So. 2020 has been a doozy of a year, amirite? Right now, we are in the midst of a global pandemic. Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has swept the world and flipped everyone’s lives upside down over the course of the last 5 months. To stay safe, the restrictions that have been placed on being outside your home, travelling, working, and spending time with loved ones has undoubtedly tested everyone’s mental, emotional and physical health. Instead of all the negative things that we could dwell on, we want to shed a bright light on some environmental wins during this hard time. It seems as though this huge break from human activity is shaping up to be just what the doctor ordered.
Gas Emissions Have Slowed
There’s been plane, train and automobile travel restrictions, less commuters in a transition to online work and school, the closure of non-essential businesses, and only essential trips out of the home. Due to a huge drop in demand, lots of gas and oil companies have slowed their work pace. Not only does that mean that we have seen the cheapest gas prices in 20 years, but it also means that we are manufacturing, using and burning LESS CO2 and fossil fuels overall.
Animals Are Thriving
According to The Wildlife Federation, there has been an increase of entries on their plant and animal sighting database; 15,000 new entries as of early April, compared to last year’s 9,500 entries. At the end of April in Venice, Italy, there was a jellyfish recorded swimming in the canal! In the canal, there has been an increase of swans and fish gathering in the canal, as well. These waters are usually murky and full of tourists and boats. Calmer and quieter places with the absence of human activity could be contributing to this growth in animal sightings.
Air Quality Is Improving
As the carbon emissions rate has slowed, this means that our air is also cleaner and free of more pollutants, than compared to the average. Descartes Labs has released satellite data that contrasts pollution levels from March 2019 to March 2020 in four Canadian cities. These maps and graphs clearly show a reduction in nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant produced from cars.
For now, the earth is a little bit greener, cleaner and a whole lot happier. While these are nuggets of hopefulness amidst a difficult time, it is important to remember that true sustainable change comes from true, permanent behaviour change. These changes stem from the desire to positively impact our world and planet, and through active choices to live with a more environmentally conscious mindset. At Only, we believe that this change starts with you, helped by corporations like us. What are you waiting for? Do your part to help the environment (and you!) win big time. Take the first step at only.ca.