We have all had to make a series of adjustments to adhere to the current lockdown. We are facing times of unprecedented change, and it’s difficult not to think that this pandemic is something of a defining experience for our generation.
But the changes and impact that the lockdown has had have not been exclusively human. This is a global issue that has had an effect on animals, nature, oceans and the air. The fact that governments around the world have limited movement, outdoor activity and day to day life as we used to know it has had a number of knock on effects. Many of these have been positive from an environmental perspective.
The fact that the earth is becoming cleaner with less human activity will come as no surprise to many people. But the current situation does provide an interesting view on how extensive the human impact on the earth is proving to be, and give us a tantalising insight into how things could be if we as humans commit to making changes that can help make the earth cleaner over time. In the latest Stoves & Solar blog, we take a look at some of the remarkable things that this lockdown is bringing to the world around us.
Air quality and pollution
The lack of industrial activity the lockdown has brought about has led to significant improvements in air quality thanks to lower levels of pollution. The usual mix of pollutants that have a negative effect on the earth’s atmosphere and air quality have been highly reduced with the lockdown around the world, and in many cases the changes have been truly remarkable.
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO₂) is a major cause of air pollution, and comes chiefly from things like power plants, and the vehicles we drive.
In China, a 40% reduction in NO₂ for the months of January and February compared to the levels seen in 2019 ranks as the equivalent of almost 200,000 cars being taken off the road.
The UK saw similarly huge reductions in NO₂, with 60% reductions noted compared to the same period last year.
These kinds of statistics indicate a truly remarkable drop, and cleaner air means that the sky looks bluer, the stars shine brighter and things we previously could not see in the landscape suddenly become clear and present.
And the benefits don’t stop there. Thousands of people die every year from illnesses and conditions related to or exacerbated by air pollution. The reduction in air pollution then is quite literally saving lives, with some estimating as many as 11,000 fewer deaths have been seen in Europe because of the positive effects of the lockdown.
It is not only air is benefitting from the lower levels of pollutants, but water too.
You may well have seen some of the photos from Venice early on in the lockdown, where fewer boats and tourists led to the city’s water becoming significantly cleaner and clearer. Fish were visible in Venice’s canals, and swans also returned to the city. And while Venice is a fine example, the cleanliness of water across the world is only set to benefit from the reduction in industrial activity the lockdown has brought about.
Some of the more light hearted stories from this lockdown have centred on nature returning to spots that they ordinarily wouldn’t in the normal run of things. In Llandudno, Wales, a herd of mountain goats were seen roaming around the town, while a housing estate in Essex woke up to find deer pacing along the streets.
This all means that the animals that roam the earth are pushing the boundaries we as humans have created during lockdown, and are able to flourish and thrive in new and unexpected ways. Our interpretation
These are some of the literal changes the earth has seen in light of the current lockdown. But it’s important not to overlook the way we as humans interpret nature and the great outdoors too.
Pre-lockdown, it was easy for us as people to become accustomed to a certain way of living and overlook some of the beauty that the world around us possesses.
But since we’ve been forced to limit our outdoor activity, more and more people are finding ways to exercise and enjoy themselves in the limited time they are able to leave their homes for.
These include things like walking, jogging or cycling. All these activities allow us to immerse ourselves in the great outdoors, and there’s no doubt people around the world will be starting to look at nature in a whole new way. This is a great thing for the body and mind, and it’s fair to say that not only has lockdown made the earth itself cleaner, but has also allowed people to find new ways to soothe themselves by embracing nature. Green environment solutions
If you are keen to continue some of the positive changes that have come about from the lockdown, then Stoves & Solar’s range of products can help you to lower your own carbon footprint and live your life in a more sustainable way.
Take a look through our range of solar panels and other green environment solutions. Make a positive addition to your home to help continue making the Earth cleaner and greener in your own personal way.