Love in the time of Corona

Stories, ideas and info to help each other and the planet

How are you doing out there, friends?

It’s been a whirlwind week of health and safety concerns, panic buying, decisions around reusables and an impending ‘lockdown’. Like you, we’re unsure of what will come next surrounding Coronavirus, but it’s been heart-warming to see some of the amazing responses happening across the world. From communities in Italy singing from their balconies to keep people company, to the #ViralKindess campaign taking off with volunteers offering their services to those in need and many local businesses offering to deliver so that customers don’t have to come to them.

There have also been some interesting stories emerging such as the reduction in global CO2 emissions as a result of factory closures and travel bans, and the canals of Venice running clear for the first time in a generation. You can’t call it a silver lining when so many people are suffering, but environmentalists the world over are seeing governments and citizens mobilising. We’re uniting in ways that could forge the paths needed to tackle climate and ecological breakdown.

At City to Sea, we’ll continue championing positive solutions and practical action that we can all do at this time, whilst staying safe. We’ll also be encouraging people to back local businesses as much as possible, as we know they’ll be feeling the pressure of any closures. Refill is, at its core, a grassroots movement powered by awesome communities and we’ll continue to work with our Refill schemes and stations to offer as much support as we can.

On top of that, we’ll do our best to bring you positive, earth-kind advice and news. So, if you’re in good health and want to help those who aren’t, here are some heartening stories, practical tips and actions you can take to help make a difference in your community and at home.

Community action:

  • At least 100 WhatsApp and Facebook groups have been formed across the country, offering practical and emotional support for those in self-isolation. Whether you need support or want to volunteer your time to help your neighbours you can find your local group here.
  • Becci Wass, a lecturer in Cornwall, created a card for people to print at home and deliver to their neighbours, offering support of picking up shopping, posting mail, urgent supplies or a friendly phone call. Download the card here.
  • A government petition has been created to support self-employed people during this time, ensuring that they receive statutory sick-pay. Similarly, this petition is calling for Universal Basic Income to ensure that people can afford to stay home and reduce the spread of Covid-19.
  • If ‘lock down’ is implemented in this country, some teachers are preparing to deliver lessons via video or are compiling homework to keep students occupied whilst at home. We’ll continue to train teachers online through our Rethink Periods
  • Fareshare is a charity that redistributes surplus food which would have gone to waste in the food supply chain. They are calling for extra volunteers, food and funding so that they can support communities who will suffer if schools, workplaces and public places are closed. Find out more here.
  • In other parts of the world: people have come together in the U.S to support local Chinatowns amid Coronavirus prejudice and racism, NBA players have donated money to cover salaries of arena workers amid the shutdown, people have translated coronavirus information and advice into other languages for immigrants and volunteers have been handing out vitamins, soap and warm clothes in Calais refugee camp.

Supporting local businesses

It’s going to be more important than ever to support local businesses, who will be hard hit by closures. Here are a few suggestions for keeping it local from the comfort of your home:

  • If you’re out and about, you can choose to support small businesses by using special services like Indie Kitty by Wriggle, to get your lunch from a local, independent café/restaurant.
  • Sign up for a local, organic fruit and veg box to be delivered right to your door – most have options for contact-less delivery if needed. You can also add other kitchen staples like milk, bread and eggs so you don’t run low on supplies.
  • Many local businesses have started doing home delivery – consider ordering from them before visiting a supermarket.
  • The Plastic Free Shop, which is our 1% for the Planet partner, offers home delivery on household items (including cleaning materials).
  • If you are self-isolating and have run out of period products, you can get organic, plastic-free period products delivered to your door with Organic Mondays.

Staying healthy and Hydrated

  • If you are going out, refill your reusable bottle before you go so it’s one less thing to think about. Just remember to clean your reusables between uses, with hot soapy water when you get home to keep them as clean as possible.
  • Drink plenty of water at home – remember we have some of the best quality drinking water in the world so there is no need to stock up on bottled water!
  • If you’re feeling anxious, try to avoid the (health-related) newswe all want to keep up to date, but it can quickly become overwhelming. Try having a news detox, or allocating yourself a time limit for reading or watching the news. Check out Mind for some really useful advice on looking after your mental health.
  • If you’re working at home or staying at home with your family, make the most of the time you would have spent commuting by trying to stay physically active. There are loads of free classes online for you to explore.
  • Spend time in nature – this might just be your balcony or garden, but it’s important to have a break from screens and a change of scene. If you have some outdoor space at home like a garden or balcony, now’s a good time to embrace it. Have a go at growing your own fruit and veg, starting up a herb garden or helping the bees out with a specially created. bee-hotel
  • More advice on collective self-care here.

Home help: 

  • Try and be mindful of what you’re purchasing and as always avoid pointless packaging where possible. If you do find yourself low on toilet roll and are considering reaching for the wet wipes instead, please remember to be a good a**hole and NEVER flush wet wipes down the loo. Most wet-wipes contain plastic and don’t biodegrade causing fatbergs and resulting in flooding.
  • Try out new recipes with the ingredients you already have in your fridge and cupboards. Why not try and make your own bread or pasta? Meal planning and batch cooking at the start of the week can help reduce food waste and could even help a neighbour in need.
  • Spring cleaning can help clear your house and your head. Declutter and clear out any clothes or items you no longer need. You could take them to charity shops (whilst they are still open) or donate to help others in need.
  • Talking of spring cleaning. Just because you can’t get to your usual zero-waste store to refill your cleaning products, you don’t have to give in to single-use bottles. You can make your own with the natural ingredients already in your cupboards. White vinegar, baking soda and hot water with lemon makes an effective multi-purpose cleaner. The perfect plastic-free alternative!

Saving the world… from your sofa:

  • For more advice on How to Save the World for Free, read (our founder) Natalie Fee’s book. Packed full of positive tips for saving the world when you eat, sleep and play.
  • Spend this time familiarising yourself with our campaigns and the ways you can get involved.
  • If you’re looking for some binge-watching entertainment, check out Olio’s list of 20 of the best climate, nature and environment documentaries to watch while you’re keeping a low-profile.

Whether you’re looking for some plastic-free tips for your home, have a question about one of our campaigns or simply want someone to share with – please get in touch via our social channels – we’d love to hear from you.

We’re an awesome community of activists and community champions, and together we can support each other to stay safe, sane and socially connected – online if not in person!