Like all other Earth Days, today we celebrate our planet and show our encouragement for all of the environmental efforts being made on its behalf. But this Earth Day 2020 has an enormous, unmistakably important variable added to the equation: Coronavirus.
According to an article in LiveScience, the first known case of coronavirus dates back to November 2019. The outbreak was at first contained in China, but through the heavy use of air travel, the virus began to spread like wildfire. Not long after the first case was identified, many other countries became hotspots for the disease, causing a global pandemic.
This period of our coronavirus-induced shutdown is unlike anything we’ve experienced in recent times. With our busy lives on halt, the planet began to awaken, like it was finally able to take a breath; Bringing about some natural phenomena that shed hope on the environment, hinting that we aren’t yet too far gone.
With coronavirus, almost everyone’s lives were put on hold. The commutes to work ceased, travel was banned, and social events were cancelled. As a result, there has been a sharp decrease in pollution, most notable in major cities where heavy pollution is the norm. Now, cities such as New Delhi, Seoul, Wuhan, and Mumbai are seeing clearer and breathing healthier.
Stay at home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic have lead to a sharp decline in pollution levels across the world
As quarantined continued, animals also began to behave in ways we haven't seen in decades. Kashmiri Goats roamed the streets of a small town in Wales, wild boar ventured into Spanish cities, and baby turtles made an uninterrupted journey to the sea in Brazil. In Seattle, pods of orcas are showing a major increase in activity, including the sighting of a rare white orca.
Animals are certainly enjoying this break from human interaction, but it is too soon to tell whether or not it will have any long term effects on them. Once our restrictions are lifted, life will likely go back to business as usual, and animals will retreat. But for now, it’s an interesting chain of events that may change how we study and observe our relationship with animals from here on out.
Wildlife like the orcas in the Puget Sound are getting a much needed break from mankind
Celebrating Earth Day With Sustainability
This Earth Day 2020 is the 50th anniversary. The theme this year is climate action, bringing into question just how we can preserve our planet for future generations through our actions and opportunities.
During this 24 hour period of Earth Day 2020, everyone is encouraged to get involved digitally. While coronavirus keeps us from getting together, it still leaves space for much to be done in the digital landscape. Livestream discussions, performances, conversations, and more can all be found on Earth Day’s website.
Even though Earth Day only comes once a year, making the switch to sustainable living can be practiced year round. A great starting place is to look at the products inside your household, and see how you can make an improvement. It is estimated by The Globalist that the average person living in North America uses about 220 pounds of plastic each year, most of it coming from packaging.
Thankfully, purchasing goods sustainability has never been easier. Companies like Public Goods, an on-demand grocery delivery service, stock dozens of sustainable products, including household staples. Public Goods’ plastic-free, organic, and cruelty-free products are the perfect place to start, offering functionality and an excellent price point without sacrificing quality. Plus, Public Goods runs a program where they plant a tree for every new member. Right now, they're hovering at around 90,000 trees already planted.
Public Goods carries dozens of sustainable products that can be delivered to your door during the pandemic. Click here to save $10 off of your first order
The Future of Our Planet
Over the past few months, coronavirus touched our lives and our planet in drastic ways. Major wake up calls sounded as our world scrambled to meet the needs of people sick and healthy in the midst of a terrifying pandemic. In some areas we excelled, coming together to fight the invisible beast. In others, we fell short.
The environment reflected the benefits of a less-polluted world, with clear skies and roaming wildlife in unexpected places. Just how long these benefits will last is unknown. As soon as the restrictions are lifted, people are likely to go back to some aspects of their daily routines, such as driving and air travel. Plus, shutting down major factories isn’t exactly a solution to climate change.
Now that we have a much cleaner slate, preserving our planet’s cleaner air is a great starting point. Hopefully, countries across the world will take advantage of this unprecedented time in history to move forward with a greener goal in mind.
On an individual level, recycling and buying sustainably helps too. Even though they may seem like small actions, every little change helps.
This Earth Day 2020 is definitely unlike any other, and that’s what gives it the potential to make a wave of change. Happy Earth Day!