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The coronavirus pandemic has really thrown us all for a loop, but luckily one positive was the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere. Lockdown, workplace closures, and reduction in travel, aided in global emission falling by 4.6%. Unfortunately there has been an increase in the waste and plastic pollution. I can no longer bring my reusable jar to get my favorite smoothie, but there are still ways you can make or keep eco-friendly habits. It’s a challenging time, but with these simple practices you can play your part.

Buy a Reusable Mask

Throughout the pandemic, there has been a huge increase in the usage of disposable gloves and masks. An estimated 194 billion disposable masks and gloves are being used EVERY month. These are often being littered and are considered medical waste and can’t be recycled. 

One simple thing you can do to be more eco-friendly during the pandemic is invest in a reusable mask. They are widely available and you can save money in the long run! I alternative between a few of my reusable masks. I just give them a quick wash and I’m good to go!

Ditch Those plastic gloves

Does wearing gloves really add extra protection? Scientists say no! They add a false sense of security. When you touch surfaces and then go to touch your face you are transferring those germs. Similar to masks, they are ending up in the landfills. Making sure you are washing your hands often is the better alternative!

Reusable CLoths

Disinfectant wipes are pretty common to find in our homes these days. Unfortunately, these alcoholic wipes are really bad for the earth. Instead of buying disifencent wipes, paper towels, and wet wipes switch to reusable material cloths. 100% cotton cloths are a great option to reuse and wash endlessly.  


We have been living through COVID-19 for some time now, but with these eco-friendly habits you can help make a positive impact on the environment. Small changes do make a difference!

Averi Burud

Hawaii '22

Avid surfer & current student studying Sustainability at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
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