The Coronavirus Impact on the Environment [Infographic]

As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds across the globe, threatening lives and upending the world economy, it’s also had a profound impact on the environment.

Scientists first noticed a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in China, where the pandemic began. This trend followed the pandemic’s spread across the world.

Meanwhile, viral social media posts started to pop up about wildlife sightings in urban areas, claiming “nature just hit the reset button on us.”

Less reported has been the dramatic rise in medical waste and packaging from online shopping.

In this post, we’ll look at the full environmental impact of the COVID-19 crisis to date and what lessons we can take from this tragedy to fight climate change in the future.

Look at the data on the infographic below:

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How Wildfires impact Water Quality

There is no mistaking that 2020 has been one rough year. Nearly every aspect of our lives has been impacted by COVID-19, but really, that’s hardly the half of it. This year has also brought an economic downturn, murder hornets, a crazy election cycle, and monstrous natural disasters most notably tragic wildfires. 

From Australia in January to California and the rest of the US Pacific coastal states this summer, wildfires have ravaged communities in both developed human landscapes and in the wild ecosystems we all enjoy. Though many have argued that there is some natural benefit to fires, few are speaking of fires of this size and magnitude. Indeed, many of the fires of 2020 have broken — and broken again — records for size, intensity, and human or ecological damage. 

Many communities that are left behind find themselves struggling to pick up the pieces. The majority have goals of building back to what was before, only stronger and more resilient. Of the many considerations that those trying to rebuild must consider, the way wildfires will impact their water quality is one of the most important.  

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Soil is Alive! [Visual + Video]

World Soil Day (WSD), 5 December is the United Nations Observance that celebrates healthy soils for a food-secure future. This years’ campaign “Keep soil alive, Protect soil biodiversity” urges us to focus our attention on the workers belowground – from tiny bacteria to agile millipedes and slimy earthworms – all of which contribute to processes that are indispensable to life on Earth.

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The Problem with Consumerism [Videos]

In 2009, South Korea did something remarkable. The country poured 2% of its GDP, some $38.1 billion, into environmental projects, hoping to create one million green jobs over the next  five years. The goal was to spur growth in a slumping economy while simultaneously creating a low carbon society. In one sense, the plan worked. South Korea’s economic system did eventually recover, but in a more important sense, the plan failed. From 2009 to 2014, Korea’s emissions rose 11.8%. So, despite massive investments in clean energy, railway expansion, and energy efficiency, South Korea’s emissions still climbed.

So what happened? Why didn’t South Korea’s green growth strategy work? The video below (by Our Changing Climate) will answer that question and more in order to understand one of the insidious spectres that haunts the green energy revolution: consumption.

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Sustainable Benefits and Drawbacks to Remote Work

In 2020, remote work went from an occasional perk to a way of life around the globe. While working from home (WFH) has often been touted as a sustainable way to work, as more and more people have engaged in it, it’s shown that, like everything else, it has its sustainability pros and cons.

Here are a few of the biggest considerations when it comes to the eco-friendly nature (or lack thereof) of remote work.

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