In these very strange times, we’re so pleased to be reading reports on the positive effects of COVID-19 on the world around us. As a sustainable brand, this is a big win for us and although the world feels uncertain and wrong at the moment, reading about all the positives has helped to lift our spirits.
Reduced emissions, clearer skies, community action and the return of wild animals to cities that were not too long ago occupied by humans. Read on for some good news that we hope will bring a smile to your face.
With the majority of the population across Europe and the rest of the world spending their time at home, emissions in large cities have dropped dramatically. Reduced aviation and road traffic, alongside the closure of many factories, has caused pollution to drop by as much as 25% in some areas. In mainland China, emissions fell by a quarter over a four-week period (more can be seen in this article by carbonbrief.org) and European cities such as London, Paris and Milan have also seen a huge reduction since lockdowns were put in place.
Due to the reduction of emissions in the atmosphere, less light pollution and the lack of planes overhead, night skies have become much clearer and a large number of stars and constellations can now be seen from major cities across the globe.
The return of wildlife
Animals usually live secretly in cities, inhabiting areas unfrequented by humans. Now that schools, open spaces and city centres are all deserted, animals have begun to wander into these quiet spaces in search of food.
In Venice, the waterways have almost completely cleared due to the lack of transport, whilst fish and other sea-life can now be seen below the surface. A quote from a local by The Guardian states, “We Venetians have the feeling that nature has returned and is taking back possession of the city.”
Even here in the UK, the lack of transport on the roads (in London, that’s as much as 90%) will come as a welcome relief to hedgehogs. Hedgehog numbers have been in rapid decline over recent years – many are sadly hit by cars as they wake from their winter slumber. The reduction in road traffic will hopefully mean that their numbers will begin to rise again.
Although COVID-19 has sent many countries into lockdown, community spirit and unity is at an all time high. From Italian communities breaking into song over their balconies to the UK’s #ClapForOurCarers movement, a real sense solidarity and courage unites us all during these confusing times.
People have set up groups in many communities to help shop for elder neighbours and people in self-isolation, whilst a huge 64% of the population (taken from a study of 2000 people) believe that the COVID-19 crisis is bringing them closer to their neighbours.