Today we have decided to look back to March where we noticed how despite coronavirus being a devastating blow for many, it was quite literally a breath of fresh air for the environment.
We previously saw the air quality improve in major cities, nature beginning to flourish and mindset’s changing as people began to swap trains and cars for bikes, but as the lockdown lifts, has this continued to improve or are we going back to our old ways? Let us have a look four months on at what had changed.
In March China, Italy and the UK had seen major air quality improvements with Nitrogen Oxide levels going down by 10 – 30% in Central and Eastern China. We also saw carbon monoxide levels dropping by as low as 50% in New York since 2019. The usual murky water in Venice due to sediment stirred up by boat pollution and gondolas had been replaced with clearer water and schools of fish. It had also seen people replacing long car journeys with bike rides, family time and realising that rushing around all the time is not necessarily the way to go.
So, from more recent reports from the BBC it’s looking as if the pandemic has definitely had a positive impact on the environment and continues to be a much needed break for nature, however, it is believed that this is temporary. As the lockdown caused a slump in the economy, with the eased restrictions it means companies are now making up the shortfall. They need to begin production and have their employees come back to work as soon as possible to return to normal working life and making money again. This of course will have an adverse effect on the environment, as city life begins to move again, people return to transport and use their cars to avoid proximity with others, CO2 levels will rise.
Factories that produce harmful gases and emissions into the atmosphere have begun to return to work resulting in a decrease in the air quality as well.
So, what can we do? We urge that everyone still makes the most of walking on foot or cycling to as many places as they can. Not only will this avoid you having to go on public transport and reduce the risk of catching the virus, but it is also good for your health and the environment. Another idea is to make a list of when it really is necessary to use your car and stick to this list. You could also only go into work if staying at home and working is not an option.
We are really hoping that people continue the good practice they have learnt throughout the virus to help themselves and the environment. If you have any top tips for what you do, or other ideas for how we could reduce the industrial pollution, we would love to hear them! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chat