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Nature breathes again on Earth Day

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Global lockdowns and physical distancing because of Covid-19 have allowed mother nature to start to heal herself

FIFTY years and going strong, more so in the presence of Covid-19.

Earth Day passed by this week, but it was not without some optimism because of the coronavirus.

While the illness has had disastrous effects for mankind, it has brought a reprieve from environmental degradation for mother nature.

According to Burt Rodrigues, chief of Biodx in Johannesburg, global lockdowns and physical distancing because of Covid-19 have allowed mother nature to start to heal herself.

“A third of the world’s population, fearing for their lives and obeying orders, have gone into lockdown. In the short space of just a few months, what was forecast to take thousands of years has happened. Rivers, streams and tributaries are becoming so clear you can virtually see through them; suddenly fish that haven’t been seen for years are returning to what was their natural habitat,” said Rodrigues.

Carbon dioxide emissions have plummeted as about a third of the world’s population has been ordered to stay home or work from home instead of commuting daily to the workplace.

Significant changes in air pollution have been observed in India, China, and the UK.

“Without cars, trucks and other transport jamming the roads, air pollution levels, measured from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5P satellites, shows that during late January and early February, pollution levels dropped by as much as 40% in the UK, with some cities’ levels reduced by as much as 60% compared with the same period in 2019,” said Rodrigues.

Earth Day, one of the largest global environmental awareness movements that acknowledges mother nature and tackles climate action, conservation and restoration, and plastic and pollution, marked its 50th anniversary this year.

The theme for this year’s celebratory day was climate action.

According to Earth Day, climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.

While live digital streaming of Earth Day was available on April 22, the day can be commemorated every day by enjoying non-perishable plant-based foods and planting mini indoor vegetable gardens. These are not mere pastimes, they also provide sustainable solutions for helping the environment.

“The world is undergoing a seismic shift in consumerism generally. The winners will be those who take this seriously and implement real and lasting change in their working and everyday lives.

“Everything they took for granted has now been challenged. The post Covid-19 world will be a changed place, socially and environmentally – hopefully with long-term benefits,” said Rodrigues.