Prior to lockdown, the attention of many was focused on helping to make everyday life greener and more sustainable. There was greater pressure on coffee shops to promote the use of reusable cups and McDonalds famously got rid of its plastic straws in favor of paper alternatives. Sadly, the complexities of infection prevention in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic have led these initiatives to take a bit of a back seat in the minds of the general public, as we turned our attention to more pressing matters.
As it becomes apparent that most of us will be bouncing in and out of lockdown at some point over the coming months, the initial fears of the pandemic have remained with us. From the panic buying and shortage of essential food or hygiene products through to the endless queues and closure of many leisure outlets, we have all felt the impact of losing parts of our everyday lives that we had come to take for granted and rely upon.
Fueled by this frustration, there has been fresh inspiration for creating more self-sustainable living at home, so that should the pandemic escalate to worrying levels, we are better prepared to ride it out from the safety of our homes. Here are some of the ways in which people are looking to make their lives at home a little more self-sustaining.
Chicken coop in the garden
When lockdown was imposed in the UK, there was a rush to buy hens, as people looked to better manage their food requirements from inside the home. Whilst this can seem like a logical step, the surge in demand did lead to concerns over the welfare of these animals over the long term. Hens can be a great way to generate a plentiful supply of eggs and add a touch of nature to your home surroundings, but you need to be committed to looking after them and ensuring that they have a happy and comfortable life with you before taking the plunge. Investing in the right equipment and coop is essential, so do your homework and find the best solution for your home.
Feature vegetable patches
A vast array of fruit and vegetables can be grown from home and at different times of the year. Even if you aren’t the most greenfingered person around, you can always start small and build up to more complex vegetables as you get more accustomed to the process. Growing your own fruit and veg can certainly take the pressure off regularly having to shop for staple items and you may even find you have plenty of extra to offer friends, family or donate to local soup kitchens. Making your vegetable patch an integral part of your garden design will help encourage you to give it the attention it deserves!
Invest in solar panels
Solar panels have long been championed as a means for living more sustainably, as well as reducing energy bills and in some cases actually making money by selling excess energy back to the grid. Solar panels can be pricey to install, but once in place the benefits can be plentiful and as the years have gone on, the designs have become much more ergonomic and aesthetically pleasing. What’s more, if you have set up panels to store energy in the home for usage ( in what is a bit like a battery for the house) then should there be any problems with electricity supplies, you’ll have a bit of back up in place for a few hours at least. Lockdown has led to greener energy taking greater prominence in the energy market, so this is set to be an exciting time for sure.
Don’t waste food
Over lockdown there was certainly a greater emphasis on how to make the most out of the food items that you’ve purchased. I didn’t realize just how much we end up wasting until I watched some of this content and it literally blew me away! I think my favorite food saving hack was the chips that can be made out of potato peelings; this really did make me think about the amount of food we throw away that could be put to good use. Learning how to maximize the output from food items that you regularly buy not only helps to cut down the cost of your weekly shops, but reduces the frequency that you need to visit and helps to make your food go much further!
Cut down on meat
Unless you are able to maintain your own livestock on your property, eating meat regularly will require you to purchase it from a store or a butcher. Prior to lockdown, there was much said about the carbon footprint associated with the over consumption of meat, but even in lockdown, this was also evident when it came to the frequency of food shopping. Finding meat-free alternatives can help you to make more tasty and nutritious meals without having to splash out on expensive meat purchases quite so often. What’s more, as you get more accustomed to meat-free dishes, you’ll find that you can be much more adaptable should the worst happen and we find ourselves back in strict lockdown.
Changing the way we live invariably takes hard work and commitment, but in a world where being more sustainable is an inevitable aspect of the future, anything we can do now to get the ball moving has got to be a good thing.