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COVID-19 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Since January 2020, all of us have seen our lives change in ways that most have never experienced before. Controls relating to social distancing, closed shops and businesses, and travel restrictions are having a massive impact on the way we used to live, leading to an instant positive effect on our natural environment, the question is will it last. Here are a few positive side-effects of COVID-19 in the first few months of the year.

Some of the stats..

As industries, transport networks and businesses have closed down in recent months, it has brought a few positive consequences to our air quality and natural environment.

  • New York has seen levels of pollution reduced by nearly 50%
  • In China, emissions fell by 25% at the start of the year
  • Coal use fell by 40% at China’s six largest power plants
  • There is an ~80% decrease in international flights worldwide
  • In Venice, the water in the canals cleared and experienced greater water flow and visibility of fish
  • Rare leatherback sea turtles are laying eggs in excess of previous years on beaches they once avoided in places like Florida and Thailand

These benefits on nature and wildlife health are fantastic, but the real question is, to what degree will the environmental improvements be kept, as we come out of the COVID-19 crisis…

We believe that there are some significant social effects that will hopefully make us more aware and willing to maintain a sustainable lifestyle as we go back to a new normal. Things like bulk buying and planning what we eat mean reducing travel time to shops and food waste. Also, we have noticed that most online local and organic food delivery services have been really busy, meaning that people are happy to support local and buy seasonal foods which have a massive impact on the environment. Go seasonal food!! Also, because convenience shopping is not convenient anymore, we are likely to buy less individually wrapped meals and plastic packaging than we used to.

We truly believe that we are going through a lifestyle and culture change. Both when it comes to consumption and the realisation of what is important in life. As an eternal optimists, we believe that we will come out of this crisis wanting to live more sustainably. What do you think?

Written by the Nature Unite Team
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