I had an agenda of posts lined up for spring, but I can’t help but traverse to what is in front of us all right now. The COVID-19 pandemic and guidelines associated have resulted in tragedy and silver linings. There is a lot yet to be learned from this momentary freeze in time we are experiencing, but let’s take advantage of what we do know. Cities such as Delhi, Bangkok, Rome, Paris, and New York City that have hosted toxic levels of air pollutants are rapidly improving, and waterways are healing. Satellite imagery shows reduced Nitrogen levels, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon. Animals are thriving in their habitat like never seen before by our generation, including sea turtle hatch-lings flourishing on open beaches and bears frolicking in national parks. These are all great short-term wins, more importantly the Earth is proving that it can heal itself to a certain degree. The question becomes, how do we begin to build our lives and economy again without losing the significant environmental improvements we have seen.
There is a wide spectrum of environmentalist, I am of the mindset that people, planet, and profit must be balanced. The adage in every media campaign right now, “We are all in this together” should remain the spotlight even when the pandemic has passed. Just like the stay-at-home guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we must take a global and collective stand to experience the strength in our numbers.
Ok I have made my point; our human impact has been drastically reduced in 2020 and the Earth is responding. What are WE going to do to continue the positive trend?
- Travel only for meaningful and rich experiences. The millions of air and road miles to attend meetings and conferences must transition to virtual meetups. Reduce daily driving miles by working from home a couple days a week, carpooling, and planned trips (ie. Stop at the grocery store on your way home from work vs. two separate trips). If you do have to fly for work, ask your employer to purchase carbon offsets.
- Be aware of the Sustainable Development Goals, which act as a beacon and guide to global prosperity and peace. As any successful organization or effort has a clearly articulated mission, the global society has the SDGs to guide actions.
- Be an advocate at work, school, and home for Earth conscious decisions. Be inquisitive and ask questions!
There is no silver bullet for sustainability but rather a mindset and committed journey. Stay the path, be heard, and take action no matter the grandeur every choice plays a role.