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3 Ways to Minimize Waste While Following Covid Guidelines

Updated: May 25, 2020

Many of the new guidelines created to minimize the spread of covid have had the unfortunate consequence of increasing our single-use waste. Luckily, I have compiled three ways for you to keep your single-use waste to a minimum while continuing to safely follow covid guidelines!

“Just because you can no longer bring your own reusable bags into grocery stores, doesn't mean you have to succumb to plastic and brown bags!”

#1: Rather than using disposable masks, make your own! This CNN article teaches you how to make an effective mask using only a bandanna or piece of t-shirt, a paper coffee filter, and rubber bands or hair ties, no sewing required. There are also many companies now selling reusable cloth face masks. Hyer Goods is a great option as all their masks are made from 100% upcycled waste and are shipped plastic free. Additionally, for every mask you buy another will be donated to a worker in need. For a slightly cheaper but still environmental option, Ijji is selling masks that hover around $6 each. If you want to get a bit more creative, visit and create your own mask with whatever patterns and designs suit your style.

#2: Just because you can no longer bring your own reusable bags into grocery stores, doesn’t mean you have to succumb to plastic and brown bags! When you are checking out, simply put all of your loose groceries back into your cart, wheel your cart out to your car, and load up your groceries into your reusable bags there.

#3: Rather than using disposable gloves every time you leave your home, carry hand sanitizer in your pocket everywhere you go. Want to go even greener? Make your own hand sanitizer and store it in a reusable container! There is a good chance you will have all the ingredients on hand to make this super simple hand sanitizing gel mixture. Simply mix 3 parts isopropyl alcohol (60%+) with 1 part aloe vera gel and a few drops of tea tree oil (for a nice scent) in a CLEAN container. Let the mixture sit for 72 hours before using to ensure that any bacteria has died. For a more advanced spray sanitizer, mix 12 oz alcohol with 2 teaspoons of glycerol (keeps hands from drying out so if you don’t have it, just make sure to moisturize after using this spray,) 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide, 3 oz boiled and cooled water, and a few drops of essential oils (optional: for scent.) Let sit 72 hours before using.


Ashworth, Boone. April 15, 2020. "How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer." Wired.

Tashjian, Rachel, Schube, Sam. May 14, 2020. "Here's Where You Can Buy a Face Mask Right Now." GQ.

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