COVID-19: Ways It's Helping & Hurting Sustainability (& What You Can Do)
Here is a breakdown of the environmental effects of this virus, as well as steps that can be taken to fight it off in an eco-friendly way.
The coronavirus has affected every area of life, from the health care system and the economy to the environment.
The pandemic, the quarantine, the social distancing… Is this all hurting or helping the earth?
Well, on one hand there has been a decrease in pollution.
-More people are working from home, meaning there are less vehicles emitting emissions.
-Less people are out and about, meaning areas are looking cleaner, are seeing more wildlife and are not being contaminated by trash.
On the other hand, more paper & plastic are being used.
-Business and restaurants are wrapping everything up, providing single-use options and packaging items separately.
-And while an increase in cleaning is necessarily to help stop and slow the spread of germs, this means that more paper towels and disinfectant wipes are being used then tossed out.
The good and bad news is that this positive effect and this negative effect are probably both temporary.
-People won’t be staying indoors forever and already have been returning to workplaces and getting back to traveling.
-And more sanitation processes are currently in place, but will they last?
Here is what YOU can do to fight off COVID-19 in a sustainable way:
-Opt for reusable masks instead of disposable ones.
-Buy groceries in bulk, which will make them last longer, is more affordable and will cut down on wasteful packaging (and be sure to carry them in reusable shopping bags).
-Consider growing a garden for healthy foods at home.
-When possible, work from home.
-Instead of throwing away paper towels and wipes, use cloth towels for cleaning.