How To Help People And The Planet While Sheltering In Place

By now, the novelty of working from home and endless Netflix/Hulu/HBO/Disney+ binging has definitely worn off, and probably so has the ability to do elaborate cooking projects or deep clean your place. If you’re anything like us, you’re probably feeling at a loss for things to do! Plus if you’re anything like us, there is the existential angst and general helplessness of not being able to do much other than binge-watch TV and scroll through the news. Which is why we’ve put together a list of ways that you can help people and the planet while you’re stuck at home.

From shopping in ways that ensure that your splurges contribute to a good cause to the best self care brands for right now, we’ve got your do-good-while-in-quarantine needs covered.

How To Help People And The Planet

Retail Therapy

It’s very tempting to engage in a little retail therapy while you’re cooped up at home (guilty), so if you’re going to do that, why not spend your money somewhere that lends itself to a good cause?


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help people and the planet Trees For The Future fountainof30

Shop For The Trees

Trees For The Future is a non-profit that is working with farmers in developing countries to establish “Forest Gardens”, a way for farmers to protect and revitalize their land and diversify their crops by planting trees. Want to help them? Shop at one of their sponsors and some of the proceeds from your purchase will go towards planting more trees.


If you’ve never gotten into Ibotta, this app helps you save money while shopping with its digital coupon service. An added bonus, if you shop using Ibotta from April 14th to May 14th, they’ll plant twice as many trees with Trees For The Future.

Splurge On Generous Designers

If you have the means and desire to splurge, choose a company that’s giving back. For instance, Gucci has made and donated 110,000 masks and 55,000 pairs of medical overalls (and counting), Prada has also donated 110,000 masks and 80,000 medical garments along with financing three ICUs in Milan, while Ralph Lauren has contributed over $10 million to relief efforts.


Or Keep It Basic

Uniqlo has also donated 10 million masks and counting to those on the front lines, plus they have some great athleisure-style loungewear and elevated sweats and pajamas that are perfect for sheltering in place.

help people and the planet dyson

Keep It Clean

Need a new vacuum? Dyson has made 5,000 ventilators and counting so if you are in the market for new cleaning tools (or perhaps the world’s most amazing blow dryer and other hair care tools), then you know what brand to support.

Brands X Better

This coalition of small businesses under the Brands X Better umbrella believes that we are stronger together, so shop any of them and a portion of the proceeds goes towards COVID-19 relief, or you can donate directly.

Activities To Help People and The Planet

Feeling restless or like you’re way too idle while you’re stuck at home? There are a lot of ways that you can help out without leaving your safe haven.

help people and the planet make face masks

Sew Masks

If you are handy with a sewing machine or even just a needle and thread, you can make fabric masks. Instructables has some easy directions for how to sew a mask with a filter pocket, and there are plenty of YouTube tutorials for how to sew face masks if you’d prefer video.

Cook For Others

Many homeless and domestic violence shelters are accepting prepared meals at the moment, so you have a pantry and energy surplus and love to cook, meal-prepping for others could be a great use of your time. Check out the options in your area if you’re an avid cook. Not exactly a home chef? Shopping and donating to local food pantries is an equally great idea.

Start A Herb Garden

And share it with your neighbors (contactless, of course). Who doesn’t appreciate fresh herbs? There are plenty of fresh herb garden kits out there now but we’re fans of this one from Mauroseed that you can use indoors. The kits are only $20 and every time you buy a packet of seeds from them, they donate another packet to someone in need.

Self Care

We always advocate for self care, but it is especially important right now. Here are some great brands to support. Take of others while you’re taking care of yourself.

help people and the planet use woo soap

The Gentle Soap

Project Woo, the brainchild of tattoo artist Dr. Woo, was launched early with super gentle soap designed for use on tender skin after getting a tattoo. It is also perfect for tender hands, making it ideal for all the handwashing we are doing right now. 100% of the profits of the Daily Gentle Soap go to Baby2Baby which provides basic necessities to families of children impacted by COVID-19.

help people and the planet farmacy honey potion mask founainof30


This cult favorite beauty brand is donating 10,000 meals per day to Feeding America, so you can feel good about shopping for Farmacy’s all natural skincare products. May we suggest the Honey Potion renewing antioxidant hydration mask?


Whether or not you use cannabis or CBD oil or not, you have to respect this wellness company’s Masks For Good initiative. You can donate directly at that link, or you can purchase their products knowing that the proceeds go to a good cause.


If you don’t have the time or inclination to sew masks or cook, but want to help somehow, there are hundreds of places that you can donate. You can start with Charity Navigator’s list of course, but here are some of our picks.

help people and the planet beauty united

Beauty United is a collection of beauty brands collecting donations for frontline responders to the coronavirus.


Artists are some of the hardest hit by this crisis, especially because many of them are independent contractors or freelancers. CERF+ is meant to be a relief fund or safety net that will artists to continue working, so donating is one of the best ways to support the arts during the corona crisis.

Stay Local

Have a favorite restaurant, boutique, or other local business? There’s likely a GoFundMe or similar drive to donate. Now is the time to help out our communities more than ever so why not donate to the places you love and help them stay open during this crisis?

How are you coping while sheltering in place? Are you feeling restless, helpless, or needlessly idle? We hope these tips to help people and the planet help you feel like you’re still making a difference even though you’re confined to your home.

–Jacqueline Zenn

You may like to read more of Jacqueline’s Shelter In Place posts like How To Optimize Working From Home Right Now and What To Wear When You Are Working From Home

This post contains affiliate links which may give us a commission at no additional cost to you.

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