With more time on our hands since being home quarantined, most of us have been able to catch up with news from all over the world. And some of it is quite heartening; deer and peacocks are roaming city streets, sightings of rare migratory species and gorgeous blue skies. These are all signs that nature seems to be flourishing more than ever right now!
While we wait to put this pandemic behind us, it is perhaps important to ponder on another disease that has been affecting our planet for decades – climate change. This slow down in our routine life has helped put things into perspective. In recent times, there has been a lot of information on eco-friendly measures we can take to save our planet. And the change in our lifestyle is proof that social distancing does have some positive takeaways.
Better Air Quality
Did you know that air pollution kills 1.2 million Indians per year? A refreshing change that we have been noticing these days is the clear skies and reduced pollution levels. For instance, earlier this month Delhi’s air quality was recorded at 45 on the Air Quality Index, which is a sharp dip compared to the usual numbers that cross 300.
Reduced Plastic Consumption
Our increasing level of caution has also led to a sharp drop in the consumption of junk food, sodas and takeout that were a significant part of our lifestyle. One of the biggest reasons behind the extensive use of plastic was the inability to cut down on consumption. But this lockdown has shown us that making a conscious effort can help make the change we want. This choice is also healthier as it allows us to opt for fresh foods and protects the planet from the harmful effects of excessive consumption.
Water bodies across the globe have experienced a change. Due to a drastic reduction in waste disposal in the water along with less water traffic, most countries have recorded exceptionally clear waters during this period. It is a ripple effect of fewer people venturing out, lower commute via water and the less waste being produced around the nation. Not only does it make for a pretty sight, but it also allows marine life to enjoy the waters and the beaches undisturbed.
Lower Carbon Emissions
Latest satellite images from a European Space Agency have shown that there is a significant decrease in the nitrogen dioxide found in the atmosphere due to the reduction of carbon emissions. Moreover, since people are not traveling and are working from home, the usage of fuel has dipped noticeably, resulting in a cleaner climate. As most people are using only necessary fuels, the difference is truly staggering throughout the world.
What we must anticipate, however, is the impact that the re-opening of economies may have on the climate. Once the lockdown is over, and the pandemic subsides, the entire human race is going to be back on its toes trying to make up for lost time and revenue. It is then that sensibility must prevail and usage of natural resources must be kept in check. This could help us maintain the positive effects that social distancing has had on our world.