Small, eco-friendly things to do during lockdown

Smart solutions

19 May 2020

Small, eco-friendly things to do during lockdown

If your inner eco-warrior is worried about the impact of lockdown on our planet, here are some green ideas you can implement from the comfort of your home.

Cooking and housekeeping

For many Mauritians, life in lockdown is a constant back-and-forth between cooking and cleaning – especially for families with children. A few simple tips will help you save energy daily. Cover your pots and pans and avoid opening the oven door when cooking. It’s better to rely on the timer rather than touching your cake every 5 minutes! After eating, rinse your dishes with cold water and scrub them with the tap off. Finally, wait for the leftovers to cool down before storing them in the fridge.

What you cook also counts. Use fresh local produce, preferably vegetarian. They are more affordable than imported products during the COVID-19 crisis; they are also better for the planet and support the work of our farmers. You can further increase local food consumption by creating your own vegetable garden from your leftover fruit and vegetables. Gardening is an eco-friendly therapy that is also fun for children! Why not order a nice recycled wood planter box from a local carpenter?

For housekeeping, use natural home-made detergents and avoid disposable wipes, which are harmful to the environment. You can make your own zero-waste washable wipes from old T-shirts, and even put on a fun tawashi sponge-making workshop. All you need is a few used or mismatched socks!

Communication and awareness raising

You may not be able to demonstrate on the street with Fridays For Future but you can become an agent of change from your home. Contact home delivery companies to ask them to minimise their plastic use; make a donation to associations that care for our planet; sign online petitions, share tips with your online community and get inspired by the increasing number of zero-waste champions on the web. For example, you can join Facebook groups such as Zero Waste Mauritius and Mauritius Recycling.

Take the opportunity to develop good Internet usage habits: connect to fixed wireless networks such as Wi-Fi and Ethernet cables to download your videos (at off-peak hours!) instead of watching them via streaming. These simple measures can help save energy!

The 3Rs

For a zero-waste lockdown - or almost! –, systematically think about reducing, reusing and recycling your purchases. Apply the advice from Ecobricks Mauritius to make building blocks using non-recyclable plastic with your children. Prevent food waste by transforming your old fruit into compotes and jams and your stale bread into breadcrumbs, French toasts or bruschetta. Finally, do as much home composting as possible. Install a compost bin in your garden or use a bokashi in your apartment.

And while most shops are closed for the time being, take the opportunity to mend your clothes, clean old things or try upcycling with your family. In short, reduce your (current and future) consumption and donate what you don’t need to charity and social enterprises like The Good Shop. This is the time to show your creativity and solidarity!