Sustainability during a pandemic.
Updated: Jun 29, 2020
Being sustainable in the middle of a pandemic isn't and shouldn't be people's first concern. Now that things have begun to settle and we are approaching a 'new normal', it is worth looking at the impact of Covid-19 on peoples attitudes towards sustainability.
The pandemic is making consumers more aware sustainably, this is due to people being conscious of where their money is being spent. The good news is that there is a demand for responsible and sustainable alternatives in business especially in sectors such a tourism. Like many other businesses, the virus has caused tourism to grind to a halt just as many sustainable practices were getting underway. However, once the industry gets back on its feet it's likely that things will improve. One of the main environmental issues with tourism has been over tourism, however the pandemic has allowed for a well needed time out. There has been a growing of awareness of environmental issues in the last few years due to the climate crisis being at the forefront of our minds. The Australian bush fire was a brutal reminder which has led to businesses wanting to improve their practices. While Covid has affected this and many companies will be focusing on getting back on their feet as lockdown ends, people are looking more closely at the future of their business due to lockdown and the impact of Covid-19. This means that we can look forward to more sustainable products and hopefully packaging as companies don't want to be left behind or impacted by climate change as they have done with Covid.
Companies with a high ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) focus may be more appealing to investors enabling these companies to perform better. Lockdown may have set things back for some sustainable practises, but being aware of businesses intention for the future will help give confidence to people trying to be more sustainable in their day to day lives. While it is important to try and make sustainable swaps in our daily habits were possible, it can seem like we are doing all the work. Being aware of the efforts of business should help encourage us to make a difference where we can as well.
What can you do to be more sustainable during a pandemic?
Naturally part of being in lockdown has meant shopping less and traveling less, which has done wonders for the environment. As we come out of lockdown and we start going back to work travelling less isn't really an option for most people. But if you can cycle to work or walk not only does that help your mental and physical health, but one less person is adding to the pollution from car fumes. Sticking to your once a week shop will also be benefitting the environment in the same way. Finally, if you need to travel on public transport wearing a face mask is becoming a must, or even a requirement in some countries. So if you can buy or even make a reusable facemask we wont have to worry about anymore single use plastic surgical masks making it's way into our oceans. The WWF has a wonderful panda print facemask made from 100% GOTS Certified organic cotton for those who are not so good at sewing . Whilst it can be easier to get a packet of disposable masks, this could be where you decide you wanted to make your next sustainable swap!
Over the last few months of lockdown there have been many ups and downs, lets recognise some of the positive impacts it has had on the natural world and strive to do even more!