2019 seems a long time ago. In those simpler, less hygienic times, Corona was the beer you drank whilst sharing a bowl of nuts with your pals and talking about the climate crisis(although actually, we’ve never been a huge fan of Corona). Fast forward to 2020 and the current Coronavirus pandemic, things have definitely changed.
Covid-19 is public enemy number 1. Talk of tackling carbon emissions can no longer be heard in the pub - maybe because coronavirus is having a positive impact on the climate, maybe because the pubs are closed. Whilst plastic, once title holder of public enemy number one, is having a resurgence. The legends working on the frontline of this fight are, or at least asking to be, wrapped in masks, gloves and hazmat suits made of the stuff. Many of us members of the public are using plastic as a barrier between ourselves and the virus, you’ve seen the photos I’m sure. Yes, we could question whether plastic bags on your feet or a water bottle over your head is much use whilst stocking up at Costco but people are finding comfort in it. And who’s to blame them.
It’s an interesting time for everyone working in the fight against plastic pollution and climate change, whether that be those in science and politics, the people changing their daily habits to be more conscious, or the brands looking to do their bit. The question is what happens after the Covid-19 dust has settled?
You may envision clothes being replaced by single-use plastic suits for each outing to the supermarket; where bananas are wrapped in three layers of plastic, and the sky on the way home is a murky grey due to the coal power stations that have been turned back on to kickstart the economy. But this isn’t The Sun – we aim to make sense not headlines. At Homethings, we think that the response to the novel Coronavirus can lend some hope to the climate crisis.
We’ve seen that change, and proper change at that, can happen very quickly. Even for stuff that once seemed impossible. Businesses have changed how they work, what they do, and how they make cash overnight. Governments have found a lot of money (and quickly). And so it appears that the systemic change needed to tackle climate change is in fact possible.
Someone once said there is no such thing as society. Well, we think you may find yourself very much mistaken. Outpouring of support for health workers, a huge number of applicants to be volunteers, and phone calls from the estranged Uncle you only see at Christmas all show that we can come together; and when everyone comes together, we can do a whole lot of good.
Global collaboration works. Sharing information between countries about the virus has helped, the same applies for climate change. Collaborating on vaccines will help, the same applies with technology for tackling climate change. Frustratingly we have seen some attempt to buy up all the vaccines whilst berating journalists, but we’ve heard that’s a symptom of the blonde toupee virus and will pass.
The pandemic is also having an impact on the climate now. Oil use is down and there is talk of whether the oil industry will be able to recover from the economic shock. Some companies are reported to be paying for oil to be taken off their hands. We can all see that this helps out Mother Nature.
And importantly, we’ve seen that doing your bit, however small, helps a huge amount. Listening to science and self-isolating helps. Not panicking about your bowel and buying all the toilet rolls helps. And helping out your neighbours-in-need helps, massively. If we all do our bit for climate change (and if governments and big business pull their fingers out too, of course) then positive change can and really will happen.
From all of us at Homethings, we send our love to all those who have been affected by this pandemic. But we need to stay optimistic for what happens next. The world can learn from this disaster.
Love + sense,