By now, you’ve probably had to adjust some of your usual habits and routines because of the coronavirus. Maybe you’ve been staying hunkered down in your apartment for the past few weeks, canceling plans left and right so that you and your loved ones stay safe. Or maybe you’ve just been leaving your house to work and then heading straight home without socializing.
Restrictions on socializing in groups has affected everything from big celebrations like weddings, graduations, and proms to activist efforts. Because of this, environmentalists have to get creative with their activism methods. For now, protests and large gatherings are on hold, and even small group meetings in person are highly discouraged, if not completely banned in some areas.
Whether you usually spend every weekend cleaning up your community or meeting up with a vegan activist group, or you simply like to get involved when you have the time, you might be feeling a little discouraged right now. It can feel like it’s impossible to work toward positive change when you can’t even get out to interact with the people in your community. But don’t despair—there are plenty of ways you can still help the environment, even if you can’t leave your house!
How to advocate for the environment during the lockdown
1. Watch Educational Documentaries With Friends (From a Distance!)
Netflix now has a handy feature that allows you to chat with your friends on the streaming platform while watching the same movie or TV show. Why not invite a group of friends to have a digital movie night and get a good conversation going? This is a great time to chill on the couch while learning something new!
There are a wide variety of environmental documentaries on Netflix, from explicitly vegan documentaries like Cowspiracy to TV shows featuring beautiful wildlife footage like Our Planet. You could also check out documentaries like A Plastic Ocean, which explains how certain industries pollute our planet and what we can do to change things. Hopefully, it will spark some interesting discussion about ways we can all do our part to help fight climate change and deal with other environmental issues.
2. Contact Your Representatives
You can do this anytime—but there’s no time better than the present! Are there any major environmental issues specific to your state that you’re concerned about? What about your local district? It only takes a few minutes to look up bills that your representatives in Congress are going to vote on, and you can reach out by phone anytime you want to let them know your thoughts. If you would prefer to get your thoughts down on paper, you could always write a letter instead! This is something that you can easily do from the comfort of your own home, so make your thoughts heard!
3. Use What You Have
Trying to be on the safe side and avoid going to the grocery store? Take a look through your pantry and fridge. Check out all of the ingredients you have, and figure out how you can eat what you have before going out to buy more. When it’s easy to just pop over to the grocery store after work to pick up a few things or grab food during our lunch break if you’re bored of everything in your kitchen, that’s just not the case right now—we’re all adjusting to new restrictions. But using up all of the food in your kitchen is a good habit to get used to, and if you’re thinking of adopting more “zero waste” habits into your life, this is a good place to start! You might have more tasty ingredients stashed away than you would think.
4. Teach Vegan Cooking Skills
If you’ve been feeling a little bit stir crazy, it might be time to pick up a new hobby. Do you make a particular vegan dish or baked good that always leaves your friends asking for seconds? Why not get creative and demonstrate each step on camera? You can share the final product on Facebook or Instagram. This could be a fun way to encourage your friends and family to try out some new vegan recipes! Remember, everyone else who has been inside for the past few weeks is probably itching to try some new things, so don’t be shy about showing off your skills! And when it’s safe to return to your normal social activities, you and your friends can plan for a vegan potluck so that you all get the chance to try some tasty new dishes!
What are some ways you’re helping the environment at home?
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