By Kate Hall of Ethically Kate
The streets are bare, businesses are shut; New Zealand is closed for the next four weeks and that is the strangest sentence I’ve ever typed. We’re all bundled up inside, hiding from the virus that is COVID-19, and isolating ourselves in an attempt to stop it from hurting our nation even more.
I’ve personally begun to call this not a lockdown or an isolation, but a hibernation. A time to rest, like any good bear does, and reflect. A time to complete projects and household jobs you never thought you’d get the chance to finish. A time to spend with the people in your ‘bubble’, learn new things, and instill good habits. Habits just like using reusables!
Remember when you said it was too hard to remember your KeepCup and bring your reusable containers with you to avoid single-use packaging when you eat out? Even though we all know single-use packaging is wasteful and destructive for our planet, it’s incredibly difficult to change habits while life is so hectic.
Instead of binge watching Netflix for four weeks straight (though I definitely encourage a bit of this), now’s your chance to spend time making sure that when you step back into society, you do so with reusables in hand.
How to ensure you’ll remember your reusables when hibernation ends…
- Get some reusables
You cannot remember your reusables if you do not have any. Start by looking around you. You can use a jar, ice cream container, or anything you have lying around that would usually go in the recycling bin. If you do want to invest in reusables, here are a few personal recommendations:
CaliWoods: Sporks, straws, bread bags, produce bags, cutlery, tumblers, and beeswax wraps. CaliWoods is a kiwi owned, women led social enterprise.
Bento Ninja: Home of everything stainless steel, you’ll find all the best containers and drink bottles here in all shapes and sizes.
Rubbish Whisperer: My collapsible cup is my most used reusable item. The Rubbish Whisperer also offers reusable bags and cute sandwich wraps.
- Make them OBVIOUS
While you’re in hibernation, you cannot use your reusables; every cafe, restaurant, and fast food joint is shut. But rather than putting your reusables away, place them somewhere obvious in your house. If you look at them everyday for four weeks, you’re more likely to remember them when it’s time to venture out.
When that time does come (it will be glorious!), place your reusables beside your wallet, in your car, or literally in front of your door. The more obvious they are, the more likely you are to remember them.
- Remember why you’re doing this
Single-use packaging sucks. No really, it’s terrible. The more you learn about how much it sucks, the more likely you are to boycott single-use packaging forever. Takeaway Throwaways have helpful information in their ‘why’ section to understand why using reusables and avoiding single-use packaging is so important. Learning more about Takeaway Throwaways in general, and considering signing the Takeaway Throwaways petition will help you understand the importance of reusables too.
Before you head off to count your socks and trim your fingernails, find some reusables (or order them online to arrive in four weeks), put them in obvious places, and read up on Takeaway Throwaways.
I know bringing your reusables to a restaurant or cafe used to be awkward and embarrassing, but I promise when it’s time to step foot back into society, you’ll be met with a smile and an outstretched sanitised hand. Truly.
Here’s to a happy and productive hibernation!
Kate Hall is an educator, writer, and advocate for sustainable living. In her home by the beach, Kate makes A LOT of kombucha, lives low waste, and uses her voice to help planet and people thrive.