What You Can Do During The Physical Distancing Period at Home

Ever since the COVID-19 is declared as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11th March 2020 the world has been on high alert and undertook preventive and countermeasures in order to curb the transmission of the Coronavirus.

One of the important measures that have been applied in various countries is called physical distancing, a situation in which people are asked to stay at home if there is no urgent need to go outside, to avoid large gathering or crowds, and to keep their physical distance for at least 2 meters from other people.

In Indonesia, President Jokowi has also encouraged physical distancing and ask the Indonesian citizens to study, work, and pray from home since March 16th. Since then, the hashtag #StayatHome has been widely used in social media, (especially Instagram) to refer to the appeal and/or activities relating to the physical distancing and self-isolation period that are performed at home.

An illustration of Physical Distancing between Matryoshka dolls. Photo credit: Evgeni Tcherkasski/Unsplash

Currently, the majority of people, specifically those who live in the Capital City of Jakarta as the red zone of the COVID-19 has entered its fourth week of the #StayAtHome period, including working from home (WFH) for some of the job sectors. Recreational places and shopping malls have also been shut gradually for a period of two weeks (except for stores that sell basic necessities such as supermarkets and pharmacies).

Staying at home and avoiding to meet with friends and colleagues can be quite frustrating indeed, especially when the condition has not yet shown any improvement, which means it might take weeks and even months for the dust to settle.  Therefore, we recommend several useful activities to kill time (especially during weekends) and just might help save the earth during these bleak periods of self-quarantine and #StayAtHome, here are the lists:

1. Segregating Your Waste  

According to a 2015 study by the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, citizens in Jakarta, Indonesia produced as much as 175.000 tons of waste every single day. From that amount, only 7,5% is recycled, whereas another 5% is burned, 8,5% is unmanaged, and the rest 69% end up in landfills.

This means that as many as 120.750 tons of waste is generated from Jakarta alone, and only 13.125 tons are processed and recycled into useful materials. The incredibly low recycling rate is mainly caused by the minimum (nearly non-existent) waste segregation from the source. This is because inorganic waste that was mixed with organic waste will decrease significantly in terms of its recycling quality. Hence, waste segregation based on existing waste categories is very crucial.

During the #StayAtHome period, the waste that we produced obviously do not stop. Instead, the waste volume can be even higher compared to when we spent most of our days at the office and taking into account how we are spoiled with food delivery services. In addition, in the middle of this pandemic, rather than going out to buy food, it is safer to just order it from our home. Even so, we should not let this “new lifestyle” prevent us from starting (or continuing) to segregate our waste.

Panduan lengkap kategori sampah dari Waste4Change
A complete guide on recyclables by Waste4Change

Waste4Change recommends to, at the very least, separate the organic waste from inorganic waste, and then dividing the inorganic waste into five categories: plastic, paper, metal, glasses, and residual waste. Moreover, do not also forget to separate waste that needs special treatment such as electronic waste and medical waste, for example disposable medical masks

You can also see the guide for the complete list of recyclables by Waste4Change. The segregated waste can, later on, be sent to either waste bank or Waste4Change office, or you can also drop it into our dropbox (after all of this is over and Waste4Change services have resumed to normal).

Remember, besides helping to reduce the amount of waste that end up in landfill, segregating waste from the source also means that we help waste pickers and waste management operator whose roles are very important in managing our waste. Let us help them by performing our roles in segregating waste at home, especially in the middle of this pandemic, where their jobs made them highly prone to being exposed to Coronavirus.

2. Learning to Make Compost from Organic Waste 

In addition to segregating waste, you can also try composting during the #StayAtHome period. Compost itself is a substance that resulted from the decomposition of organic waste such as food scraps that were done correctly, hence it can be utilized for fertilizers.

Why composting matters? The fact is, data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry revealed that 60% of the waste that accumulates in landfills is organic waste. This is very unfortunate and pitiful because organic waste can be processed or at least minimized, for example by not buying too much food and finishing the meal that we ordered.

Composting itself consists of several methods and techniques, some of them are pretty simple and can be implemented directly at home, such as using a container, flowerpot, and biopore holes. In addition, Waste4Change also provides composting bag that you can order and use to make your own compost at home, complete with the full instructions.

Composting Bag Waste4Change
Waste4Change’s Composting Bag

Composting is both easy and difficult, in a sense that you can always know the theory, but the reality will always be different than what you have read. Therefore, the first and foremost thing is to practice it by yourself, do some trial and error. Also, keep in mind that by creating your own compost, you already helped to reduce the amount of organic waste that will end up in landfills.

3. Tidying Up and Decluttering 

If during your usual routine you couldn’t find the time to tidy up your room, storage, or that bulky kitchen cabinet, then this #StayAtHome period might just be the right momentum to start tidying up your house.

