3 Ways You Can Reduce Plastic Usage

reduce plastic usage

reduce plastic usageData from the United Nations reports that 400 million metric tons of plastic waste are produced across the world every year. While plastics play a key role in day-to-day life, this excess production can negatively affect the environment as well as human health.

Only around 6% of the plastic waste generated in the U.S. is recycled, according to recent data from the Environmental Protection Agency—meaning the rest of the plastic waste contributes to these adverse effects. Most plastics are not biodegradable and can be difficult to dispose of. The burning of plastic, which is required to dispose of it, releases toxic gases into the environment. Eventually, these toxins make their way into the food supply and can affect humans’ health.

Plastic also causes pollution via microplastics—plastic particles smaller than 5 millimeters in size that can be found in water, air and land. Microplastics pose a problem because, like other plastics, they are not biodegradable. But in addition, microplastics can impact human health by entering the body through ingestion and inhalation.

The good news is that if you are looking to reduce plastic usage, there are many ways to do so. In fact, many of these measures are small, convenient changes you can make that add up in the long run. Consider the following tips to help make a positive impact.

1. Invest in Reusables.

While completely eliminating plastic usage is usually not feasible, you can help reduce your consumption by investing in reusable items. Reports find that nearly half of all plastic waste is from single-use plastics. Consider switching to reusable water bottles, shopping bags and silverware to help reduce plastic use where possible. By switching to reusables, you can help keep plastic out of landfills and reduce the effects of plastic disposal.

2. Check Out the Packaging.

The abundance of plastic today makes it difficult to even take a trip to the grocery store without using single-use plastics for uses such as packaging. Luckily, there are a few ways to help mitigate this issue. Consider the following:

  • Shop at bulk supply stores rather than traditional grocery stores so you can bring your own containers and eliminate the need for excessive plastic packaging.
  • Look for loose items in the store, such as nonpackaged fruit and vegetables. Fresh produce is more likely to be free of packaging.
  • Avoid items like frozen meals, which are most likely to have some type of plastic packaging.
  • Keep an eye out for alternative packaging. Some brands are now packaging foods and other products in paper or glass to help reduce the environmental impact.

3. Reuse the Plastic You Already Have.

Another way to reduce your plastic use is to reuse the disposable plastic products you do have. You can repurpose old containers and make them into useful items in many different ways. For example, you can make an old gum container into something such as a credit card holder or an on-the-go sewing kit. You can also use old milk jugs as watering cans and old peanut butter containers as storage for your snacks. When it comes to reusing disposables, the possibilities are endless, and any small change you make can help you make a positive impact.

Takeaway

There are ways you can help mitigate the problems that plastic usage is causing to the environment and human health. From decreasing your use of single-use plastics to being more aware of the packaging the products you buy come in, there are various opportunities for you to help make a positive impact. Making a difference is not about being perfect but making small changes in your life.

8 Ways To Identify and Avoid Phone Scams

avoid phone scams

avoid phone scamsEvery year, people report fraud, identity theft and bad business practices to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and law enforcement partners. According to FTC data, more than 2.8 million people reported fraud in 2021, and 1 in 4 said they also lost money. The median loss in scams that start with a call is $1,200, higher than any other contact method.

As such, the chances are likely that you have or will be on the receiving end of a phone scam. Technology has made this even easier as scammers leverage robocalls or spoofing tools to change phone numbers. This article highlights the warning signs of scams and tips on how to avoid phone scams.

Warning Signs

Recognizing the common signs of a scam could help you avoid falling for one. Here are some general indications that a call or text is a scam:

  • Scammers pretend to be from a familiar organization. Scammers may pose as someone from a charity, utility company, law enforcement or federal agencies. They may use a real organization name or make up something that sounds official.
  • Scammers say there’s a problem or a prize. Remember, if you have to pay to get the prize, it’s not really a prize.
  • Scammers pressure you to act immediately. Legitimate businesses will give you time to think about their offer. Real businesses won’t make you stay on the phone (so you can’t check out the story) nor threaten to arrest you, sue you or take away your driver’s license.
  • Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way. There’s never a good reason to send cash, pay with a gift card, wire money or pay using a transfer app. These methods make it difficult for you to get your money back, which is ideal for scammers.

Phone scams come in many forms, but they often make similar promises or threats. Trust your gut if something seems off or too good to be true.

