Coronavirus Shows Positive Impact on Earth

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CBS News

Air pollution levels before (left) and during (right) mandated quarantine.

Within the last month, many countries have undergone a lockdown or have issued a stay-at-home order that is meant to help slow the current COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, the Earth’s environment has had some drastic changes that have positively impacted the world. 

According to theatlantic.com and bbc.com, air pollution rates have dropped by nearly 50 percent, bodies of water are clearer than ever, and there is less rumbling on the surface. All of these things are the result of less transportation traffic and less pollution from trash and carbon dioxide. 

Even though the Earth’s condition is slightly improving, that doesn’t mean it will stay that way if we go back to driving our cars around and polluting the Earth again. 

Mr. Brian Streng, a science teacher and one of the leaders of Earth Club at RHS, shared what he thinks society could do to continue to help the condition of the Earth. 

Streng said, “…in order to keep these gains, businesses will have to find ways to become greener by improving their profitability. In a capitalist system, it is all about the bottom line. Hopefully, people will appreciate the parks and natural areas more and notice the cleaner air, and hence be more willing to protect it.” 

There are also many ways that we as a community can help. 

“Ross can do multiple things to help. First, as a school and community focal point, we have the opportunity to expose the community to environmentally sustainable solutions. Installing solar arrays or wind turbines to power our main campus which would take an initial large investment, but would be financially beneficial in the long run. We could shut down all the computers not currently being used or require auto-shutoff of computers that have been idle for a set period of time or work on making our HVAC system more efficient,“ stated Streng.

Streng also mentioned that the RHS cafeteria could partner with local hog farmers and reduce the number of single-use plastics being used during lunchtime. 

There are many things can be done individually to help keep the Earth healthy as well. You can decrease the amount of plastic used in your home. Instead of plastic straws and cups, use reusable straws and reusable water bottles. Another step you can take is recycling and composting. Even though these are little changes that you can make– small steps can go a long way.