Sustainable Distancing Toolkit

Do you feel anxious or stressed about global risks like the coronavirus and climate change? That’s perfectly normal, as global risks are certainly nerve wracking. We’ve compiled some coping strategies to help navigate the stress and anxiety that our current crises can trigger.

We are all connected to one another, our ecosystem, and other species. Taking care of our well being includes caring for the greater good.  While our attention is drawn to how many people come into contact with the resources we rely on, and the places they are sourced from, it’s also an opportunity to be grateful for everything that contributes to our subsistence ⎼ the entire supply chain and all the labor and natural resource extraction. We can extend and cultivate that gratitude in order to grow our contentment- focusing on what we do have and what we really need, rather than focusing on what we don’t have, or comparing whether we have the most, biggest, or best of everything. By developing gratitude, and contentment with consuming less, we can also ensure that other people and species are able to survive. 


NATURE

Spending time in nature and getting one's hands dirty helps one feel more peaceful and grateful, and helps ease some of the tension caused by climate anxiety.  Stay 6 feet away from others and be safe.

  • Start a garden. It’s time to start seeds, indoors or outdoors. You can also regrow some produce.
  • Find Hiking Trails near you, (try AllTrails to check the length, elevation change, and comments on trails) to stay fit, get outdoors, and maintain physical distance from others. 
  • Try an app like iNaturalist to identify new species.
  • Take a walk and pick up litter. Use gloves and/or wash your hands after. 
  • Learn to identify & remove invasive species.
  • Paint or draw outdoors, or do some nature photography. 

CLEANING

Cleaning can keep you well, busy, and relaxed. Decluttering and organizing can help keep you calm long after you’re done. Protect yourself and your family.  

Cleaning for disinfecting virus protection:

  • Turn off the tap while washing your hands for 20 seconds, rather than leaving it running.
  • Dilute household bleach for cleaning: 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water OR 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water. 
  • Alcohol solutions: Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol.
  • EPA-registered household disinfectants which are expected to be effective against COVID-19. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).

Green Cleaning :

  • DIY Green Cleaners Recipes: make your own furniture polish, deodorizers, and floor cleaners for spring cleaning! However, if cleaning to disinfect, follow the guidelines above.
  • Repurpose newspaper to clean glass, mirrors, and reflective surfaces for a streak free shine.
  • Make rags from old well worn clothes, towels and fabrics to reduce your need for paper towels. 

WELLNESS

Self care is an important part of dealing with stress, anxiety and grief. Here are some simple steps you can take to help take care of yourself and cope with the difficult emotions that awareness and action can cause. 


SUSTAINABILITY

Take on projects to help you feel accomplished, purposeful, fulfilled, and the sense of confidence that comes from gaining new skills and achieving goals.


RESOURCES

The University of Maryland and other organizations offer resources. 


GROUPS

Get involved online and build relationships and community with like minded individuals who are inspired, engaged, and taking action towards solutions to channel your concerns about the issue!