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As Life Returns to Normal, Will We Appreciate Nature and Live More Sustainably?

by Susie Kearley 3 months ago in Sustainability

Lessons from a pandemic

As Life Returns to Normal, Will We Appreciate Nature and Live More Sustainably?
Photo by Boxed Water Is Better on Unsplash

In 2020, when we all went into lockdown, it was easy for people to dwell on the negative sides of the restrictions, but while we all spent more time at home, some people were finding unexpected pleasures in the simplest things!

Appreciating the joys of nature

By Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

Journalist Caroline Harrap said, “Living in Paris, one of the most positive things to emerge from the lockdown has been the benefits to the environment. With so little traffic, the air quality has improved immeasurably — and the views from the top of the hill in Montmartre have never been so clear. Naturally, the noise pollution has diminished too — and all you hear now on a walk is the birdsong. Even the blossom seems to have bloomed more brilliantly this spring.”

By Jack Hamilton on Unsplash

Wildlife enthusiast, Tim Taylor, from Somerset was enjoying daily walks and spending time in his garden. He said, “I like it being so much quieter, no vapour trails, appreciating the time I spend outdoors more, not rushing about as much.” He found plenty to be positive about during lockdown, posting pictures of birds and amphibians from his garden on social media.

Communities coming together

Across the country, communities were supporting each other during the crisis, delivering supplies to those in need, and going the extra mile to help the elderly and vulnerable.

Our local town council launched a vegetable box scheme when it became clear that it might be difficult to source vegetables locally or have them delivered.

By Sara Scarpa on Unsplash

David Williams, Rector of St Mary’s Church in Princes Risborough, England, volunteered to make deliveries. He said, “I’m only too aware of many in our community who are anxious at the moment, so I’m delighted to be able to help where I can and encourage others to play their part where they can. One of our priorities as a local church is to care for those in need, especially the more vulnerable, and something I am taking away from this time is how rewarding, and often moving, it is to come alongside and help others.”

There was a lot going on within the church to support the community. David added, “It has been great to see how many are reading our daily inspirational thoughts and joining in with the Sunday services online. I hope this will continue long after the virus has gone!”

Women’s Institute

The Buckinghamshire Federation of WIs got all hands on deck, helping out in the local community. They said, “We are loving the sense of community and being able still to help our neighbours. Our members created over 3000 laundry bags for county hospitals in just 10 days!”

By J Williams on Unsplash

A more sustainable way of life

The benefits to our natural world are easy to achieve when we’re motivated. Now it’s almost over, will this lockdown make us think more about supporting local businesses, travelling less, and doing more home-working?

Helen Edwards, a writer from Shropshire says, “I’m enjoying shopping in my local farmshop, which I intend to keep doing after lockdown ends. We’re creating less waste too. I’ve switched to using washable cloths instead of kitchen roll, because of the shortages.”

By Gabriel Benois on Unsplash

Vic Kearley, an engineer from Buckinghamshire hopes video conferencing will reduce his need to travel for work in future. “During lockdown, we used Microsoft Teams to conduct meetings and it’s been great. It will benefit the environment if we can work more like this in the future, rather than travelling to clients’ offices for meetings, or asking them to travel to us.”

Some people are trying to reduce food waste by being more creative with leftovers. There’s been a surge in people growing their own vegetables and a growth in people getting their own hens!

By Zachariah Smith on Unsplash

Perhaps now that lockdown has come to an end, we can all appreciate nature a bit more, enjoy quiet time a bit more, and live more sustainably? The next big challenge is the climate crisis, and that’s not going to be an easy one to deal with either.

Think about it. What did you learn from lockdown? Will you be keeping any new habits or living more sustainably?


Susie Kearley

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Susie Kearley
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