Good News: Our Environment is Doing Better

These past few months have been a difficult time for everyone. With unemployment, school closures, cancellation of all events, etc., it is hard to think positively right now. We are all trying to find ways to stay happy and healthy. People are facetiming loved ones, learning new skills, and spending more time outside. That being said, am I the only one who is noticing how many more people are taking advantage of spare time and great weather? The skies have been clearer than ever, and honestly, we have COVID-19 to thank for that.

Empty Streets Photo by Vincent Sanga on Unsplash Do not get me wrong, I am NOT praising this pandemic, but quarantine has led to many benefits for our environment. Since the shelter was put in place, millions of people decreased their transportation, and therefore, their gas emissions. According to ucsusa.org, personal cars and trucks account for one-fifth of all US emissions, emitting around 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other gases per gallon. Instead of driving to work or school, many are social distancing, which in turn has lowered air pollution. NASA satellites recorded a 30% decrease in nitrogen dioxide over the northeastern region of the US this March versus last year. One month of quarantining and this is the result. Imagine if we continued this trend once the shelter is over.      Photo by Markus Spiske from Unsplash

Another positive effect of the pandemic, which I am sure most have seen, is that the Venice canals have become clearer now that water traffic has slowed. This phenomenon has surprised locals as they are calling it, ‘Venezia Pulita’, meaning ‘Clean Venice’. There are several comments on these photos wishing that the water could always be this clear. Obviously, there is a positive correlation between waste reduction and decrease of pollutants. Why does it take a global pandemic for us to realize how poorly we are treating the environment? We are the reason the water, skies, and earth are not clean. Quarantine is teaching us all the things we need to change in the future. 

I hope once the shelter is over, we can all practice cleaner habits for ourselves and our environment. Although we cannot reverse the damage that is already done, we can strive to make future matters better.