New Delhi: Ever since the coronavirus or COVID-19 evolved from China’s Wuhan city and spread to countries across the world, vital environmental changes were witnessed. From improved air quality to cleaner Ganga water, India experienced some unbelievable changes since lockdown. Also Read - World Environment Day 2020: List of Most Critically Endangered Species in India
M Rajeevan, secretary in the Ministry of Earth Sciences had stated that pollutant levels across the national capital Delhi dropped between 20% and 60% between March 21 and April 20. “Particulate matter started declining immediately after the implementation of the lockdown,” he had claimed.
But these things may go back to the normal, when the situation will improve. So, on World Environment Day 2020, here’s the list of five things one should continue doing post lockdown, for the sake of a greener environment.
a) Control Industrial Waste: The unregulated dumping of global industrial waste has seen to be controlled during lockdown period. The Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal(1989) addresses the hazardous consequences of industrial waste, but like almost all international convention it does not provide a legal instrument to enforce the points mentioned. Post-Corona period needs to see the more regulation oriented dumping of industrial waste.
b) Avoid Using Plastics: From manufacturing to using, plastic pollutes environment in all its form. The most common form of plastic used widely is Polythene and Poly-carbonate, both of them, if not littered properly, can cause toxicity. Improper littering of plastic causes imbalance in wildlife as well as aquatic life.
c) Avoid Unnecessary Travel:Do not forget the fact people movement across the countries has resulted in the outbreak of coronavirus or COVID-19 spread. We should understand that social distancing (isolating yourself from the crowd ) is the need of the hour. This was also the first step, the governments of all major countries stressed upon to combat the spread of the pandemic.
d) Planting Trees: This is the most efficient way to a cumulative protection of environment. One of the obvious reasons for planting trees is for the betterment of air quality. Also, their root system prevents the drainage of water to surface, thus lowering soil erosion. Plants are also important for the functioning to water cycle which is important for the planet to survive.
e) Unnecessary Use of AC: Air conditioners require lots of energy to function properly. It consumes large amount of electricity, which results into pollution. Reports have claimed that air-conditioning releases about 100 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, commonly known as a greenhouse gas, a major contribution to ozone depletion.
About World Environment Day
In a bid to encourage awareness and environmental protection, World Environment Day is celebrated every year on June 5. The day was first observed in 1974 in the United States’ Spokane city. As per the United Nations (UN), the theme for 2020 is biodiversity– a concern that is both urgent and existential. “Recent events, from bushfires in Brazil, the United States, and Australia to locust infestations across East Africa – and now, a global disease pandemic – demonstrate the interdependence of humans and the webs of life, in which they exist,” the United Nations said in a statement.
Notably, World Environment Day 2020 is being hosted by Colombia in collaboration with Germany.Last year, China had hosted World Environment Day with the theme ‘Beat Air Pollution’.