Welcome back to my blog. To be completely honest I have been hesitant on writing about Covid-19. We all know that it is a tragedy and we are living in uncertain times. Many people have lost their lives and lost their jobs. Please know that I am thinking of you in these hard times we are facing.
Header image credit: fox2now.com
The Natural Word & Lockdown
Have you noticed the wildlife where you live, acting a little bit different? As humans stay at home in isolation; the natural world is taking full advantage of the empty streets. Here are some ways in which humans staying indoors has affected the animal population around the world:
- Haridwar, Indian – a herd of deer can be seen roaming the street.
- Odisha, Indian – a huge rise in the number of baby Olive Ridley sea turtles hatchlings making their way to the sea.
- Barcelona, Spain – Wild Boar have been spotted in the streets.
- Wales, England – Mountain goats are roaming the streets.
- Lopburi, Thailand – Monkeys fight over food on the streets.
- United Kingdom – Hedgehogs have woken from hibernation to find empty roads, which is usually the cause of their early death.
The Bigger Picture: Climate Change
Covid-19 is overshadowing an even bigger problem which is climate change. Climate change causes long term changes to weather patterns and temperatures. Climate change has been connected to more frequent and more intense hurricanes, floods, downpours and winter storms. Global temperatures have started to rise which have caused ice sheets and glaciers to start to melt in polar regions. This has lead to rising sea levels, which has affected coastlines leading to flooding and erosion. The Earth’s climate will naturally change over many hundreds and thousands of years.
The burning of fossil fuels is what has caused the current climate change to occur at an accelerated rate. Fossil fuels have lead to greenhouse gases because of the materials that are released into the Earths atmosphere. In the atmosphere the sun’s rays will heat these gases which will cause the temperature of the earth to rise. The rising of the Earth’s temperature is called global warming,
Has The Environment Benefited From Covid-19
During the start of the global pandemic businesses had to close, factories came to a halt and people were forced to work from home. In Wuhan satellite images from NASA showed that greenhouse gas emissions were reduced. It was also found that the air quality had improved. Two weeks following Lunar New Year carbon dioxide emission were 25% lower.
In the UK road traffic accounts for 80% of nitrogen oxide emission. Since the UK lockdown has started pollution levels are already lower. Every time someone is making the decision to not drive, this prevents 52mg of nitrogen oxide from going into the Earth’s atmosphere
Is There Hope For The Environment After Covid-19
Will the grass be greener on the other side of the pandemic? We’ve already touched on how the pandemic has helped to improve air quality, but will this really be enough to help turn the tides on climate change? 2020 started as a positive role model for working with rather than against the environment. Oil companies committed themselves to new environmental targets, clean power and hydrogen fuel, banks turning away from financing coal, and new electric cars hitting the market. Renewable energy continues to be highly competitive against fossil fuels.
Already we have seen leaders plan to start up their economies. It is believed that returning to “business as usual” will be detrimental to both the environment and people. There has already been calls to put climate change on the back burner in favor of the economy. There as been disagreements stating Projects like The Green Deal will be a hindrance in rebooting the economy.
10 Ways To Be Eco-Friendly During Covid-19
- Repair over throwing away – Do you have clothes with minor rips or holes in them? Can you easily sew them rather them throwing them away? If they’re beyond repair cut them up for cleaning rags!
- Start composting – How do you deal with your food scraps? Start composting them! It’s easy to start at home. Composting has a vary of environmental benefits including reducing carbon dioxide. Do you have curbside composting where you live?
- Support Local Businesses – All businesses are struggling right now. But small businesses will be struggling even more and they may not be able to come back during this struggle. Shopping local is better for the environment because, usually people are able to walk there instead of using cars.
- Support Your Local Zero Waste Shop – Zero Waste Shops specialise in sustainable, plastic-free, palm-oil free and long-lasting products. (See number 3).
- Time To Declutter – Turn your free time into decluttering your house. Give your items a new life before throwing them away. Save them for when you can give them away on Freegle or Freecycle.
- Use Those Leftovers – Food waste is a huge problem! Using your leftovers is a great start to help!
- Shop Your Wardrobe – Shops are closed so its time to shop your own wardrobe. Can you make minor adjustments yourself? How about pairing the times with something different!
- Turn To Your Garden – Now is the perfect time to make your garden more eco-friendly by planting bee and insect friendly plants. Visit Friends Of The Earth to learn more.
- Switch To Reusables – Turn that extra time on your hands to learn how to use a safety razor, reusable menstrual cups or pads.
- Look After Yourself – We’re all facing a very anxious unnerving time. Reach out to friends and family over phone, text or video chat.
In this blog post we discussed the tragedy of Covid-19. How animals have started to take over the streets such as wild boar in Spain. How climate change is causing adverse weather conditions, and how humans burning fossils fuels have contributed to an accelerated climate change. How we can still help the environment during Covid-19 by shopping locally or composting.
Did I miss something? Are there other ways of being eco-friendly during Covid-19 that I missed? Let me know.
This Weeks Challenge! This weeks I challenge you to take some time out for yourself. Don’t forget that self care is very important. Let me know how you did in the comments below.
Sharing is caring! If you enjoyed reading this blog post please share it with a friend!
How Can I help? Is there a particular area of zero waste living you are struggling with? Let me help YOU!
Stacey @ The Green Sheep Blog
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