Renew the Energy, Renew the Planet

Renew the Energy, Renew the Planet

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, about 3.9 billion people, over half of the human population, have been keeping safe from the virus indoors. Because of this, transportation via motorized vehicles has rapidly decreased, lowering the amount of pollution produced by automobiles and other environment-contaminating means of transportation. With less greenhouse gases emitted into the air, the pace of global warming has slowed down. In addition to the dwindling of climate change, lakes, rivers, forests, and other animal abodes have been cleaned up, so much so that swans and a jellyfish were seen swimming in a river in Venice! With the upcoming arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine, the tranquil recovery of these habitats might be cut short. Global warming will also increase, unless something is done soon to change our sources of energy.

In Delhi, India, one of the most heavily polluted cities on earth, the air quality used to be a whopping 200-900 on the air quality index (AQI) scale. According to the World Health Organization, anything above 25 on the AQI is considered dangerous. The air pollution was so awful in Delhi that even a close mountain range was completely obscured in smog for over 30 years. People have been staying indoors, due to the pandemic, reducing the need for over 11 million registered vehicles and slowing pollution in their streets and rivers. The chemicals and trash left behind by travelers had eventually built up and endangered several animal species. But the lack of travel meant a lack of litterers and exhaust from cars, helping to heal the planet, claims the Union of Concerned Scientists, an an organization committed to protecting our planet. These changes in human behavior caused by the pandemic has allowed the Air Quality Index to drop from 200-900 to just 7 in Delhi! This pattern is also being observed in other places across the globe, such as Beijing, China and much of New Zealand, as stated in articles from C&EN (Chemical and Engineering News) and The Guardian. To continue lowering the amount of air pollution even after Covid, we can follow these six ideas to conquer climate change, adapted from an article by climate.gov:

1. Switch to renewable sources of electricity (such as solar power and the wind) to fuel buildings, homes, and appliances.
2. Make use of electric machines and electric automobiles instead of those that run on fossil fuels.
3. When possible, utilize mass transit or vehicles that are powered by kinetic energy, such as bicycles or scooters, to replace travel by car.
4. Conserve energy by replacing older, faulty devices that suck-up huge amounts of electricity with energy-efficient machines.
5. Plant more trees.
6. Buy from and donate to local businesses that use and encourage eco-friendly practices like the ones listed above.

You can also:
* Support charities that use profits to maintain the environment.
* Turn off the lights, air conditioner, heater, and other electricity-using contraptions when they aren’t needed to save power.
* Tell others about how they can help save our planet!
* Reduce the amount of plastic you consume, such as by using reusable metal or glass water bottles and utensils.
* Recycle, recycle, recycle! Plastics and other environmentally harmful products can be recycled to reduce the amount of items put in landfills, leading to a healthier environment.

It is clear that millions of people are ignorant to the fact that their planet is slowly dying due to global warming. They go about their day-to-day lives, using technology that emits sgreenhouse gases into Earth’s atmosphere. Many also litter and contribute to the destruction of habitats. Habitat recovery during the pandemic may come to a halt if this continues. But, the good news is that more people have started using eco-friendly transportation and energy sources, which is a great contributing factor in reducing global warming. You can slow climate change too! Follow the steps to prevent global warming listed in the two lists above and educate the people in your community about how global warming is harming our planet and needs to come to an end.