Well who would have thought that when Earth Day 2020 came around the vast majority of countries round the world would be in the grip of Covid 19 and people everywhere doing all they can to stay home. A bit like the action most environmental groups would like us to do for the climate………. but for more selfish reasons.
Having both my children home while their schools are closed gave me a great opportunity this morning to talk to them about Earth Day and show them how people all over the world are doing their best to look after our planet and raise awareness.
My purpose of mentioning Earth Day isn’t to turn them into environmental activists or spur them into any kind of action per se. I just wanted them to see that lots of people care how we look after where we live and the effects on the planet that happen when we carry on (what was) our normal day to day existence. Here are a few of the things we talked about:
We talked about how air pollution, caused by factories and vehicles, is reducing in industrial areas and cities which have locked down to control the spread of the virus. The poor air quality and smogs don’t have to be there – they are caused by human activity. If we want to keep breathing fresh air we are going to have to rethink how we power our manufacturing.
The children had seen various good news stories about improvements in water quality during lockdown – the one they particularly liked was the arrival of fish back in the water ways of Venice and the sighting of dolphins in the waterways as a result.
There are some equally good news stories of sheep, goats, deer and other animals exploring deserted town centres as a result of the lack of traffic and people.
Just imagine what your town would be like with animals and wildlife exploring the centre rather than cars and lorries. How would that make you feel? I find myself smiling at the thought……what can we do to make that happen?
What conversations have you started today? Will you start doing something differently tomorrow to keep the best bits of this new normal?