Written by: Clare Cogan, Customer experience @blueland
Flu season is just around the corner. Despite our best preventative measures, we all catch the occasional cold or flu. This cold and flu season battle your sickness while also battling waste. We have some tips on how to stay eco-friendly during cold and flu season and cut back on waste!
Low Waste Hydration For Flu Season
Once you have a cold or flu, hydration is key. When you aren’t feeling good, it’s easy to skip fluids. Dehydration can worsen some of your cold and flu symptoms, especially headaches. Stay hydrated with tea and a DIY electrolyte solution!
When choosing your tea, it’s important to choose one that is plastic-free. Unfortunately, there are many types of tea bags that are made from plastic. Whether it’s the bag itself or the glue used to seal the bag, plastic is present in a lot of different types of tea bags. The best way to skip plastic while hydrating is to brew your own loose-leaf tea. You can buy tea leaves in paper bags or tins, and sometimes you can even buy leaves in bulk and use your own container. Use a metal steeper or a French press with your loose-leaf tea to stay plastic free.
DIY Electrolyte Drink For Flu Season
Instead of buying an electrolyte drink in a single-use plastic bottle make your own! A quick online search can give point you to all types of recipes for DIY electrolyte drinks, but here are the basic ingredients:
- Choose a base of coconut-water, herbal tea or even regular water
- Lemon or orange juice
- Other juice for flavor
Mix the ingredients in a glass jar and hydrate without any plastic-waste!
For plastic-free coconut-water and herbal tea bases, opt for glass option or make your own. Brands like Eliya coconut water sell coconut water in a glass bottle instead of a plastic bottle. You can also opt to make your own coconut water from a whole coconut, though we recommend doing so when you are healthy. Tazo tea sells herbal teas in glass bottles to use as a base or you can use tea leaves and make your own herbal tea. These options can help you cut out plastic from your electrolyte solution and hydrate waste free.
Low Waste Tissues For Flu Season
Tissues are a go-to cold and flu item. But instead of buying tissues to use once, go old-school and buy washable handkerchiefs. Handkerchiefs are not only reusable, they also do not come wrapped in plastic. Handkerchiefs are a great swap for tissues, but make sure you wash them frequently, especially during cold and flu season.
How To Upgrade Your Shower When You’re Sick
When we are sick, we often turn to a hot shower or bath to make us feel better. Steam can help to open up sinuses. Hang some eucalyptus branches in your shower. Combined with the steam, eucalyptus can help open up your sinuses and airways and have you breathing easier in no time.
Plastic-Free Cough Drops
Cough drops feel great when we have a sore throat, but they often come packed in plastic. Choose cough drops that come in a tin case or try making your own! You can make your own cough drops with a few simple ingredients you probably already have at home.
All you need is some leftover loose-leaf tea, honey, and cinnamon or ginger! Make sure you watch the pot when you add the honey so your drops don’t burn. We recommend storing your drops in a glass container once they cool!
Homemade cough drops will soothe your sore throat without any plastic waste.
Keep Your Reusable Items Clean
Keeping your home and everything in it clean during cold and flu season is essential. A clean home can help you avoid germs and also avoid spreading germs. When choosing to use any of the plastic-free cold and flu solutions we mentioned, it is important to keep everything clean after use. Wash your mugs and cups in soap and hot water to stop the spread of germs and make sure you dry thoroughly so no mold or bacteria will grow inside. This is especially important for reusable water bottles that can be harder to clean.