Has the pandemic made you greener?

Lily Downing-Saliani.

Over a year has passed since the pandemic altered our world. Daily lives have changed. Working from home is now the norm, many vacations are on hold, and connectivity online has become more crucial than ever. 

What are the implications for our environment? Leasiders have likely become greener because of the pandemic. And whether the result of conscious changes or not, our environment is benefiting from many of the differences in our daily lives now. 

Fewer of us are travelling every day for work, groceries can be delivered, and many takeout food services are thriving. We have adapted to staying relatively close to home, ultimately reducing the emissions from our vehicles. 

My mom, Janet Downing, has altered her daily routine by working from home and rarely using her car. She has adapted to teaching and tutoring through online services to ensure her students’ education continues to be a primary focus. Remaining connected while we are apart is beneficial to our well-being, but it’s also beneficial to our climate. 

Staying in touch with others in our community, city, and world, allows for discussions about the climate crisis to continue. Through interactions online, more people are aware of the global effects of climate change. Our community’s actions matter in the grand scheme of things; a greener Leaside positively promotes a greener Earth. 

My friend, fellow Leasider Sophia Gazzola, told me how her lifestyle has shifted to being more environmentally friendly through the pandemic. “I have been going on more walks, I don’t drive [now] as much as I walk.” Sophia also recently started a butterfly garden featuring a bee bath and many native flowers. Tending to a garden makes for a great, green pastime. 

Gardens also have positive environmental benefits: they take in carbon dioxide, promote sustainable agriculture, increase oxygen, and provide resources for other wildlife. Even if you don’t think you have a green thumb, you’d be surprised at how many low maintenance plant options there are.

All of our individual efforts in the community positively affect the environment we share. Together we may have unintentionally created a greener Leaside; collectively we should continue to strive for sustainability.

This article has been guest contributed by Lily Downing-Saliani.