How Covid Helped The Environment in 2020
Unsurprisingly Covid 19 had many positive impacts on the planet with a sudden decrease in rush-hour traffic and travel in general and, in turn, less oil being sold which reduced the consumption of fossil fuels. With many non-essential industries putting their manufacturing practices on hold momentarily we saw a reduction in waste disposal which then reduced pollution and improved the quality of water sources. It was estimated that a nearly 50% reduction of N2O and CO occurred due to the shutdown of heavy industries in China during the initial outbreak.
All great statistics right? Not quite. While these positives impacts were great for our planet, they were short-lived and nullified by the negative impacts that an international pandemic had such as disposable but non-biodegradable or recyclable PPE and the increase of hazardous medical waste. So, swings and roundabouts really.
If nothing else, Coronavirus has given everyone time to stop and reflect on what is important in life – the value of family and friends, maybe it inspired a career change or reaffirmed how much you enjoy the work you already do and of course the privilege of having good health – but is it time to turn our attention to the planet we share? How can we each do our bit to prevent future pandemics through environmentalism?