No doubt, we’re living in disruptive and uncertain times with an unprecedented number of our friends and neighbors being asked to stay home. This is a major lifestyle shift for those of us used to the coming and doing as we pleased.
But like all challenges, current events present us with multiple opportunities. Experts point to the benefits we all receive by focusing our attention away from ourselves and toward others. There are countless creative ways responsible citizens can lead the way and by being kind to neighbors as well as kind to the earth.
Here are just a few tips. I’m sure you can come up with more (and we’d love to hear your thoughts) – shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Check in with friends and family
During a time of social isolation, lean into digital ways to stay connected. Send a text, meme, or hop on a video call with your friends and family to stay updated and to combat loneliness.
Support local businesses from afar
When it’s not possible to go out in person to shop local, small businesses need your help to keep their heads above water. Some creative ways to support them include:
- Encourage your favorite shop owner or service provider to set up a Buy Me a Coffee account or have them provide their Paypal or Venmo details. Take the amount you would usually tip them (or the entire service amount) and send it over to show your support
- Purchase gift cards for their business that you can use at a later date
- If delivery is an option, shop virtually, but remember to be kind to delivery drivers!
Get creative by volunteering at home
Now might be a great time to adopt or foster an animal (many shelters have put out specific alerts detailing their needs) as you prepare to stay put for a while. Having a pet around can decrease stress and we all could use a new friend right now! See if you can support your favorite non-profit or small business by volunteering to help write emails, contribute to social media posting, website edits, etc. – send organizations an email or DM to see what they need help with!
Clean with care
If you’re trying to disinfect surfaces, ensure that your cleaner of choice has the right ingredients needed to get rid of germs – surprisingly, many do not. Check out Seventh Generation’s line of products that contain thymol, and again, do your research and rely on the CDC to recommend the best cleaners for germ control.
Be mindful of your one-time use product consumption, plus your paper waste. Lots of cleaning products are one-time use (wipes, towels, etc.) so consider using rags and washing them. If you’re concerned about running out of toilet paper (or if you want to reduce your paper waste), get a bidet!
Learn something new and inspire others
Take advantage of the one resource that doesn’t feel restricted right now – your time. There’s a ton of things you can pick up to combat boredom and make a difference at the same time:
- Grab a new book virtually (did you know your library offers them too?) and start a book club with friends
- Immerse yourself in a new podcast and ask your circle for new recommendations
- Experiment with new recipes – Meatless Monday won’t know what hit it by the time you’ve perfected your vegan chili!
- Learn how to live eco-friendly every day (we’ve got a ton of resources on zero-waste living, reducing your consumption, understanding fast fashion, and more) and then share with friends!
Bonus: join our community of changemakers for a virtual coffee chat each Wednesday at 12pm PST!
Let’s brainstorm new ways to help and come together! This will be a weekly event through April! To join, head over to https://brightly.eco/coffee to let us know you’re coming!