Maybe you have heard various news from all over the world, about how environmental conditions have improved and world air pollution has decreased since the Covid-19 pandemic. Human activity is relatively stopped simultaneously, because people lock themselves in their respective homes in the context of social distancing. In conditions like now, maybe we can take time to look in the mirror and introspect. What activities do we usually do every day that actually have a negative impact on the environment. Because humans are the cause of environmental damage, humans must also be responsible for finding solutions. Reducing human intervention in nature could even prevent future pandemics. The study recommends major actions, such as reducing deforestation and expanding agricultural land, to reduce contact with wild animals that may carry viruses harmful to humans. However, even small actions can be effective in protecting the environment, if implemented by many people. Here are some simple tips that you can run as individuals or families from home, or during activities during the pandemic.
Masks and Hand Sanitizer, Essential Equipment in the Time of Transition
Smartcitizens must wear masks and bring hand sanitizer when they are outside. Covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, as well as washing your hands regularly are very important to maintain personal health and that of others. However, the types of masks and hand sanitizers used are also important to protect the environment. Using a surgical mask is not recommended, not only because it is a priority equipment for health workers, but also because surgical masks are disposable so they will increase the amount of waste. Use a three-layer cloth mask that is guaranteed to be safe and can be washed and used many times. Same with hand sanitizer. Small plastic bottles will add to the plastic waste when disposed of. So buy a larger type of hand sanitizer bottle or a refillable model.
Reduce Plastic Usage
Shopping malls, supermarkets, markets, traders and shoppers are urged to replace plastic bags with eco-friendly shopping bags made of cloth and reusable. In addition to using eco-friendly shopping bags that can be used repeatedly, you can also stop using mineral water packaged in plastic bottles, and replace it with water bottles that can be washed and refilled. When shopping, start choosing products that are packaged in cardboard boxes or paper and stay away from products packaged in plastic. Instead of using liquid soap in plastic bottles, use bar soap. Replace plastic straws with non-plastic straws that can be reused.
Cultivate Cycling and Walking
For those of you who have to leave the house during the pandemic due to work or shopping for daily basic needs, reduce the use of motorized vehicles. Get used to cycling or walking, because it has proven to be beneficial even if it is only 30 minutes a day. Walking and cycling can maintain physical and mental health, increase endurance, and help lose weight. Not only beneficial for personal fitness, cycling and walking are also beneficial for the environment. Both do not use gasoline and do not emit gases that pollute the air.
Don’t Forget to Unplug Electronic Devices
The use of electronic devices emits carbon emissions that can be harmful to the environment. You can reduce this impact by reminding yourself to unplug your electronic devices when not in use. Reducing the use of electronic devices in general can also be very helpful. If you can choose between using a laptop or a computer, choose a laptop. The electric power used by laptops is much less than computers, because laptops can function using batteries and do not have to always be connected to a power cable. For those of you who are studying or working from home and often spend your free time streaming videos or movies, try to start unplugging the cable and replace this habit with other alternatives.
Save Water Usage at Home
Because more often at home, water usage will definitely be higher than usual. Therefore, we need to pay more attention to the amount of water we use daily. Excessive use of water can cause pollution in rivers and seas, in addition to increasing greenhouse gas emissions associated with water treatment and distribution. There are many simple actions you can take to save water, such as turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth or while washing your hands with soap. If your house has a water heater or water heating system, you may often turn on the shower or faucet and wait a few minutes for the water to start to heat up.