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April 08, 2020

The current pandemic has been rough on a lot of people in a lot of ways, but, as with all things, it’s not entirely bad news. There are good news stories coming out of this — like, Italian canals suddenly so clean you can see the fish — and we’re seeing people being more creative and, in some ways, more connected than ever.

We’ve found some other good things to focus on at the moment.

  1. Northern Indians can see the Himalayas again

Due to the reduction in pollution over India, the profoundly beautiful, snow-capped Himalayas can be seen for the first time in 30 years from a distance of 200km away — and stars are visible at night.

  1. Nitrogen dioxide pollution has been significantly reduced

With factories closed down, fewer cars on the road and fewer planes in the sky, carbon emissions are drastically lower than usual, giving Earth and our precious oceans a chance to breathe. Here’s hoping some of these behaviours continue beyond this crisis.

  1. We’re getting hyper-local

As well as keeping our travel local — like, really local — we’re getting to know our local businesses better, and we’re fighting harder to support them. We’re paying attention to our neighbours and making sure they’re okay. We’re really feeling the community vibes and reckon they'll carry on post-pandemic. 

 4. The cruise industry will never be the same again 

Sure, cruise ships seem kind of fun in a weird way, but they’re a nightmare for the environment. Cruise ships produce at least 17% of the total emissions of nitrogen oxides, plus the 50 swimming pools' worth of waste they dump into the ocean per week means big trouble for marine ecosystems. We can’t imagine cruise ships being all that popular in the future, and this is good news for the planet. 

     5. Amsterdam is bringing in the Doughnut Economics model and Spain is planning to implement a universal basic income system

British economist Kate Raworth's Doughnut Economics model is based around the idea of making the world a more sustainable place for both humans and the environment, while a universal basic income system ensures a basic level of financial stability for all people. The capitalist systems that prioritise growth over sustainability are being called into question. 

     6. We’re learning some important lessons

For some of us, that’s how to grow your own veggies or keep chickens. For others, it’s how to be more organised with food prep, or that we don’t actually need as much as we thought we did to survive. Or that working from home kind of works. Or that reaching out to vulnerable people is not that hard to do. Or that spending the day at the beach with your mates is an incredible luxury.