Before we get to the “can” aspect of the above question, we want to address the “should” aspect of it by saying, yes absolutely.
Ever since the government announced the lockdown on 24th march 2020, the concerned authorities as well as the general public started to notice a dramatic improvement in air quality. This sudden change in pollution levels seen especially across big cities like New Delhi, Mumbai & Bangalore. It was a direct result of factories shutting down, construction work being halted and the fact that little to no traffic could be seen on the streets. It led to a dramatic decrease in PM 2.5 levels that were causing concern and even panic in cities such as New Delhi that gained world recognition as a pollution capital.
But perhaps the most important thing we learnt from all of this was that yes we can save our planet. But only if we really try.
So let’s look at what we know & how we can use it to our benefit.
- Sustainable Energy Is Good
We are well aware of the environmental benefits that come with sustainable energy. However, we never really had a real life example of what things would be like, if all power came from sustainable resources. Until ofcourse the lockdown came.
The environment post lockdown is a great reference to how quickly things could change if all transport services, cars, industries etc ran on clean & sustainable energy. While the integration of sustainable energy is currently difficult in industrial practices it isn’t so for transport sectors. Especially on ground transport services and even by sea. If we were to just focus on sustainable travel, cities would be able to maintain the current state of the environment.
- Plastics Are Bad
Plastic consumption has been massively reduced due to local stores & everyday market places being shut down. This along with the fact that no manufacturing plants for plastics or other goods are open have massively contributed to an improvement in air quality as well as soil quality.
If we were to just learn from our mistakes and focus on changing our ignorant mindset we could maintain current levels of AQI. For example, a lot of people would never think twice if they were handed a plastic bag for groceries. But we hope that this lockdown phase has helped highlight the benefits of paper bags & other biodegradable carry bags as well.
- Less Noise. More Nature
The streets suddenly went quite after the lockdown. That was until the sounds of nature started to take over. All of sudden, you could sit in your garden and listen to multiple species of birds sing at a time. More remote cities or areas in close proximity to forests suddenly had animals exploring the boundaries between civilization and nature.
We aren’t saying animals roaming the streets is a good, we’re saying animals feeling comfortable and safe is. Now human activity can never just cease to exist. But it can be toned down. If efforts are made by every individual to reduce the amount they honk, the amount the scream, the amount of noise industries generate, we can live hand in hand with nature. Just like we were meant to.
- With Solidarity Comes Progress
When the lockdown was imposed, everyone came together to fight this battle as one. This unity was paramount in ensuring India does not fall victim to the contagious nature of the Corona Virus. Everyone came together to show their respect to medical workers, police personnel and other authorities. They acknowledged the need of the hour as one and practiced social distancing.
All of this has helped India reduce the number of cases and the subsequent number of deaths of our fellow citizens. If we could all stand together as one, the possibilities are endless. Not just for the environment, but for world peace as well.
So let’s keep up the good work and help maintain what we have achieved by making a conscious effort to improve ourselves. Let’s all take a pledge, to maintain the current state of our environment and our solidarity that has helped us achieve it.