Reducing waste during the pandemic

The current pandemic has brought many challenges for reducing waste. For me personally, one of the most difficult challenges is the inability to do my eco-friendly shopping routine.

Reducing waste while doing grocery during the pandemic

Challenges for zero-waste community

It’s not easy to keep reducing waste when the reusable container and produce bags policy at all of the stores has been temporarily suspended. However, some stores like Sprouts let shoppers use their own grocery bags but their staff can’t handle them at the checkout. In order to avoid extra waste while grocery shopping, I usually just put my produce back into the cart and bag my items in the car.

When people started hoarding paper towels and toilet paper, the zero-waste community didn’t notice the difference, as they either have handheld bidet sprayer or bidet toilet seat and in the kitchen, they use cotton towels and wipes.

What else you can do to reduce your waste during the pandemic:

  • Make your own cleaning products and repurpose your old towels, linens, and fabrics as rags. Check out our previous post about things you can do with baking soda.
  • Reduce food waste. Don’t buy more than you need and preserve what you can’t eat right away.
  • Choose grocery packaging wisely. Look for paper, glass, and tin packages instead of plastic. Also, you can buy larger packages with fewer individual wrappings.
  • Use reusable masks. You can even sew your mask yourself. Get your mask pattern here. You can actually use your gloves more than once if you sanitize them with hand sanitizer.
  • Grow your own food and use food scraps to regrow your veggies. (Lettuce, celery, and onion scraps root will regrow quickly in shallow water.)

Eco-wins journal

To motivate yourself to keep reducing waste start a journal of your “eco” wins. Here is the list of my personal wins during this quarantine:

  • I started growing my own microgreens and sprouts, lettuces, tomatoes and berries
  • Haven’t bought any paper towels
  • I haven’t bought any take-out in a plastic package. However, I did support my local bakery several times, but they pack everything in paper bags.
  • Made my own cottage cheese

How have your zero-waste habits changed since the pandemic started?

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