What’s more is that if your room and the whole house is a lot tidier and organized, then you will have an even better time during your self-isolation period at home (taking into account how staying at home is literally the only choice that we have now). Furthermore, to make your clean up activity more organized and purposeful, you might as well try that decluttering concept from the famous Marie Kondo.

Photo credit: Sarah Brown/Unsplash

Yep, start sorting your old and unused stuff that sat around in the corners of your house collecting dust. Be it clothes, toys, makeup equipment, books, shoes, and other stuff. Quoting Marie Kondo’s famous line, “get rid of the things that do not spark joy

To read more about how and some useful tips on decluttering, check out Waste4Change’s tips on decluttering.

4. Watching Movies

If you are bored by K-dramas and Hollywood blockbusters, watching documenters can be a fresh alternative to kill time during the #StayAtHome period. Moreover, documenters can serve as a fun way to learn more about issues or topics that trigger your interest and curiosity. This is especially true for those of you whose learning method is visual (seeing, watching).

There are abundant choices of documenters that you can choose from, be it about history, environment, the animal kingdom, outer space, and many more. This is also made possible thanks to the internet that offers limitless choices of movies to watch from various sources and websites.

JESHOOTS.COM/Unsplash
Photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM/Unsplash

There are even movies that specifically talk about waste issues, that “takes us” to various places around the world to witness how polluted they are, and shows us how individual actions can in fact bring positive changes and reminds us that these waste and environmental issues are as real as it can be, even if we cannot see it directly.

Read our 5 movie recommendations regarding waste management issue that you need to watch. Besides movies, there are also several TV series about our earth and the environment that you can also enjoy. What’s so good about these movies is that they spoiled our eyes with beautiful and breath-taking sceneries from far away places throughout the globe and that we need to keep those places intact and protect them from humans’ destructive forces. Some examples are the Blue Planet and Blue Planet II mini-series that are available on Netflix and are narrated by none other than Mr. David Attenborough.

5. Reading Books 

If you have many stacks of untouched books on your shelves, now might be the time to start opening the seal and read those books one by one.

Source: Anthony Tran/Unsplash
Photo credit: Anthony Tran/Unsplash

Here are some tips to help you get on track on your reading lists and resume that reading habit once again:

  • Decide on your purpose. Do you want to finish the old books that you haven’t finished yet? Or do you want to start reading a new one? Perhaps you feel like reading books about self-development? Or maybe you’ll stay with fiction? What about trying out some new genre? Whatever your decision is, decide on what makes you excited.
  • Be flexible: You do not have to read the books according to some unwritten rules that you have established on your mind, such as reading books based on the order in which you bought them or based on the genre, etc. You can even read two books at the same time to prevent you from feeling bored. The point is, everyone has their own preference and pace, recognize yours and stick to it.
  •  Write a review or discuss it with your friends: After you finished reading a book, writing a review about it is a good way to help you review and reflect on how you make sense of the book that you just read. Another way is to tell your friends or family members about the book that you just read, preferably one that also loves to read. This will help us to remember the things that we have just read and who knows? We might even come up with a new understanding about the book that we didn’t think of before.

6. Enroll in Some Online Classes

During the #StayAtHome and work from home period, there’s no harm at all in trying to learn or develop a new set of skills through online classes. There are several websites that provide online classes for free, for instance, Coursera, EdEx, FutureLearn, Udemy.com, and many more.

Kredit foto: Michal Parzuchowski/Unsplash
Kredit foto: Michal Parzuchowski/Unsplash

In addition, Ivy League such as Harvard and Yale also open some free classes that we can utilize and enroll ourselves according to our interests. Especially during the physical distancing period, some classes that were not initially free have also been opened publicly to accompany our self-isolation days at home. Even if you still need to pay for it, they discounted the price drastically, such as in SkillAcademy. Therefore, do not waste this opportunity for you to further develop yourself and learn many more skills, and enjoy it while it lasts!

Continue to #StayAtHome and Flatten the Curve

Sumber: LOGAN WEAVER/Unsplash
Photo credit: LOGAN WEAVER/Unsplash

The physical distancing that has now entered its fourth week has indeed been pretty dreadful for many people, especially extroverts. Even so, the need to stay at home is of high importance and needs to keep going in order to flatten the curve and prevent our healthcare system from becoming overcapacity and eventually collapsing.

The more strict we are in performing this physical distancing, then it is hoped that this pandemic will be over soon and that things will resume to normal. Obviously we all cannot wait to go out and about under the sun, to watch movies in the cinema, to gather with our family and friends, to participate in Zumba and yoga class, and to shower the people around us with hugs and physical affection.

Until that day comes, stay inside your house and try some of the activities that we have recommended for your self-development. Stay healthy, stay vigilant, stay safe, and keep segregating your waste at home.

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