ENVIRONMENT

Environmental Impacts of the Lockdown

Article By: Kaylee Robertson

The impacts of Covid-19 have been extremely significant all over the world. From the closing of schools across the US- to the social distancing rules worldwide, it’s been impacting everyone. Most of the stories heard on the News relating to the Coronavirus have been negative. However, not everything is negative during this time. Due to the decrease in vehicle emissions, the factories closing, and people practicing social distancing, there has been a decrease in pollution and an increase in positive environmental effects! 

According to CNBC, air pollution has dramatically dropped across the entire world. Additionally, the environment is temporarily changing in ways that it hasn’t been in years; Wild animals are roaming the streets comfortably and even skies usually filled with thick smog are clearing. The Himalayas are visible in the usually pollution filled skies of India. It is recorded that New Dheli is experiencing a 60% drop in fine particulate matter (microscopic particles of matter suspended in the air). Even in awfully polluted places like Los Angeles, they are experiencing clear skies. 

Unfortunately, the coronavirus is still killing thousands of humans, as well as infecting millions. However, the positive side of it is amazing. We are seeing beautiful sides of nature that have been hidden and covered for many years. There’s a 40% decrease in both carbon dioxide AND nitrogen dioxide! That right now is temporary- unless we consider how positive these changes are. This is a glimpse of hope for not only humanity but also the Earth and the wonderful species of which it inhabits. That all depends on the political decisions and actions made by every single one of us. If there is hope for the World peaking through in the grim times of Covid-19, then grasping onto that and making changes for the better are absolutely essential. 

As more people practice social distancing, fewer cars are on the road. Motorway traffic has decreased by 83% as a whole. If we keep traffic lowered, maybe not to 83% but any decrease at all, it will keep air pollution lowered which then helps the environment greatly. Taking steps like riding bikes or skateboards, taking walks, and using public transportation are all ways that you can contribute to this decrease. Sadly we cannot prevent things like factory use and the emission of those harmful gases, but we can always take small steps at home. 

    Some steps you can take at home are:

  1. Recycling
    1. If you ever have anything to recycle, please take the opportunity
  2. Eating less beef and pork
    1.  Alternatives that are much better for the environment: poultry, fish, nuts, and organic soy 
  3. Quit wasting water 
    1. Examples: Taking shorter showers and doing things like turning off the water when you brush your teeth 
  4.  Turn off any electronics and/or unplug them when you are not using them 
    1. Utilize Solar Panels as an energy source (not 100% possible every day for everyone)

There are so many ways to help the environment, even when the coronavirus isn’t affecting us. Taking these steps, as well as looking up many more, are super beneficial to not only you but the beautiful World around you. Take a step back and appreciate things a little more! 

WORKS CITED

CNBC

Emma Newburger. “Photos Show Impact of Temporary Air Pollution Drops across the World from Coronavirus Lockdown.” CNBC, CNBC, 23 Apr. 2020, www.cnbc.com/2020/04/23/coronavirus-photos-show-effect-of-air-pollution-drops-from-global-lockdown.html.

The Guardian 

Watts, Jonathan. “Climate Crisis: in Coronavirus Lockdown, Nature Bounces Back – but for How Long?” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 9 Apr. 2020, www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/09/climate-crisis-amid-coronavirus-lockdown-nature-bounces-back-but-for-how-long.

Mongabay 

Butler, Rhett A. “What You Do Can at Home to Help the Environment.” Mongabay, Mongabay, 9 Apr. 2019, kids.mongabay.com/elementary/610.html. 

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