What households can do during MECQ “Timeout”

August 15, 2020

THE EcoWaste Coalition has joined the chorus of voices backing the healthcare frontliners’ plea for a “timeout” to give them a breather from soaring COVID-19 cases and to allow the authorities to recalibrate its response to the pandemic.

“The MECQ ‘timeout’ gives households in the quarantined areas a chance to show our concern for the health and safety of all frontliners, especially those in the healthcare field who are our last line of defense against COVID-19.  We should not let it go to waste,” said Jove Benosa, Zero Waste Campaigner of the EcoWaste Coalition.

“By staying at home and observing the prescribed health and safety protocols, we decelerate community transmission of the virus, preserve the fragile healthcare system and afford the public and private sectors the time to improve preventive strategies, rules and procedures,” he said.

To ensure that the “timeout” period will not go to waste, the group drew up the following list of options to keep families busy and safe at home while protecting the environment at the same time.

* Instill compliance to basic health protocols among family members: wash hands with soap and water, observe good respiratory hygiene, wear face coverings, and maintain safe physical distancing.

* Orient your household on proper care of reusable face coverings and other reusable PPE, and on the safe disposal of disposable ones.

* Learn how to make do it yourself (DIY) washable cloth face masks to lessen your family’s consumption and disposal of throw-away, non-biodegradable and non-recyclable plastic masks.

* Clean and safely disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and increase ventilation at home.  

* Organize your shopping needs to avoid frequent visits to grocery stores, public markets, pharmacies and other crowded places.

* Check on elderly relatives, neighbors and friends who may require assistance during the lockdown such as running essential errands for them in a safe manner.

* Reduce carbon footprint and support micro, small and medium-size enterprises (MSMEs) by buying locally grown fresh produce and locally manufactured products.

* Turn fabric scraps, old pillow cases or used shirts into reusable carry bags.

* Learn new recipes, especially recipes for leftovers to avoid food waste.

* Start a practical way to compost biodegradable discards that will suit your household.

* Introduce simple gardening to your children starting with growing edible plants in available containers.

* Check the Internet for art and craft ideas to boost children's creativity.

* Prepare kids for the resumption of classes by getting them acquainted with the "new normal" of learning in the time of COVID-19 

* Declutter drawers and closets and donate decluttered items to the needy.

* Engage in suitable activities to strengthen the immune systems and physical and mental health.

* Make time for spiritual pursuits toward self-care including readings, meditations and online yoga lessons to feed the body, mind and soul.

* Explore alternative ways to generate additional income or replace diminished earnings in the comfort of your home.