The month the world stood still

There is no doubt that March 2020 will go down in history as the month mankind was forced to stay at home. We need to treat our enemy the COVID19 virus from the influenza family -a long time adversary of mankind, with the respect it deserves. Afterall, it was capable of bringing everything we hold familiar in our 21st century world to a grinding halt, from schools, university and offices to food take out and ecommerce services. It is in these times, what all that we hold familiar no longer functions at capacity that panic can get the best of us. But it is this very panic that we need to avoid.

One distraction to keep you away from the panic is to direct your focus at becoming a greener citizen. Earth Day falls on 22nd April so that should give you some time to review and revamp your strategies to become an eco-conscious citizen.

One way to see this global disruption is to see how our self quarantine has allowed ecosystems to recover. In Kerala, Civets have been spotted on semi abandoned roads and in Italy swans, dolphins and fish are back in the previously frequently trafficked canals and In China air quality is the best it's been in a long time. Ecosystems can take care of themselves, if we allow them to.

So if nature can take care of itself why do I conserve it? To answer this you all must remember the first justification you were given to learn Environmental Sciences at school- Save the environment and save the planet! We need to reframe this statement. The planet has been around for more than four billion years but us modern humans, we’ve only been here for around 2,00,000 years. And by this I mean ‘us’ as a species, we urban humans have only been around since the industrial revolution that happened 200 years ago and our digital lifestyles have been here only for the last 30 years. We’ve been here for a very short time. The planet has survived and thrived before us, and we need to realise that it can do the same without us in the future.

So to answer the question: So if nature can take care of itself why do we conserve it? The answer should be: Because we live on it. You should want a better planet for yourself. So how will you go about getting it? By reviewing how you live your life currently! Use the internet to see how your current habits as innocuous as them may seem affect the planet. Start with you and then look at your neighbours and the local governing bodies. Change starts with you. Earth Day may be observed on 22nd April but we live every day on Earth so start now.

All the best!

Anoushka Viegas

Programme Coordinator