Article Provided by City of Tempe
As we navigate these unprecedented and uncertain times in our lives and as a community in Tempe, we invite you to stay engaged in sustainability. We have compiled a list of suggestions and resources to practice the Arizona Governor’s call to Stay Home, Stay Healthy, and Stay Connected.
We are all adjusting to a new reality that involves staying in our homes as much as possible. Here are a few ideas for keeping your home clean, stocked with essentials, and equipped to provide a productive workplace.
- Check out Tempe’s health tips for keeping a clean home.
- The basics of staying safe and managing your household in this age of coronavirus are explained in this intuitive COVID 19 Leadership course. Don’t forget to review the CDC Guidelines for the most recent recommendations.
- Talk to your kids about coronavirus with these handy tips.
Shopping for Essentials
- If you have to venture into public to gather essentials, make sure to keep yourself protected. Follow the CDC’s directions on how to make a cloth mask at home.
- Follow these tips for stocking up on essential items only. Avoid hoarding to make sure there are enough supplies for all to go around.
- While you’re out shopping for grocery essentials, consider this guide on saving money.
- If hand sanitizer is sold out, try making your own.
- Still using reusable bags for groceries? Make sure to clean them frequently. Otherwise, ask the cashier for paper bags that can be recycled instead of plastic.
- Watch this tutorial on how to disinfect your groceries.
Working From Home
- Working from home has become the new norm, but it doesn’t have to turn your workday upside-down. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you settled into this new way of working.
- Take a tour of remote workspaces for further inspiration.
- If you manage a team, see this article for a guide to effective remote management.
Our new shared reality may also pose new challenges to our familiar health routines, including staying active, getting the right nutrients, and tending to our mental health. See some resources below to help keep you and your family’s health in check.
- As you spend the majority of time at home, it’s important to keep your body active. Start off with Tempe’s new program, Tempe at Home that brings you a variety of fitness videos. Consider a no-equipment-needed exercise plan or explore free online exercise platforms for all types of classes.
- Make a new ritual of walking/biking or exploring new areas of Tempe on our extensive bike and pedestrian pathways.
- If you’re up for exploring the great outdoors, be cautious as the temperatures are on the rise. Review some tips for hiking in the desert to keep yourself safe.
- Explore USDA’s list of healthy eating resources here to keep your nutritional needs in balance.
- Learn about the carbon footprint of your diet and check out videos to help you transition to some low-carbon plant-based meals.
- Reduce your food waste by reading these tips If you still find you have food waste, consider starting a compost pile in your own backyard.
- Keep your immune system functioning at its best by familiarizing yourself with Harvard Medical School’s guide to boosting your immune system.
- Good sleep helps you manage stress and anxiety better, among other things. Practice healthy ‘sleep hygiene’ to make sure you are well-rested.
- If you need to talk to someone or want more helpful tips for managing stress, use Tempe’s free COVID Care counseling line at (480) 350-8004.
- It is an understandable time to have increased anxiety and stress. Be mindful of you and your family’s stress levels get started with some mindfulness practices, start a journaling routine, or utilize these tips to destress with kids.
As we take precautions to stay home and practice safe distancing, it is imperative that we stay connected to friends, family, and community. Whether you are staying connected with your own family or with your entire neighborhood, creating an opportunity for social interaction will help us whether this pandemic better together.
If we are to make the best use of these uncertain times, we can work towards becoming more self-reliant and improve our sustainability practices at home.
- Start with Tempe’s website for a list of free Things to Do during COVID-19.
- Find out what your household carbon footprint is through EPA’s handy online calculator. This will help you understand your current impact and how to minimize your household’s carbon footprint.
- Plant a garden! Read about how victory gardens are making a comeback and check out Phoenix’s Urban Farm U for how to get started in urban farming.
- If you are interested to learn more about harvesting rainwater for your garden and landscaping, explore the resources on Tucson-based Brad Lancaster’s website.
