Covid-19 crisis sees positive environmental impacts

As previously discussed in our Covid19 crisis article, the world has seen a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as a result of imposed self-isolation and lockdown guidelines, so we thought that it would be of interest to our readers for us to look into this change a bit deeper. We will also shed light on the importance of remembering sustainable living principles during this crisis. This is something all of us in the Sussex Green Living community, the Horsham Climate Cafe and Horsham Climate Cafe should remember.

Covid-19’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions

As worldwide air pollution is down, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has, in the last day, reported large decreases in air pollutant concentrations across Europe. As this is such an unusual and worrying time for us all, seeing a positive amongst all the negatives is inspiring.

With Wuhan’s smog depreciating significantly and reports of fish being seen in the waters of Venice for the first time in years, as well as a reduction of nitrogen dioxide across the world, these factors should prove to us all that small differences can create such huge environmental changes.

Environmental risks during the pandemic

The UK’s supermarkets have now reduced the 5p price of single-use plastic bags for deliveries and in the last few weeks, supermarkets have been advocating non-recyclable cups rather than recyclable cups. This is a backwards step for the long term changes we want to see. It is an important time for us as a community to do our bit and resist the urge where possible to become complacent because of the coronavirus crisis.

I recently stumbled across a sustainable living study that revealed 43% of British adults are happy to spend more on greener goods in supermarkets. As everyone has been flocking to the shops and clearing supermarket shelves, many might have now changed their tune on their spending habits.

So, as we all are now following the Government’s recommended guidelines of staying indoors and many of us are sitting behind computers or helping kids with their homework, our electricity usage per household is likely to have increased. However, it is still important to remember to continue doing our bit for the environment. The crisis won’t last forever and we still need to have a thought for the future.

Examples of sustainable living habits we should be following during the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Remembering to switch off our electronic devices when not in use
  • Sanitise our reusable bags after shopping
  • Reduce consumption of meat

How the Green Sussex Living community can do their bit

As we are in a period of instability and many of us are settling into our new form of “normality”, making positive and sustainable choices now with a thought for the future could help create a lasting reduction of greenhouse gas emissions countrywide.

We mustn’t forget about switching off our electronic devices when not in use. For example, as lights are such a big use of energy ensuring they are turned off when leaving the room can help reduce carbon emissions by approximately 0.15 pounds each year.

Here is a simple energy and money saving tip when making a hot drink….did you know, if you boil double the amount of water you need and add milk to your drink produces about 71g of CO2. Boil only what you need and add milk, its 53g of CO2. Boil only what you need and have a black tea or coffee – 21g! So to make your tea/coffee breaks a little more environmentally friendly, simply only boil however much water you need – fill up your mug with water and use it as your exact measuring jug! If you really want to go the extra mile, try a black tea or coffee every now and then – milk significantly increases the carbon footprint of a brew!

If you are making the right choice and using reusable bags at this time, take note that recent news has confirmed that viruses can live on reusable bags for up to 9 days. Make sure you leave your bag outside the house after you have completed your shopping and fully sanitize the bag with detergent.

Taking the positives into account

Rather than using this time to dwell upon the negatives, looking at the positives can help reduce our anxieties surrounding coronavirus. The state of the environment has already improved and we can work together once the crisis is over to maximise on the improvements as a community.

I have attached some helpful sustainable living tips below that we can all refer back to during this difficult time and help create stability out of instability.



Horsham Climate Cafe during the covid19 crisis

Until further notice the Horsham Climate Cafe is popping up as a virtual event using FREE Zoom video conferencing software every Saturday, learn more here.

We can help you save money and buy green energy

You can get a cost comparison to eight 100% clean renewable energy providers using this site from the comfort of your home We have helped lots of people switch at the Horsham Repair Cafe, everyone has saved money, between £90 and £366. So do not wait until the end of your contract with these type of savings, do it now!

Guide on saving money and helping the planet

You can view a handy zero waste cheats and free wild food money saving guide here including interactive links. Or download it if you wish.


Feeling inspired to get involved?

We are always looking for volunteers, so get in touch or come and meet us and see how you can get involved! Join us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, or sign up to receive our latest news (it only takes two seconds to add your email address – simply click on black ‘Follow‘ tab on bottom right of this screen!). Feel free to also send us an email using our contact form, or come and say hello at our events like the Horsham Climate Cafe or the Horsham Repair Shop!

Inspiring sustainable living in Sussex