My mom taught me to see the good in every person and every situation– this helped me grow my optimistic personality, sometimes to a fault. Her graceful perspective has given me peace of mind amidst a pandemic. Though a colossal concern, COVID-19 is fostering spurts of environmental healing. It seems the negatives far outweigh the positives, but there are silver linings to celebrate. Earth Day in 2020 is a special one because of decreasing toxic waste, decreasing pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions, and of course, more free time for a good old-fashioned nature walk.
As we prepare our indoor sanctuary spaces for work and meditation, our footprints from pacing around the house won’t make the kind of carbon footprints we have been making all our lives. Walking is outweighing driving for many and there is more time in the day to wash dishes and cut down on the amount of plastic and styrofoam in our kitchen trash cans. As restaurants close their doors, less trash is created in the first place. The stay at home orders have manifested more time in the day for families to cook and enjoy meals together.
You are contributing to something beautiful by staying in the comfort of your home. The Earth is already happier and healthier in ways we can’t completely understand yet. Everything is healed with time, and this rings true even when it comes to a pandemic. I am discovering new beauty in this new time, even with a quarantined lifestyle.
Coffee dates with friends were sacred to me –now that it’s is not an option; it’s reassuring to see people continuing to support small local coffee shops and adapt coffee dates to the situation! Picking up curbside coffee, posting it on Instagram encouraging others to buy local, and forming a distanced circle to sit in your trunk and talk to your friends, is a new kind of beauty. Bluestem Bistro asked customers to bring in pictures of themselves to put on the tables to make the atmosphere feel more lively and natural. The need for human connection is alive! Channeling our deeper appreciations in light of being quarantined is an easy way to give back to the Earth.
Is it just me, or are there more birds out there? The constant chirping behind my professor on Zoom can attest to this possibility. Just yesterday, I saw a Blue Jay and multiple Robins, which was a rarity for my backyard. Alright, maybe there aren’t more birds, but there is more appreciation in me for them. The Earth has so much to celebrate! Explore your newfound appreciation today!
If your neck of the woods is anything like mine, there are more people outside walking than ever before. I have had to become mindful of the best times to walk outdoors to ensure adequate social distancing. I strangely appreciate all the barking dogs because they’re just enjoying their time on Earth. Take a walk without your phone, sit outside without screens– it’s not only a way to cut back on screen time, unplugging is an immediate “thank you” to the Earth.
Staying home still requires stewarding energy with mother nature in mind. You might think now that your car is parked in the garage, and the cords in your cubicle are all unplugged that you are conserving more energy, but your change of pace might not be automatically more eco-friendly than before. Staring catatonically at screens all day does not create environmental healing. If you’re using more electricity than you would at work or stocking up on styrofoam plates, cups, or plastic straws for the perfect Pinterest smoothie, then your carbon footprint could be getting bigger. Awareness of pollutants and non-biodegradables is critical. Be mindful and take action.
NASA’s pollution monitoring satellites show that NO2 levels (Nitrogen Dioxide) are plummeting. N02 is the harmful greenhouse gas that is released by cars, industrial facilities, and electrical power plants. NASA found that though Wuhan is where decreasing NO2 pollution began and will soon have noticeable effects across the world. It’s crazy to think that as the airborne virus permeates every country on Earth that there will soon be cleaner air for humans to breathe.
Many people do not take climate change seriously. As we see the benefits of less greenhouse gas emissions due to less consumption, it is further proof that we have to be intentional about how we live our lives. We are facing a moment in history when humans are wary of the air around us. So many people are out of work and struggling to get by. The harsh realities of COVID-19 can help bring about awareness of the bitter truth that is Climate Change, and our ability to make an impact. We must continually reduce emissions to protect the Earth. The reduction is happening naturally as you read, which is an ever-growing plus side. I admit that I have been naive about greenhouse gases, but there is no better time than the present to do your research, especially because at present, it is Earth Day! Let’s embrace the information age and love on our Earth.
If you wake up feeling helpless and stuck inside, know that you are beautifying the planet from the comfort of your bed. We can focus on the positive without feeling suffocated by the guidelines. The closing industries indirectly help the environment by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. This severe economic climate may be improving the Earth’s atmosphere, but we are living through a historical moment of uncertainty. We can get through this by boosting morale together. Positivity doesn’t require your constant happiness, but celebrating small victories and recognizing the bright side, we are reminded that happier days are ahead on this Earth. Today is a holiday! Earth Day, 2020! These stay-at-home mandates may be an awakening to a call to action to embrace the Earth differently. We have new knowledge to guide our steps when we reemerge from this outbreak of intense unknowns into a healing environment. Happy Earth Day today, and here’s to hope in your pursuit of positivity tomorrow!