I don’t think any of us have forgotten the unsettling and peculiar break from our daily routines that the March lockdown gave us. We know how it has affected us, but what about the environment and world around us?


The travel restrictions gave our environment a similar break to ours. The reduction in travel resulted in a decrease in fossil fuel and oil use. This, consequently, according to the PNAS, meant there was a 30% reduction in nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide and other gases. This aided the clear resurgence in biodiversity. For instance, New Scientist suggested that wild bees will benefit from this reduction, due to how these gases affect ‘their ability to smell flowers at a distance’. If bee’s ability to do this improves, not only will there be an increase in the wild bee population, but also an increase in plants and flowers, due to the rise in pollination as their ability grows.


On the other hand, there was also an increase in household plastic waste. According to the ‘Every day plastic survey’ reported by Sky News, 3.6 billion pieces of plastic had been thrown away every week in lockdown, of which very little was being recycled. This was a definite increase from the waste that UK households usually produce. So, on the other hand, our enviroment has suffered, as we know a lot of our non-recycled plastic waste ends up in our oceans, threatening wildlife like seabirds and whales, and spreading toxins. A large amount also ends up on landfills, breaking down and eventually seeping into the soil, not only damaging the ecosystems but, indirectly, humans in addition.  


As peculiar and unsettling lockdown has been, the benefits are clear. For our nature to continue to thrive as it has during the past months, we must make a conscious effort to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.