Earth Day 2020: The Earth Breathes a Sigh of Relief

The Earth is breathing a sigh of Relief

Earth Day 2020 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. As we sit at home in quarantine, holding our breaths in fear of the impact of COVID-19, the Earth is breathing a sigh of relief. Carbon dioxide emissions are expected to drop by 6%, the greatest annual decrease in emissions since World War Two. Due to a reduction in air pollution, some parts of India saw the Himalayas for the first time in decades. Removing cruise ships from the waters has decreased global ocean noise, reducing stress on whales and other marine creatures.   

India Gate in New Delhi, Nov 2019 and March 2020. Source: CNN

To celebrate Earth Day 2020, we can reflect on how we’ve changed our lives recently to enable the Earth to breathe easier today. No one wants the human population to be forced to stay at home in order to save the Earth. But what can we do differently, once the economy re-opens, to have less impact on our natural environment?

How Can we Help Save The Planet?

Ideas for what we can do are suggested below:

  • Decrease business travel flights: we know that teleconferencing works.
  • Reduce commuter miles: we know that employees can be productive working from home.
  • Lower our expectations of immediate deliveries: Non-essential Amazon Prime deliveries no longer arrive in one or two days. And we survive.
  • Cook more and waste less: we are stuck at home, cooking up a storm, and wasting less food.
  • Ditch fossil fuels from your investment portfolio: oil traded at a negative price. It’s time to remove oil companies from our portfolios.
  • Shop local: now that our local businesses are not all available, we appreciate and miss them.
  • Think globally: we feel that our actions have worldwide consequences. We need to continue this awareness, to think about our wider impact.
  • Appreciate the power of one: single people have had huge impacts spreading and stopping the spread of COVID-19. We recognize that we can, as individuals, significantly impact the world.

What will you do, post-quarantine, that will allow the Earth to continue to breathe a sigh of relief?