Consumer Tips

To prevent unwanted robocalls and phony texts and potentially avoid phone scams, the FTC recommends the following tips:

  1. Block unwanted calls and text messages. Talk to your phone company about call blocking tools they may have and check into apps that you can download to your mobile device to block unwanted calls and text messages.
  2. Register your number on the Do Not Call Registry. Legitimate telemarketers consult this list to avoid calling both landline and wireless phone numbers on the list.
  3. Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If you answer a robocall, hang up immediately. Remember that even though caller ID may show a “local” number, the call isn’t necessarily from a local caller, as it could be spoofed.
  4. Don’t provide your personal or financial information in response to a request that you didn’t expect. Legitimate organizations won’t call, email or text to ask for your personal information, such as your Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers.
  5. Understand how scammers tell you to pay. Never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card or a money transfer service. Additionally, you should never deposit a check and send money back to someone.
  6. Resist the pressure to act immediately. Legitimate businesses will provide you time to make a decision or provide payment. If it seems rushed or threatening, it’s likely a scammer.
  7. Don’t click on any links even if you get a text from a company you usually do business with and think it’s real. Instead, contact the company using a trustworthy website or look up their phone number. Don’t call the number they provided or the number from your caller ID.
  8. Talk to someone you trust. Before you do anything, tell a friend, family member, neighbor or other trusted person what happened. Talking about it could help you realize it’s a scam.

If you spot a scam or have given money to a scammer, you can report it to the FTC by filing a consumer complaint online or calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). You can also visit the agency’s website to learn more about other consumer topics and more ways to protect yourself from scammers.

Important Youth Sports Safety Tips You Need To Know

youth sports safety

For many kids, the new school year is in full swing. And with that, comes many kids playing youth sports. Participation in sports is not only fun, but it helps build and maintain health bones and muscles. It also reduces the risk of developing obesity and reduces feelings of depression and anxiety. The benefits are numerous, but as a parent your main concern is safety. What happens if my child gets hurt? Will this injury make them fall behind in school? The questions are numerous. However, there are steps you can take to keep your child safe. We have a few youth sports safety tips to keep in mind. 

Youth Sports Safety Tips

The risks of injury should not keep a child from enjoying the benefits of playing sports. There are a some easy youth sports safety tips that can help. 

  • Know and follow the rules of the sport.
  • Be in good physical condition before beginning any sport. 
  • Wear proper apparel and protective gear. 
  • Know how to use athletic equipment.
  • Be sure to warm up before playing. 
  • Drink plenty of liquids before playing to prevent dehydration. 
  • Do not play when tired or in pain. 

What do do in the event of an injury

Taking quick action and receiving prompt treatment for an injury can often prevent a minor injury from truing into a major injury. Make sure to remember RICE therapy.  Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. If you notice any of the following signs, your child may need to visit the doctor. 

  • Inability or decreased ability to play
  • Visible deformity
  • Severe pain that prevents the use of an arm or leg
  • Symptoms which persist or affect athletic performance

Prevention

Most sports-related injuries are preventable. A few steps coaches and parents can take to help reduce the changes of an injury occurring include: 

  • Enroll your child in programs where you know an adult will be monitoring the event. 
  • Be sure your child uses the proper safety equipment.
  • Teach your child to start by warming up and stretching.
  • Remind your child to cool down afterwards.

Most schools and coaches will require a physical examination before they will let students play sports. If the do not require one, it is still a good idea to go ahead and get one. A physical examination will determine the overall heath of your child. And, did you know most health plans offer a routine physical examination as a wellness benefit. Most plans cover wellness benefits at 100% or at a small copay. 

You Need To Know These 4 School Bus Safety Tips

School Bus Safety

School Bus SafetySummer is almost over and our local schools are gearing up for the new school year. With school back in session, that also means school buses will be back on the road. Chances are you’ve gone over some school bus safety tips with your kids and what they need to know as riders. But have you reviewed the school bus safety tips you need to remember as a driver? Or gone over them with your new teen drivers? 

School Bus Safety

Being extra cautious around buses are critical. After all, they carrier the most precious cargo. In the next few weeks when you start seeing buses on the road, keep in mind these 4 tips. 

