Updated: Aug 1, 2020
Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. 50 years since millions of people took to the streets in America to protest the ignorance of the many whom ignore impacts that will affect us all. Ironic how we now have a 73-year-old president that clearly has no regard for environmental issues, having twitter wars with a 17-year-old environmental activist. It speaks volumes. It’s also fitting that on the 50th anniversary of earth day, where millions of people would have been taking to the streets are now confined to their homes, as the planet is healing without any human intervention.
Covid-19 (yes it was bound to come up) has changed our lives. We feel isolated, trapped and in some cases, completely alone. This has affected every single one of our lives, but let’s shift the focus a little bit. Let’s move the focus away from humans, and to our planet. With many countries now in an enforced lockdown we are having to live our lives in a completely restricted capacity, but this has been working wonders for the environment. The first we heard of the benefits was when images of the canals in Venice surfaced, with the waters being seen clearer than ever before thanks to reduced pollution. Greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced due to factory closures, less air travel, and the majority of people no longer commuting for work. We are wasting less food as we aim to reduce our weekly supermarket visits, and so we are rigorously planning meals. Single-use plastic has also been reduced by us not picking up our coffee in a disposable cup on the way to work, instead we are making coffee in our own kitchen (potentially with a dairy alternative).
It is so easy to see the negatives in our circumstances and trust me I know there are a lot of them. But this has given us all time to just stop, sit and breathe - and it’s given our planet the same chance. This is almost giving environmental activists the ability to prove a point. Once this is all over, we will have even more evidence to prove the benefits of reducing single use plastic, of reduction in travel, of the reduction in food waste. So, why stop here? Why Shouldn’t we carry on a lockdown mentality once this is all over? No, I’m not saying never leave your house and cringe if someone comes 1.99m close to you (I mean most of us did that before Coronavirus anyway), I’m saying let’s have a pandemic approach to the environment.
This has proven that we all have the ability to make a collective difference when we’re pushed to. So, where do we go from here? We use the Pandemic Mentality:
We are all suffering in our own way, but so is our planet. We’re all staying in our houses, doing what we can to look after each other by following our stay at home order. But let’s look after our true home as well, planet earth.