- Stay tuned to Watershed Management Group’s new upcoming online classes for backyard projects as part of their new initiative to ‘Steward in Place’.
- Shop Local Online! Help keep our cherished local Tempe small businesses alive by purchasing gift cards online for future use and posting positive reviews on yelp and google. Beyond Tempe, see Local First Arizona’s business directory. If you’re not shopping locally, be sure to learn about sustainability-oriented businesses through the B-Corps directory and vote with your dollar.
- Declutter! Read about the benefits of decluttering your home and remote workspace, and get some tips from the master herself, Marie Kondo. Turn on a nature cam to set up a relaxing atmosphere for decluttering. Donate the items you don’t want to your local Goodwill or drop-off bin.
- Get all hands on deck for some great upcycling and recycled with kids to reuse household materials before recycling them.
- Learn more about our great state by reading books about Arizona with your kids.
- Play Energy Bingo with the family.
- Explore the National Education Association’s and the EPA’s resources for children’s environmental education activities.
- Explore Sustainability – Sustainability lesson plans
The situation we currently face gives us an opportunity to reflect and build more of the sustainable and resilient community we’d like to see. Now is the time to come together with your neighbors and build a thriving community today and into the future.
- Keep your elderly and vulnerable neighbors in mind and offer to help them with groceries or errands. Use this note template to let them know who to call for assistance or utilize the NextDoor’s new “Help Map”. However, make sure to stay safe and thoroughly sanitize items, to reduce the chance of passing on the virus.
- Host a pop-up concert in your front yard, put on a play with your family, or share poetry with your neighbors while maintaining a safe distance. Leave invitations for your neighbors ahead of time so they know when the show starts!
- Organize a neighborhood-wide front yard art show like this community or a bear/stuffed animal neighborhood safari hunt.
- Leave fun messages for neighbors using chalk on sidewalks.
- Host a virtual neighborhood clean-up where residents can pick up trash during their walks.
- Organize an Outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt with your family and/or neighbors to take as many photos showing examples of nature that can be found in yards and neighborhoods.
- Organize a bike parade in your neighborhood by having each child decorate their bikes and maintaining a safe distance while showing off their creations to the neighbors.
- Learn about Resilience hubs that can help your neighborhood be better prepared for emergencies in the future.
- There are many benefits to having more greenery in your neighborhood. Start planning a tree-planting project like the ones the City installed with Watershed Management Group or transform a vacant lot into a community garden.
Get Involved Beyond
- See Tempe’s list on how to give help to first responders, other neighborhoods, businesses, and non-profits.
- Some local businesses are closed, but many are still open. Download the app, OpenTempe, developed in partnership with City Council member Randy Keating to find a list of businesses still offering services.
- If you are healthy and in a low-risk group, consider volunteering in person or remotely. Opportunities in Tempe include volunteering with the Tempe Community Action Agency.
- Follow Greta Thornberg’s lead to bring activism online and participate in a #climatestrikeonline, #digitalclimatestrike.
- Learn about the green stimulus proposal to rebuild a green economy post-COVID-19 and voice your support.
- Advocate for a People’s Bailout which calls for a just economic stimulus that prioritizes those most affected by COVID-19 and the current recession.
The work we do to create more sustainable and resilient households and neighborhoods in Tempe is an important part of a bigger effort. Take time to learn about local, national, and international sustainability programs and issues.
- Familiarize yourself with the City of Tempe’s Climate Action Plan and learn about the City’s current sustainability programs.
- Find out more about our efforts to create an urban forest in Tempe.
- Get more tips on sustainability for the homebound from Local First Arizona’s blog.
- Celebrate Earth Day by learning from experts around the world on this United Nations-hosted webinar and if you are moved, learn more through the SDG Academy.
- Get inspired by how other communities are addressing climate change and cultural sustainability by reading this guide.
If you, loved ones, or neighbors are in need of food, shelter, job assistance or other essential services, please see Tempe’s list of resources here.