​Eco highs and lows of COVID19 – what to do now.

​Eco highs and lows of COVID19 – what to do now.


# News
Publish date Published by Robert Lawrance on Friday, 21 August 2020 12:27
​Eco highs and lows of COVID19 – what to do now.

Eco highs and lows of COVID19 – what to do now.

 

It is without doubt that the environment “had a break” during lockdown. There were scarcely any cars on the roads, very few aeroplanes and no cruise ships pumping out greenhouse gases. Wildlife had more chance to spread into the usually highly populated areas and we all enjoyed the cleaner air on our walks. However the progress we had made towards reducing our use of plastic nose- dived. Many of us were getting deliveries of groceries and picking up from Click and Collect points which led to us being swamped with plastic bags and no opportunity to use our own. When coffee shops opened there was a ban on use of our own cup - only takeaway cups allowed. Everything is suddenly wrapped in plastic, from plastic spoons to the medication delivered from the chemist. Apparently the banks of the Thames river have developed “wet wipe reefs” and the place is littered with disposable masks. With the reduction of flights and travel in general the oil prices have reached an all-time low so it is even cheaper to make more and more plastic making it a less viable option to spend money running recycling plants. As we come out of lockdown and start venturing further afield people feel less safe on public transport and they are using their cars more with no car sharing!

So what can we do to get back on track? Well there are a few encouraging signs. Costa and Starbucks have started filling re-usable cups for their customers again, Asda now offers deliveries without plastic bags and Morrisons are introducing paper bags as the only ones on offer in some stores.

There are things we can do. Why use wet wipes? A wet washable cloth with a bit of detergent works just as well. Of the many hand sanitisers out there, choose the liquid ones rather than gel as the gels contain microplastics which wash off the next time you wash your hands and go straight to the ocean. It might seem a safe option to use plastic gloves when out and about but these can be contaminated just like hands can, but the difference is that we wash our hands while the gloves get thrown away. Greenpeace estimate that globally we are using 65 billion rubber gloves every month. We all feel the need to get away from home but if we are arranging to meet up with friends to have a walk remember there are lovely walks in our area without travelling for miles and miles in our cars. Have you noticed all the adverts for electric cars? They are getting better and better and the distance you can travel on purely electric power is getting greater so it might be a good time to do some research.

We really need to get back to our eco-ways and do our bit for the environment.

Jenny Germain