and local wildlife are therefore encouraged, and local eco-systems supported and strengthened.
Insulate your House
It is likely that we will be seeing an increased number of people continuing to work from home, or at least more often. Twitter, for example, has recently stated that they will be allowing most of their employees to work from home permanently. By spending more time at home, you are more likely to be using your heating and so, for the sake of the environment (and your heating bills), you should ensure that your home is as well insulated as possible.
You could consider insulating your loft, walls, and maybe floor, and you should also consider double or triple glazing your windows. This will keep your home cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter. You could also consider planting some trees to block out the sun and wind, keeping your home better protected.
Change your Habits
It can be very easy to develop habits that aren’t helpful to the planet. Leaving the tap water running whilst you are brushing your teeth, having baths instead of showers, leaving the light on in a room after you have left it, and leaving the television on standby are some good examples.
Being aware that you are doing them is the first step to changing your habits, but by changing them you can actually make a big difference both on the environment and also on your energy or water bills!
Reduce Household Waste
We can create a lot of rubbish when we are at home. It might be food packaging, food waste, or throwing away junk mail, for example. Although recycling is already commonplace across the country, it would be even better to not create waste in the first place.
Here are some ideas that you could consider, to help reduce the amount of recyclable and non-recyclable household waste that you make:
- Plan your menus and only buy as much food as you need
- Try to use re-usable packaging for food – an increasing number of supermarkets now offer refill services on some of their products
- Contact companies who send you junk mail and ask to be taken off their mailing list
- Where possible, ask for electronic versions of bills, bank statements, and newsletters
- Avoid disposable products such as plates, face wipes, nappies, or baby wipes
- If you have a garden or plants, try to use as much food waste as you can to create compost to feed your greenery
- Try to re-use wrapping paper and envelopes as much as possible
- Recycle or repair clothes instead of throwing them away
In conclusion, the effects of Covid-19 have been disastrous for people all over the world. It has had some positive effects on the environment. However it would be criminal for us to go back to how we were before. By changing some things about how we live our lives, we can begin to make the world a better place, both for us now and for generations to come.