  1. Be prepared to stop when you see the bus driver turn on the flashing red lights and raise the stop sign; a passenger is getting off.
  2. Never pass a stopped school bus that is unloading students.
  3. Remember that buses stop at railroad tracks so keep your distance as you approach them.
  4. Obey speed limits in school zones and give school buses the right-of-way

Start the new school year off on the right foot. While the increased traffic is a little of on inconvenience, everyone’s safety should be the #1 concern this year.

From your friends at Rinehart-Walters-Danner Insurance, have a great 2021-2022 school year! 

Adjusting To Your New Normal; Post-Coronavirus

new normal

new normalThere’s no denying that the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has rapidly and abruptly changed how we live, work and play. As the threat of the coronavirus shifts, Americans are navigating their new normal and figuring out how Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for social distancing and mask wearing fits into a daily routine.

You may be experiencing a range of emotions. It’s important to know that it’s completely normal to feel uneasy and confused as you figure out what your post-coronavirus normal looks like. To put things in perspective, to have a fighting chance against the coronavirus, everyone needs to sacrifice and develop a coping mindset. You are not alone in this challenge as millions across the world are weathering the same storm of the coronavirus pandemic.

Consider these coping methods when adjusting to your new normal; post-coronavirus:

  • Focus on what you can control—Focusing on the things you can’t control, like the course of the pandemic and actions of others, will only fuel frustration and stress. Instead, focus on things that you do have control over, such as washing your hands, wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.
  • Adjust expectations—It’s important to approach your new normal with flexible expectations. Just as coronavirus guidance is ever-evolving, your expectations should shift and match reality. Resilient people continually reevaluate and focus on new goals.
  • Be kind—Inside and out of the home, be accepting and polite to others as everyone may be feeling stressed during the pandemic. Collaboration (e.g., problem-solving or sharing), compassion, cheering people on and learning from this overall experience will help you connect with others.
  • Find a routine—As the pandemic seems unpredictable, setting a routine for yourself can help you stay productive and active. Don’t forget to take care of yourself and schedule time for physical and emotional health, social connection and stress relief.
  • Set boundaries—Not everyone is navigating the pandemic the same way and may have different viewpoints on measures like mask wearing and social distancing. Respectfully set your boundaries with family, friends and co-workers. Once again, just focus on what you can control in your life.

Other Considerations

While experiencing stress or anxiety over the health and economic fears brought on by the coronavirus is normal, if you don’t take steps to cope with these feelings, you can put yourself at risk for long-term health effects. Some healthy ways to mitigate your stress and anxiety include exercising, sticking to a routine, spending time outside and meditating.

Since the pandemic is still evolving, get up-to-date information about coronavirus activity and guidance from your local public health authorities, the CDC and the World Health Organization. If you are feeling stressed or anxious navigating your new normal, contact a licensed mental health professional.

Avoid Heat Illnesses This Summer With These 7 Important Tips

Heat Illnesses








Extreme summer temperatures are not only uncomfortable, they are also dangerous for your health. This is particularly true for older adults and children, who are more susceptible to illness. When it is hot outside, your body temperature can rise to dangerous levels. Normally, your body cools itself through sweating. However, in hot and humid weather, sweating is not enough and the result can heat illnesses.

Avoiding Heat Illnesses

Here are some tips for staying safe when you’re out in the heat:

  1. Wear loose, light-colored clothing so your skin gets air exposure.
  2. Shield your head and face from direct sunlight by wearing a hat and sunglasses.
  3. Avoid spending time outdoors during the middle of the day, when temperatures are highest and the sun is directly overhead.
  4. Take regular breaks in a shaded area if you’re involved in a strenuous activity.
  5. Drink water frequently, even if you aren’t thirsty. Experts recommend drinking at least 8 ounces every 20 to 30 minutes to stay hydrated. Stick to water, fruit juice and sport drinks while avoiding caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, which can dehydrate you.
  6. Monitor children and seniors carefully, since they can get dehydrated more easily.
  7. Call 911 if someone exhibits symptoms of heat stroke, such as flushed skin, rapid breathing, a throbbing headache or confusion.

