Five Ways to Go Green in Quarantine

Plant based meals are a delicious way to go green and be healthy.

Maroon Staff

Plant based meals are a delicious way to go green and be healthy.

Been out for a walk lately?  You may have noticed that the skies are quieter, the roads seem emptier, and the air feels fresher.  A silver lining of the imposed quarantine is a significant decrease in carbon emissions around major cities.  Because we are all hunkered down, car trips to the village for brunch, that iced caramel macchiato with its plastic cup and non-recyclable straw, as well as all those exotic vacations to the Caribbean and beyond, are no longer possible.  Perhaps these side effects of the pandemic are a way to commemorate this year’s 50th anniversary of Earth Day.  From our homes, there are several additional ways that we can reduce our carbon footprint.  Here are five easy suggestions for you to help make a difference right at home!

  1. Compost! You can reduce your landfill contribution while simultaneously replenishing the earth. Scarsdale’s very own Food Scrap Composting program accepts all food scraps, coffee grounds, cut flowers, and more.  Make sure to pick up compostable bags from the Sanitation Department.  One temporary change because of staffing reduction is the suspension of curbside pickup, so you must bring your compost to the Sanitation Department yourself.  If you already compost, bravo!  Now could be the time to encourage a friend or neighbor to start.  For more information email [email protected].
  2. Eat less meat!  Our homebound days with more time on our hands have a lot of us trying new recipes. Raising livestock for food consumption significantly contributes to the carbon footprint.  Try transforming two or three meals a week to plant-based menus.  Alternative sources of protein, such as beans, tofu, and quinoa are both delicious and healthy.  There are also meat-like substitutes, like Beyond Meat, that are tasty and vegan.
  3. Turn out the lights! We’ve all had our parents remind us to turn out the lights when we leave a room, but now that we are spending so much time at home, it is more important than ever.  Save the Earth and have your parents thank you when the ConEd bill arrives.
  4. Save water!  Water is a precious resource, so we have to use it wisely.  Make sure the dishwasher is full before running, use the quick cycle on your washing machine, and don’t let the sink water run. Also, skip the prolonged shower, but still remember to stay clean – we are all spending a lot of time together with our families.
  5. Keep Scarsdale clean!  When you are out for that walk, consider bringing a bag and a glove so you can pick up litter along the way.  Get your exercise and keep our streets and waterways clean.

It is important to give back to Mother Earth since she has given us so much.  Every day can be Earth Day!