Stay home, help fight the climate and coronavirus crises

Opinion Apr 20, 2020 by Kate Flynn hamiltonnews.com

While you work to establish your new normal at home to fight the coronavirus crisis, you can incorporate climate-friendly habits to fight the climate crisis, too.

I know. You saw the word “crisis” and thought “Thanks, but no thanks — one crisis is enough for me.”

And I hear you. The COVID-19 pandemic has most of us are stuck at home trying to find a new normal. Our well-established habits and fine-tuned schedules have been upended. Our kitchen tables now double as classrooms and offices. We’re told to take it day by day. So, thinking about a future where climate change is the biggest challenge can feel like a distant concern.

But the climate crisis is still here, and our climate action must continue.

The greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change are momentarily in decline. COVID-19 has caused the shuttering of factories, cancelled flights and reduced vehicle commuting. But this is both temporary and unsustainable. When we return to “normal,” we will return to a world — and an economy — that remains dependent on fossil fuels and we will be back on track to warm well beyond 2⁰C this century.

So, what can we do right now? As we settle into a new normal at home, we can incorporate healthy, budget-friendly and climate-conscious habits.

1. Try Meatless Mondays

Worldwide, livestock accounts for as much as 18 per cent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. Eating less meat reduces our personal impact on the climate. It can also save on grocery bills. Consider starting a Meatless Monday ritual by trying new vegetarian recipes.

2. Rethink food waste

As food waste biodegrades, it releases methane — a potent greenhouse gas. Challenge yourself to minimize food waste. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers, and find recipes, like soups and muffins, that use up remaining produce and pantry items.

3. Try active transportation

With fewer cars on the road, it’s a great time to break out the bike — or scooter, or roller blades. Test out new, safe routes to frequented locales, while practicing physical distancing, of course. Consider replacing car trips with active transportation once these places reopen.

4. Hold onto those donations

Many of us have taken to spring cleaning. Do the planet a favour and hold onto the items that can be donated, instead of sending them to the landfill. Remember charity donation bins are not an option at this time. So, hold onto your donation until your local Salvation Army Thrift Store opens up. They’re leaders in textile recycling — helping to save your items from the landfill.

Someday soon, we’ll return to our more-familiar normal but, in the meantime, we can make our homes and habits a little more climate-friendly.

 — Kate Flynn is the Acting Director for the Centre for Climate Change Management at Mohawk College.


Stay home, help fight the climate and coronavirus crises

Mohawk College's Kate Flynn writes why now is the time to incorporate climate-friendly habits into your routine

Opinion Apr 20, 2020 by Kate Flynn hamiltonnews.com

While you work to establish your new normal at home to fight the coronavirus crisis, you can incorporate climate-friendly habits to fight the climate crisis, too.

I know. You saw the word “crisis” and thought “Thanks, but no thanks — one crisis is enough for me.”

And I hear you. The COVID-19 pandemic has most of us are stuck at home trying to find a new normal. Our well-established habits and fine-tuned schedules have been upended. Our kitchen tables now double as classrooms and offices. We’re told to take it day by day. So, thinking about a future where climate change is the biggest challenge can feel like a distant concern.

But the climate crisis is still here, and our climate action must continue.

Related Content

The greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change are momentarily in decline. COVID-19 has caused the shuttering of factories, cancelled flights and reduced vehicle commuting. But this is both temporary and unsustainable. When we return to “normal,” we will return to a world — and an economy — that remains dependent on fossil fuels and we will be back on track to warm well beyond 2⁰C this century.

So, what can we do right now? As we settle into a new normal at home, we can incorporate healthy, budget-friendly and climate-conscious habits.

1. Try Meatless Mondays

Worldwide, livestock accounts for as much as 18 per cent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. Eating less meat reduces our personal impact on the climate. It can also save on grocery bills. Consider starting a Meatless Monday ritual by trying new vegetarian recipes.

2. Rethink food waste

As food waste biodegrades, it releases methane — a potent greenhouse gas. Challenge yourself to minimize food waste. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers, and find recipes, like soups and muffins, that use up remaining produce and pantry items.

3. Try active transportation

With fewer cars on the road, it’s a great time to break out the bike — or scooter, or roller blades. Test out new, safe routes to frequented locales, while practicing physical distancing, of course. Consider replacing car trips with active transportation once these places reopen.

4. Hold onto those donations

Many of us have taken to spring cleaning. Do the planet a favour and hold onto the items that can be donated, instead of sending them to the landfill. Remember charity donation bins are not an option at this time. So, hold onto your donation until your local Salvation Army Thrift Store opens up. They’re leaders in textile recycling — helping to save your items from the landfill.

Someday soon, we’ll return to our more-familiar normal but, in the meantime, we can make our homes and habits a little more climate-friendly.

 — Kate Flynn is the Acting Director for the Centre for Climate Change Management at Mohawk College.


Stay home, help fight the climate and coronavirus crises

Mohawk College's Kate Flynn writes why now is the time to incorporate climate-friendly habits into your routine

Opinion Apr 20, 2020 by Kate Flynn hamiltonnews.com

While you work to establish your new normal at home to fight the coronavirus crisis, you can incorporate climate-friendly habits to fight the climate crisis, too.

I know. You saw the word “crisis” and thought “Thanks, but no thanks — one crisis is enough for me.”

And I hear you. The COVID-19 pandemic has most of us are stuck at home trying to find a new normal. Our well-established habits and fine-tuned schedules have been upended. Our kitchen tables now double as classrooms and offices. We’re told to take it day by day. So, thinking about a future where climate change is the biggest challenge can feel like a distant concern.

But the climate crisis is still here, and our climate action must continue.

Related Content

The greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change are momentarily in decline. COVID-19 has caused the shuttering of factories, cancelled flights and reduced vehicle commuting. But this is both temporary and unsustainable. When we return to “normal,” we will return to a world — and an economy — that remains dependent on fossil fuels and we will be back on track to warm well beyond 2⁰C this century.

So, what can we do right now? As we settle into a new normal at home, we can incorporate healthy, budget-friendly and climate-conscious habits.

1. Try Meatless Mondays

Worldwide, livestock accounts for as much as 18 per cent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. Eating less meat reduces our personal impact on the climate. It can also save on grocery bills. Consider starting a Meatless Monday ritual by trying new vegetarian recipes.

2. Rethink food waste

As food waste biodegrades, it releases methane — a potent greenhouse gas. Challenge yourself to minimize food waste. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers, and find recipes, like soups and muffins, that use up remaining produce and pantry items.

3. Try active transportation

With fewer cars on the road, it’s a great time to break out the bike — or scooter, or roller blades. Test out new, safe routes to frequented locales, while practicing physical distancing, of course. Consider replacing car trips with active transportation once these places reopen.

4. Hold onto those donations

Many of us have taken to spring cleaning. Do the planet a favour and hold onto the items that can be donated, instead of sending them to the landfill. Remember charity donation bins are not an option at this time. So, hold onto your donation until your local Salvation Army Thrift Store opens up. They’re leaders in textile recycling — helping to save your items from the landfill.

Someday soon, we’ll return to our more-familiar normal but, in the meantime, we can make our homes and habits a little more climate-friendly.

 — Kate Flynn is the Acting Director for the Centre for Climate Change Management at Mohawk College.