Globally the lockdown is showing us how the natural world around us is adapting and thriving during human absence when given the opportunity.
Celebrating earth day serves as a conscious reminder of how fragile our planet is and how important it is to protect it. Earth Day is celebrated to continue promoting environmental awareness and to remind us all that we can protect the earth in our everyday lives. Globally earth day is celebrated by activities such as global clean-ups, citizen science, advocacy, education and art.
But this year, marking the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, modern day as we know it, has been completely put on pause with almost half of the world’s population across the globe placed on lockdown by their governments to try and prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although we have all been doing our part to curve the spread, nature has not only continued but has flourished and benefitted from our absence.
We have all seen the posts on social media of liberated wildlife and we have benefited from cleaner air and it is clear that the lockdown has had a positive effect on the environment.
To celebrate Earth Day, we wanted to showcase some of the notable impacts the coronavirus lockdown has had on our surroundings, environment and nature.
Cleaner air and increased visibility
- The European Space Agency released images showing the changing density of harmful gasses that were emitted when fossil fuels were/are burnt https://bit.ly/2KiiI3t
- Pollution in China falls and cities like Beijing and Shanghai see rare Blue skies as often thick blanketed smog fades away https://cnn.it/2KjkLEn
- The Himalayan mountain range can be seen for the first time in 30 years due to the drop in air pollution caused by the lockdown in Northern India https://bit.ly/34P5K6N
- The Ozone layer that absorbs most of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation has started healing https://bit.ly/3bpKhUu
“The Earth is what we all have in common.” Wendell Berry
Wildlife has taken the opportunity presented by human absence to venture out and explore:
- A critical endangered Malabar civet was seen for the first time since 1990’s https://bit.ly/2KmqiKx
- In Llandudno a Welsh town, a heard of goats have taken over the deserted town centre and are eating hedges and flowers from the gardens https://bit.ly/34QL3XY
- For the second time in a little over a week, a wild puma was spotted roaming the streets of Santiago a Chilean capital https://bit.ly/34RthUG
- Conservationists in the UK have noticed an increase in Moles clambering above the ground to hunt for worms, return of shorebirds, including beach nesting birds like the endangered ringed plover https://bit.ly/3eEyt2w
- Herds of Capybaras take over a deserted exclusive resort in Santa Cruz https://bit.ly/3cCxXAx
- Coyotes are spotted exploring San Francisco https://abc7ne.ws/2XXcX34
- Thousands of birds visit Langebaan in South Africa https://bit.ly/3aoJh1A
- Jackals roam Israel’s deserted Tel Aviv park https://bit.ly/2xym53H
- Lions, wild dogs and Elephants have been seen relaxing on the Skukuza golf club in the Kruger National Park in South Africa https://bit.ly/2RUA6iZ
- It appears that Venice’s famous winding canals water quality has improved and due to no busy boating movement, that obscured the canals, shoals of small fish, crabs and multicoloured plant life are now visible. Cormorants have returned and ducks have even made nests in usually busy areas https://bit.ly/2wWxiL2
- Camels play on a beach in Mumbai https://bit.ly/2XRm5q0
“One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between man and nature shall not be broken.” Leo Tolstoy
- Olive turtles return to Odisha’s Coast in India for mass nesting https://bit.ly/3ctr9ow
- Whales are swimming freely in Vancouver https://bit.ly/3boKuY3
- Marine life has a chance to recover with fishing fleets tied up in lockdown https://bit.ly/3apXdIw
“The environment is where we all meet, where all have a mutual interest, it is the one thing all of us share.” Lady Bird Johnson
We have 10 simple tips of what you can do to help protect the environment
- Reduce, reuse and recycle to conserve natural resources and landfill space
- Conserve water
- Choose sustainable
- Plant a tree as they provide food and oxygen, help save energy, clean the air and help combat climate change.
- Use energy sparingly, by using energy efficient light bulbs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Buy less plastic and use reusable shopping bags
- Try to walk or use your bike instead of driving
- When you educate yourself, help others understand the importance and value of our natural resources
- Volunteer to assist your community during clean-ups
- Choose to use non-toxic chemicals when cleaning your home and office.
“He that plants trees loves others besides himself.” Dr. Thomas Fuller
Earthday.org will be going digital to mobilize the world to take the most meaningful actions to ensure a difference. “Visit earthday.org on April 22 as we build an Earth Day unlike any other — We’re flooding the digital landscape with livestreamed discussions, a global digital surge, and 24 hours of actions that you can take, right now and from wherever you are.” https://bit.ly/2za3mM4
While coronavirus may force us to keep our distance, we can still stand together as the only thing that will make a change is a bold and unified demand for a new way forward by using this lockdown to find a balance between the economic requirements and the environment.
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Jane Goodall