This Earth Day, is lockdown teaching us to be more sustainable and make conscious choices?
As we see a pre-industrialisation kind of model due to the lockdown, it is like a trailer of how the world could be if we did not abuse it. As technology & society have advanced beyond that, we might not be at our ideal state without what we are used to. But the lockdown has shown us that we can live by with what is available, we are great at adapting and after all we are humans, we have evolved worse.
The big lesson is of course that we cannot plan anything and all our plan could be disrupted overnight. Our financial year ended right in the middle of lockdown and several of our plans went haywire. But lockdown taught us that none of these is important, the taxes, accounts, reports – all could wait and could be handled. It taught us to take everything slow, appreciate the absolute necessities of life, hold thing dear to you closely and be grateful for each moment for several blessing you cannot even count.
When we put that into the perspective of Sustainability, here are the sustainability lessons lockdown taught us
Buy local – As a nationwide lockdown prevails and logistical movement is hampered, we are now looking more and more at buying local products. There is a huge appreciation for what is available locally and more and more people want to know what’s coming from where. These questions being the basis of sustainability in general. As luxury buying and shopping sprees are all on a standstill, we absolutely understand what is essential and what is non-essential. We all are trying to buy what is essential and mindful about the use and waste of the same as well.
This is directly linked to SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption & Production
Innovating is constant – Change is constant – We have heard this before. But now, as we face a situation nobody has ever faced before, we start to believe that Innovation is the constant. Several industries are finding ways to get their job done. Schools & educational institutions have moved the online way. The classes are conducted online, dance is taught online, games are played online, conversations are happening online. In fact, we are in a digital revolution phase. Factories that make high-end luxury clothing are now making masks. All we need is a perspective adjustment.
This is directly linked to SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
Nature reclaiming Air, Water and Land – As Oil & Gas, Aviation, Fashion & many other industries are shut, there is a huge reduction on the carbon emissions impacting lesser pollution. Several cities have seen wildlife entering the urban areas, the air is cleaner, water is running clean and life is slow. We have abused our nature so much and it is a well-deserved break. Collectively few days of lockdown has resulted in such positive impacts.
Collaborations & best practice sharing – In India, Kerala was the first state to report a COVID-19 case and since then they have been taking measures to fight it and has been successful to a large extent also. Across the country, other states have been following the same model. Even countries are sharing best practices and resources to fight this together. Great partnerships and collaborations are born to render excellent results.
The linked SDG – SDG 17 – Partnership for the goals
Perspective changes on choices are already visible. Changemakers across the world are even more conscious and trying already to choose wisely and carefully. Sustainability is now at the forefront and all eyes are towards sustainable choices at each walk of life.
In short, COVID-19 has shaken us like nothing else. And nothing that we ever prepared for is fitting the bill here. It is the time to innovate further, respectfully manage the resources and not take even day out for granted.