Providing Treatment for Heat Illnesses

It is essential to treat heat illness as soon as possible. If you are feeling any of the above symptoms, inform a co-worker and ask for help. If you suspect that a fellow worker has any of these conditions, follow the first-aid suggestions below:

  • Heat Cramps – Move the victim to a cooler area and provide them with water or other cool, nonalcoholic beverages. Follow up with a medical examination.
  • Heat Exhaustion – Move the victim to a cooler area and keep them lying down with their legs slightly elevated. Cool their body by fanning and applying cool, wet towels. Have them drink approximately six ounces of water every 15 minutes. Follow up with a medical examination.
  • Heat Stroke – You or a bystander should immediately call an ambulance. Meanwhile, move the victim to a cooler area, remove their outer clothing, immerse them in cool water or apply cool, wet towels or cloths to the body. If the person is awake and able to swallow, give them small amounts of cool water to drink. If medical help is delayed, call the hospital for further instructions while waiting. Heat stroke is life-threatening, so it’s important to move quickly!

Stay Safe

The risk of heat illness increases with age, poor diet, being overweight, insufficient liquid intake, poor physical condition and/or when taking medication. Never take salt tablets without your doctor’s approval. Be aware of weather conditions when you will be working outside so that you can be prepared with appropriate clothing and beverages. If you are working outside and start to feel any adverse symptoms,  let someone know and take a break.

Click here to read more Heat Illness Safety Tips from the CDC








How To Improve Your Virtual Meetings

virtual meetings

virtual meetings

There’s no denying that virtual meetings have become a workplace norm. Several factors fueling that growth include access, price and need.

Most laptops, tablets and smartphones have built-in webcams and microphones so employees can dial in to a virtual meeting from anywhere and at any time. These technology advancements have created affordable and easy-to-use tools to help businesses—both small and large—stay virtually connected. Web-based technology will continue to advance to keep virtual communication attainable and meet business needs.

The demand for virtual meetings increased as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic closed offices, introduced social distancing and halted business travel. As the COVID-19 threat shifts and offices reopen, virtual meetings will continue to be a viable way to conduct business with employees, customers and other stakeholders.

Virtual meetings require more planning than in-person meetings to be effective. This article explores common challenges and best practices to help meeting leaders drive attendee engagement, acceptance and commitment to action.

Common Challenges

Virtual or not, meetings can be hampered by problems such as insufficient planning, lack of engagement and insufficient follow-up.

Virtual meetings also come with their own unique challenges surrounding technology. Meeting attendees may have trouble accessing the meetings or using the platform. If the meeting leader is unfamiliar with features or capabilities—like screen sharing—they may waste meeting time while learning on the fly.

Technology and computer problems may be out of one’s control. With any meeting, the facilitator should be flexible and have a Plan B. For example, your video conference call may have to become an audio call or be rescheduled altogether if video was vital.

Before the Meeting

Start right to end right. To ensure a successful and productive virtual meeting, keep in mind the following steps before the meeting even begins:

  • Choose the technology—There are many web and videoconferencing platforms available, so find the right software and features to support your business. Choose one platform and stick to it. After attendees download the platform once, it’ll be easier to join meetings later.
  • Create an agenda—Attendees may have a full calendar, so be clear on the purpose of the meeting and provide a timed agenda with topics and assigned facilitators. This will help invitees decide their attendance if they have multiple meetings at the same time. Share this prework at least 48 hours in advance.
  • Establish ground rules—It might be helpful to have an agreed way of working, such as stating your name before talking or muting when not speaking. This helps keep the meeting efficient and remove distractions.
  • Test the technology—It’s important to join the meeting at least five minutes early to test your connection, microphone and video.
  • Look professional—If using video, present yourself with appropriate grooming, hygiene and attire. That means mirroring what you would wear in person and keeping in mind whether it’s an internal or external meeting.

When it comes to virtual meetings, it’s crucial to invest in preparedness. Setting expectations beforehand can go a long way and positively impact a meeting’s effectiveness.

During the Meeting

Meeting hosts and attendees may have slightly different roles when it comes to facilitating the virtual gathering, but there are some general tips that can help everyone. Once it’s time to dial in, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Choose a moderator—This should be established in the agenda. The moderator will keep the meeting moving and engage attendees. If attendees don’t know each other, make those introductions to help everyone feel connected and welcome.
  • Stick to the agenda—The host should consider assigning a time checker to keep the meeting on track. When possible, end a few minutes early to give people time to get to their next meeting.
  • Encourage interaction—Encouraging people to speak up, especially in a virtual setting, is not always easy. Everyone should actively be doing something to support the meeting’s purpose and objective (e.g., talking, screen sharing, monitoring the side chat channel, note taking and running slides). This move transforms someone from an attendee to a participant.
  • Turn on video—Video is effective and makes people feel more engaged because it allows attendees to see each other’s non-verbal clues. That, in turn, humanizes the virtual meeting room and strengthens personal connections.
  • Do not multitask—A virtual meeting is not the time to check and respond to emails or text messages. The use of video could cut down on multitasking.
  • Expect (and accept) the unexpected—In a remote work setting, it’s not unlikely to have a crackly connection or interruptions from a barking dog or talking child. Approach those unexpected moments with empathy.

