Though we are experiencing something that will always be remembered in history textbooks as a catastrophic period in time, the impacts of self-isolation on the planet are anything but catastrophic. You may have felt a noticeable difference in the atmosphere and air, just from going outside in the garden. Has pollution decreased? How has staying at home affected the environment?
There have been visible changes in some places. The decrease in air pollution has meant people in northern India have been able to see the Himalayan mountains for the first time as the smog has lifted. The water in Venice’s canals has become clearer in the span of less than 2 months after the Italian lockdown began on 9th March.
How can we be consuming more than ever but improving the earth? Though people may seem to be panic buying in shops and ordering things online, increasing waste, the environment seems to be improving. Scientists believe that we are experiencing falls in nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide of up to 40%, though this may be temporary. Since the lockdown restrictions have been in place, many countries have noticed a decrease in traffic and congestion on roads, ultimately a decrease in air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions.
It’s not just freedom in the air, animals feel it too. Since most humans have been (hopefully) staying at home during this period, animals have taken our place in strolling down the streets. Many wild animals have been spotted casually roaming around typically urban areas in places such as India, Japan and some even spotted in London! Dolphins have been spotted in waters of southern Italy. Fish and swans have also been seen returning to the clearer waters of the canals in Venice.
We should take this as a lesson to change our ways and reduce our carbon footprints as reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere helps the earth massively. We’ve been replaced after a cry for help from our planet, we needed to find a fix to the global warming crisis and an international deadly virus is certainly not ideal, but it has done what we couldn’t do.