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Top 10 Low-Carbon Self-Isolation Activities

March 2020 by Catherine McGinn

With the growing pandemic of COVID-19 requiring us to “stay indoors to save lives”, millions of people are now self-isolating or practising social distancing in their homes. While this is necessary to beat the contagious virus, many are finding themselves at a loss for something meaningful to do with their time.

To help, we’ve come up with a list of 10 things you can do to stay busy while self-isolating, whilst keeping your carbon emission low!

1. Grow your own vegetables

Growing vegetables is a great way to have a fresh supply of food all year round. While it will take a little while to begin the process, rest assure it will be time well spent! Check out this article from the RHS which goes into detail about each different vegetable that you can grow at home! Now, this doesn’t only apply to those with gardens. If you live in an apartment block or a home without garden space, there are other ways for you to grow vegetables from your home, like using pots or crates to mimic a real-life garden on your windowsill. Here is a detailed guide on how you can do so from inside your home!

Here at Carbon Literacy, some of our own team members have made a hobby from this already – check out Nicola’s fresh batch of Jerusalem Artichokes!

2. Read something

Now you’ve more time, why not take up some additional reading and learn something new about the environment, climate change and how you can help! Some environmental reads that we recommend are:

  • ‘The Story of More: How we got to Climate Change’ by Hope Jahren
  • ‘No One is Too Small to Make a Difference’ by Greta Thunberg
  • ‘The Sustainable(ish) Living Guide’ by Jen Gale
  •  ‘Minimal: How to Simplify your Life and Live Sustainably’ by Madeline Olivia

Also, don’t forget, most books can be bought as an audible or kindle edition, meaning you don’t have to leave your house to enjoy them!

3. Watch TV

Something we all enjoy, whether under government-enforced quarantine or not, is binge-watching a good program. So why not finish an entire series in a day?! Of course, this can be done with an environmental spin as there are so many great documentaries and TV shows that can be enjoyed while learning about climate change and the environment. Some programs we recommend are:

  • Any David Attenborough series – Planet Earth 1 and 2, Blue Planet 1 and 2, and Frozen Planet all provide great insight into the biodiversity of our planet and touch on the ways that we, as humans, are impacting upon them. You can also watch Climate Change – The Facts here in full.
  • ‘Cowspiracy’ – this documentary delves into the world of animal agriculture and its harmful effects on our planet.
  • ‘Chasing Coral’ – this Netflix film shows divers, scientists and photographers as they go underwater to document the disappearance of our corals and raise awareness of coral bleaching.

4. Exercise

The UK Government has enforced strict measures to battle the Coronavirus outbreak, with civilians only allowed out for one form of exercise a day. This will be different for everyone, but switching up your exercise routine can be good for your mind and body, as well as the planet. You could take-up cycling – this is a great, environmentally friendly alternative to driving to the shops when you need to buy groceries – no harmful emissions, just a fun way to get your body moving! Another way you can use your exercise allowance is by taking a walk (or run) in nature. You may be lucky enough to live in the countryside or near an open park or green space. Reconnecting with nature, as brief as it may be at this time, is very important and helps us to remain calm and focused.

You don’t even, need to leave your house, many personal trainers, brands and coaches (like SHREDDY)  are offering free training sessions online, via social media.

5. Try new recipes

Always fancied trying a plant-based diet but it felt too time-consuming? It’s well-known that meat and dairy consumption carries a high-carbon price tag. With a little extra time at home, why not switch up your cooking and eating habits. There’s an abundance of vegan chefs, bloggers and recipes so widely available online, so trying a plant-based meal or diet is now easier than ever! Here is a list of the top blogs you can follow where you can gain some vegan inspiration and find a blogger than suits you! And for some meal inspiration, BBC Good Food offers some great and easy plant-based recipes, many using ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard and fridge!

6. Do a bit of DIY

The prospect of being stuck in your home for the next few weeks has sparked a home-care revolution, with many using the quarantine to re-decorate or make home improvements. That chair you wanted to reupholster? The coffee table you wanted to sand and paint? Maybe your patio just really needs weeding? Now may finally be the time to tackle these projects.

Also, if you have kids at home, DIY crafts are a productive and educational way to spend time whilst having fun and getting creative! There are lots of fun DIY’s and tutorials online for many different projects that you could take on, which can help to make the isolation period a little brighter. Good Housekeeping has some ideas to get you started.

7. Get educated

There are lots of free courses from world-class universities across the globe available online for you to take part in and eve gain certification from. EdX is just one platform which offers this, but with so many to choose from, you’ll be sure to find something to pique your interest.

8. Take up a new hobby

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to take up yoga, or learn how to paint – bought all the supplies needed in the past but they’ve sat in your cupboard for years? Never has there been a better time to take up a hobby or learn a skill. Try Yoga with Adriane, painting with Bob Ross, or guitar with Fender where you can get a three month trial for free. There’re loads of great, free resources available, more now than ever, so have a search online and see what you can find.

 9. Volunteer for the NHS

The NHS is facing its biggest challenge yet and needs the support of its people. So, if you are fit and healthy, you can volunteer to help with:

  • Delivering shopping and prescriptions
  • Making phone calls and checking-in with those who are vulnerable and may suffer from loneliness
  • Transporting equipment and supplies between NHS sites
  • Transporting patients who have recovered and can return home

By volunteering you’ll support, and contribute to the smooth-running of, our NHS through this difficult time. Sign up here.

10. Donate to charity

There are many charitable organisations that are working to mitigate the effects of climate change – including us, The Carbon Literacy Project. If you are able, take the time to read up on different charities and see which best align with your values. If you wish to support the work of The Carbon Literacy Project, you can donate through this link which will help us to continue doing our relevant, essential work.

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