When wrapping up the meeting, provide attendees some time to ask questions or share concerns. That could help increase engagement and ensure that attendees are still present and listening. Every attendee should have an opportunity to speak, whether or not they were assigned agenda topics. Approach meeting etiquette as if the gathering was in person.

After the Meeting

Once the meeting is finished, it’s important to check for understanding and share a recap of what was discussed. If the meeting was a casual check-in, there may be no need for a recap. However, if there are any outstanding action items or missing attendees, it could be helpful to send a recap to outline next steps and responsibilities. If this was a standing meeting, it might be an opportunity to share the next meeting’s agenda as well to give attendees time to prepare. It’s all about sharing a transparent record of work progress.

Other Considerations

There’s no denying it’s much easier to communicate when you can see someone’s face. While it’s usually recommended to always use video, if employees or other stakeholders are facing online meetings all day, a compromise can be to allow audio-only times so everyone can focus solely on what is said, and forget about how they look.

How To Set The Mirrors On Your Car

How to set the mirrors on your car








Mirrors are on your car to prevent blind spots. Knowing how to set outside mirrors to eliminate blind spots is a crucial part of being a defensive driver. While almost all vehicles come equipped with two outside mirrors, many drivers do not set the properly, making it almost like the vehicle has no mirrors at all. We have a few pointers on how to set the mirrors on your car.

Mirrors - Rinehart Insurance

Position Your Mirrors

The following procedures for correctly positioning mirrors will help you eliminate blind spots and avoid potential vehicle accidents.

To start, park your vehicle and place your head against the driver’s side window. Set the mirror so you can just see the side of the car. For the passenger’s side mirror, position your head at the middle of your vehicle. Again, set the mirror so you can just see the side of the car.

Checking Your Blind Spot

This method should ensure that the mirrors are positioned outward enough to eliminate blind spots, but you should also double-check to be 100% sure. To do this, sit in a normal driving position and watch the mirrors as a vehicle passes by. It should appear in the outside mirror before it leaves the inside mirror. And it should appear in your peripheral vision before leaving the outside mirror.

In addition to using your mirrors, you should also physically turn your head over the appropriate shoulder to double-check your blind spot prior to changing lanes. We do more than help you avoid claims and arrive at your destination safely. 

Click here to learn about auto insurance.








How To Avoid Burnout While Working From Home Due To COVID-19

working from home

working from home

For many workers, their new “normal” routine consists of getting out of bed and logging on to work. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has shifted the workplace from the office to kitchen tables and living rooms for thousands of employees. Our new “normal” is working from home.

This shift to telecommuting has made it possible for employees to work while staying safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19, but it has also created a few challenges, including increased levels of stress and burnout.

What is burnout?

According to the World Health Organization, doctors can diagnose you with burnout if you exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Exhaustion or energy depletion
  • Decreased engagement at work, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to your job
  • Reduced productivity or efficacy

The negative effects of burnout can extend beyond the workplace and into your home and social life. It can also increase your risk of getting sick and developing chronic conditions.

What are the signs of burnout?

Since burnout is the result of prolonged and chronic workplace stress, it’s important to know how to recognize the signs of workplace stress. Common job stressors include:

  • Heavy workload
  • Long work hours
  • Lack of work-life balance
  • Concerns over job security

While dealing with stress is a normal part of everyday life, and these uncertain times may be elevating your overall stress levels, it’s important to watch out for prolonged stress. Here are some early warning signs of burnout:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Low morale
  • Short temper
  • Headache
  • Stomach or back problems
  • Fatigue

If you experience any of these symptoms, it may be time to talk to your supervisor or manager to address your chronic stress.

How to Prevent Burnout While Working From Home

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your stress, and your risk of burnout, while you work from home. Here are some simple tips to try:

  • Create a schedule—When you’re at home, it can be difficult to step away from work when your day is done, which often results in you working longer hours than normal. Set a schedule and only work the hours your normally would if you were in the office.
  • Plan and prioritize—When you’re feeling stressed out, don’t panic. Make a list of the tasks you need to complete, and set realistic deadlines.
  • Set up a separate workspace—One way to make it easier to maintain a work-life balance while you’re working from home is to set up a space where you’ll work. This will help you decompress from work when your day is done.
  • Focus on what you can control—You know what your job tasks are. Break the larger tasks into smaller, more doable steps.
  • Take breaks throughout the day—Getting a change of scenery and a brief break during the workday can help you clear your mind and reduce your stress.
  • Slow down—When you have a lot of tasks looming over you, it can be tempting to hurry through them just to get them off your plate. Rushing through tasks, though, can cause you to feel more stressed and increase the odds of mistakes being made. Take a deep breath when you start to get overwhelmed, and slow down.
  • Maintain a good attitude—Try to think positively about tasks at work—avoid negative thinkers and always acknowledge your accomplishments, even if it’s just by mentally congratulating yourself.
  • Ask for help—Sometimes the best way to overcome your workplace stress is to ask peers or your superiors for help.
  • Communication is key—While you’re working from home, it’s important that you regularly communicate with your team and co-workers. Doing so will help ensure that expectations can be properly set and managed during the time you’re working from home.

What should I do if I think I’m experiencing burnout?

If you feel like you’re burned out, you should talk to your supervisor or manager, as they may be able to help you reduce your workplace stress or direct you to valuable workplace resources, like an employee assistance program.

Talking to other co-workers, friends or family may also be helpful, as they may have insight into how you can reduce your stress and improve your burnout syndrome. Implementing healthy stress coping mechanisms, such as exercising, hanging out with friends or taking time off from work, can also help alleviate your stress.

For more information on burnout, click here.

How To Safely Grocery Shop During the Coronavirus Outbreak

safely grocery shop

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted everyday life in many ways. Many states have ordered residents to stay at home and avoid any unnecessary contact with others. That being said, you still have to eat. It is important that you take precautions in all parts of your life, even when you’re just taking a trip to the grocery store. We have a few tips to help you safely grocery shop. 

GROCERY SHOPPING PRECAUTIONS

When you have to go to the grocery store, remember the following tips in order to keep yourself as safe as possible:
Limit your visits—The more often you go to the store, the more likely you are to come into contact with someone, or something, that may be carrying COVID-19. Make a list of what you need before going shopping so that you do not need to return unnecessarily.
Time your trips—Be smart about choosing when to take your trip to the store. If possible, go during times that are less busy. The fewer people who are in the store, the less likely you are to come into contact with the disease. If you are a senior citizen, check if nearby stores are offering specific shopping hours for you.
Prepare properly—Wash your hands before you go shopping in order to reduce the risk of spreading germs to others. Some stores are offering free hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes for guests to use. When you arrive, be sure to sanitize the handle of your grocery cart or basket.
Distance yourself—While at the store, stay at least 6 feet away from others. If you need to get to the other side of a crowded aisle, take the long way around in order to avoid squeezing through a herd of shoppers.
Watch what you touch—Avoid picking up any product unless you are certain that you intend to purchase it. It is possible that you may come into contact with a product that another shopper previously examined. Avoid touching your face while shopping.
Don’t use cash—You can lessen your risk of picking up germs by using a debit or credit card to pay for your groceries. Avoiding the exchange of cash and coins reduces your chance of spreading germs to others, or vice versa.
Disinfect—The battle does not end once you leave the store. When you arrive back home, it is possible that you have just brought germs back with you. Research has shown that COVID-19 can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and as long as three days on plastic and stainless steel. As such, you should wash your hands and disinfect all nonporous containers and any surfaces that your grocery bags may have touched. If you use reusable bags to shop, you should also wash them between each use.
COVID-19 can spread easily and, although many nonessential businesses have been ordered to close, necessary operations like grocery stores still bear a great deal of risk for anyone who visits them. It is up to you to take on the responsibility of protecting yourself and others by committing to safe habits while shopping. Take extra precautions when you have to go out to safely grocery shop and keep yourself and your family healthy.