Silver linings. We need them now more than ever. Interspersed between the posts of doom are the hopeful posts. The silver linings around Covid-19 seem to be all about the environment. They say Mother Nature is recovering, that dolphins are swimming in the canals of Venice, and elephants are crossing the highway in Thailand. Great news, right? Unfortunately, the truth is not so cut and dry.
Around the world, we are seeing a decrease in air pollution levels, even in notoriously high-polluted cities, such as Los Angeles and Beijing. The reduction in traffic – both on the ground and in the air – in addition to the temporary closing of factories has improved air quality.
Animals are making a comeback. Pandas in a shut-down zoo in Hong Kong finally mated after 10 years of refusing zoo-keepers’ efforts to get them together. Animals in national parks in the U.S. and in African Safari parks are taking back the roads that are usually populated by tourists.
Are the canals in Venice really clean for the first time in years? Kind of. They are definitely clearer. But that is probably because the dirt has settled to the bottom without the movement of boats. The dolphins, also, were apparently not in the canals themselves, but in the ocean off one of the Venetian islands.
One possible detriment of the Coronavirus pandemic on the environment is the increased use of single-use plastic, since people are unwilling to reuse bags for fear of infection. More and more people are doing their shopping online, which creates waste from shipping and packing materials. And all of the disposable gloves and face masks that are in such high demand today will all end up in landfills, or worse: in our lakes and oceans.
Looking to the Future
As we go forward, there are still many things we don’t know. It’s not clear how life in the “New Normal” will be. With so many people working from home, we have discovered that it is more possible than we thought. Maybe fewer people will commute to offices in the future, which will keep air pollution down. We are also learning that other things we thought we had to do in-person can be done online. Retail and banking sectors have adapted to the lockdowns by turning virtual.
As an online money transfer service, Pangea has always been eco-friendly. You can send money to loved ones abroad or pay their bills all from the comfort of the app. No need to go into a brick-and-mortar shop or print anything out. Customers on both ends of our transactions – senders and recipients of money – save time and avoid unnecessary travel, while staying safe.
Making it stick
Together we can make sure the silver linings stick and the benefits to the environment become part of the New Normal. Let’s celebrate the wins this Earth Day and continue taking care of Mother Nature.