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2020-05-04
Covid-19

Environment after the crisis: will our good habits last?

The best way to go through a difficult challenge is to see its benefits. Since the beginning of the great-pause, social media are flooded with great news, when they are truthful and verified, that helps guide us through the darkness. Animals are regaining their lost territories, and the Himalaya mountains are now visible from cities that were significantly invaded my smog.

Those external disruptions, triggered by the crisis for better and for worst, usually also develop along with internal disruptions. The actual situation forces us to reflect on our impact as individuals and put in perspective our lifestyles for a more significant, better collective experience.

On April 22, in the context of Earth Day, we asked people of our community if they thought the COVID-19 crisis could have a real, long-term positive impact on the planet. Here's what stood out.

Save the planet near our home

A majority of the 38 answers are optimistic and think that this obligated pause will have positive repercussions on the planet. But a few are being careful and are waiting for more scientific proofs that things will change for the best.

People are getting along in terms of how to get there.

Questioned on the actions they were willing to take as consumers, most people were sharing the same view on buying local (81%). Public transportations are put aside in favour of other habits such as purchasing products with less wrapping (36%), local tourism (31%) and telecommuting (26%).

The message that the Quebec government keeps spreading since the beginning of the pandemic is going through the consumer's head and will resonate for a significant amount of time. On one hand, this behaviour will continue to be supported by public programs and businesses themselves. On the other, in a context of economic recovery, the impact of this solitary act becomes real for the consumer: it might help a producer, a restaurant owner, a Quebec craftsman, while also helping the environment. 

In the near future, it will be vital for businesses to voice strong involvement regarding this subject et ensure the transparency of their practice. For the consumer, it is time to develop better reflexes and ask yourself the right questions in order to understand how to invest in the local economy and respect the environment truly. 

The virus is not the cure

The crisis we are navigating is showing us how destructive a tiny, almost invisible virus can be, completely turning upside down our lifestyle.

It is also revealing how our lifestyle can be detrimental to the world around us.

Humans (citizens, politicians, business owners) are both sick and the cure at the same time. The COVID-19 crisis can have a positive impact on climate change long term, if and only if, we are drawing the right lessons and are putting them in action.

A collective awareness, that is the wish most of you guys shared.

" I wish this crisis will wake a few people up, but mostly executive leaders (of businesses and governmental) in order to push a green upturn." 

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" In the absence of human and nature contact, that people realize what really matters. (...) It is time to change our ways of consuming and how we treat our planet." 

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" That we stop believing in infinite economic growth, and that we turn to food self-sufficiency."

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" That people have a newfound respect of hand-made production and understand the value of it, whether it is regarding objects or food and that they think twice before buying things they don't need."

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" That we took this pause to reflect on new eco-friendly habits! Brands must embrace change and creatively renew themselves."

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" I hope the crisis will make everyone realize how local commerce has positives impacts HERE and NOW, and that it is mostly always more green and ethic."

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" That people are aware of the positive impact of confinement and to not go back to their old ways."

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" That brands were less greedy. Money is not everything."

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" Hopefully the crisis will be long enough to engrave direct and long-term consequences so that Quebec citizens consume better."

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" That people realize we only are guests on planet Earth. That hopefully, they will adopt more responsible behaviours."

Let's hope that this wish, shared by many, comes true.

About

As a graduate in communication from Concordia University and with a master's degree in documentary content from UQAM, François-Olivier is responsible for directing ideation and content design, in addition to bridging the gap between strategy and creation.