This entire year so far has been a trying one. Add the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing orders and it's officially made it a rough one. However, as difficult as it's been to separate ourselves from those we love, we need to understand that it's for the safety of not just ourselves but our loved ones too.
During this time, I've noticed that if I'm not doing work or watching TV on an app, I'm watching or listening to the news. And as informative as the news can be in regards to COVID-19, it's also a trigger for my anxiety at the present moment. So instead of listening to news focused only on reporting the virus, I've been making an effort to do my research into the positive aspects of this quarantine. Here are some of the positive impacts I've seen from these Stay at Home orders:
The environment is happy! Less pollution has led to clearer skies in heavily polluted cities like Los Angeles and New Delhi.
Wildlife is roaming free and exploring the environment around them!
Most importantly, we've seen a dramatic increase in connection and community outreach. So many individuals have taken the time to give back to their communities whether it be through donations of money and resources, or even by taking the physical risk and assisting in high-risk communities. In addition, we've also seen waves of outreach on a larger scale through companies and businesses who are also giving back to their communities during this difficult time. Here's a list of some of the companies doing their part during this pandemic:
Thrive Market COVID-19 Relief Fund
For those who are unaware of Thrive, this is basically an online grocery store where you can find a variety of grocery items that cater to different dietary requirements and/or sell products from small businesses. Thrive is doing so much good during this pandemic right now! Earlier this month, they launched the Thrive Market COVID-19 Relief Fund, designed to provide grocery stipends and 1-year memberships to first responders and those financially impacted by the virus. To donate to the fund, shoppers can add a donation when at check out or simply follow this page and donate to the fund directly here. In addition, Thrive's co-founder and CEO, Nick Green, has pledged to donate the remainder of his 2020 salary to the relief fund in an effort to do his part to meet the needs of the community. Check out the latest updates here.
If you haven't heard by now, Allbirds is a newer brand that is a game changer in shoe wear. Not only are they made sustainably but they are extremely comfortable and AMAZING for those who spend hours on their feet! During this crisis, Allbirds is giving back to our healthcare workers working to combat this virus. To date, they have donated over $500,000 worth of shoes. In addition, they've also made it possible for the general community to also contribute to supplying our frontline workers by giving you the option to bundle your purchase. Interested in buying a pair for yourself? Purchase a bundle and the second pair will be donated to a healthcare worker. Not in the market for a new shoe but still want to donate? That's also an option. Check out more information here!
If you're beginning your eco-minimalism journey or you've been following me for awhile, you know how often I stress thrift shopping when it comes to looking for clothes during the beginning stages of your journey. ThredUp is one of my favorite online thrift stores! To help during this pandemic, they are hosting Closet Clean Out for Social Good. Currently, they are asking for donation kits of items no longer needed in your closet. For each donation kit they receive, ThredUp will donate $15 to Feeding America!
For some of us who transitioned from an omnivore diet that included hamburgers to a more sustainable vegetarian/vegan diet, it was somewhat difficult. I know sometimes I get a random craving for a burger so it was a complete game changer when Beyond Meat came out with their products. I can still get the juicy burger I want without contributing to the negative impacts of the meat industry. Earlier this month, Beyond Meat pledged to donate and distribute more than 1 million Beyond Burgers to hospitals. community centers, and other frontline and/or non-profit organizations to help ensure those in these communities have access to a good meal.
Earth Hero is my favorite one-stop-shop for all things sustainable and the place I recommend the most to everyone I speak to in regards to shopping for sustainable items! Currently, during Earth Week, they are donating a meal through Food Recovery Network with every order placed on their website. To make things sweeter, you can even use the discount code EARTHWEEK for 15% off your order!
If you come to me and ask for a recommendation to a business specializing in sustainable cases, I will almost always direct you to Pela. Pela's cell phone cases are made from such sustainable materials that they're even compostable! If you currently have a plastic cell phone case or a Pela case but want a new one, simply send them in to be recycled or composted depending on the type of case. Pela also donates a portion of each sale to Ocean Cleanup and Preservation Initiatives. Right now, they understand how important it is to keep your most frequently used items clean. So in an effort to aid this, they're offering a Buy One Get One Free deal. This is so that you can keep one case on your phone for protection while the other one gets washed and cleaned! Read more about it here! + you can use my discount code "SHELBI" for 15% off!
Plastic - Free Hand Sanitizer that Gives Back
These hand sanitizer products are not only convenient for keeping your hands clean but they also give back! However, please remember that hand sanitizer DOES NOT replace hand washing. Please refer back to my post on why hand washing is important and far more superior during this pandemic and in general. Click here.
by HumanKind is a personal care brand whose mission is to decrease the amount of single-use plastic in our every day personal care routines. Their bulk size hand sanitizer comes in a refillable aluminum bottle that is available for pre-order at this time. Not only does this eliminate plastic, but with every purchase, $1 will go to the Robin Hood Relief Fund which provides emergency support to communities in the NYC area.
This Defense Hand Sanitizer Spray is quick and easy to use when you're in a pinch and can't get to a sink to fully wash your hands. Simply uncap and spray! This product also comes in a reusable glass bottle. It's made with 70% isopropyl alcohol, which is slightly above the minimum recommended amount set by the CDC for effective sanitization. When you purchase this sanitizing spray, 50% of the profits will go to Second Harvest and Direct Relief to provide food and medical care to those in need.
Sustainable Companies Making Masks
Masks have suddenly become a necessity during this time. However, we the increased need for PPE in the medical community and panic buying by some individuals, they've become a scarcity. Since the typical manufacturers of these masks such as 3M must focus on meeting the need for masks in the medical setting, companies have made it their mission to switch some of their production to making masks to sell to the general public. Here's some of the sustainable brands who have done just that:
Natural Home by The Futon Shop
Natural Home by The Futon Shop specializes in selling sustainable mattresses and bedding products. Currently they are selling masks that are infused with 17% copper which has been seen to act as a defense mechanism against pathogens. These masks are also double layered and filter at least 95% of 3-micron (really small) particles. In addition, they are also made from organic cotton, are washable, and sizes for children are available. Find more information here.
United by Blue
If you're into traveling or the outdoors and want your one-stop-shop for clothing, packs, and materials meant for the outdoors, check out United by Blue! With every product purchased, the brand removes a pound of trash from our polluted oceans. At this time, they are selling 3-pack sets of masks made from salvaged hemp. All of the masks are double layered with room for a filter. For each set of 3 purchased, another will be donated to Philadelphia's homeless through the Chosen 300, an organization committed to aiding the homeless.
Christy Dawn is a sustainable clothing site specializing in women's fashion. Currently, they've also begun to produce sustainable face masks. These masks are made from 100% double deadstocked cotton and are washable. Each order made is actually for a total of ten masks in which five will be delivered to you and the other five will be donated to those in need. These masks are also made in house by their talented dressmaker and members of their shipping team!
And a few other sustainable brands making face masks: