5 ways COVID-19 triggered eco-friendly consumer habits

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Everyone in the world is currently trying to do their best to stop the Coronavirus (COVID-19). I mean…everyone apart from the people who went on a spring break to Miami and tried to break all the government regulations because “they just had to drink and party“:

It’s like you just want to punch them in the face.

But apart from them, we have already learned a lot from the virus. Not only that a pandemic is able to crush the whole world economy. We have also seen a quite radical shift in consumer behavior.

And that’s what this article is going to be about. I have analyzed how people go on about their lives these days – and how that has a positive impact on climate change.

1. We travel less

I mean, this is quite obvious. Governments are shutting down the borders, which means that the airline companies don’t really have any customers.

The COVID-19 virus is more or less killing the travel industry – and several people have already lost their job. Norwegian Airlines, one of the biggest airlines in Europe, were so close to filing for bankruptcy that the government had to save them financially.

Video: Clean water in Venice

Local people in Venice, Italy have been furious about the overtourism that has “destroyed their city”. However, the travel ban to Italy has been leading to clean water. Even the animals are back!

PS! If you want to read more about overtourism and understand WHY people in Venice got mad, I recommend you to read this article.

2. People are not using public transportation anymore

Now, people would probably go “but public transportation is super eco-friendly, isn’t it?”.

And…well. Yes, it is. But it’s actually good for the environment when the bus isn’t going at all. If the alternative was that people were using their own car – then, sure!

It would be a disaster.

But people are not traveling locally, which forces several governments to shut down a lot of their public transportation system. Edmonton in Canada was one of the first cities that parked their buses.

Picture: Oslo Central Station at 16:00 on 20th March 2020

I took this picture in the busiest subway station in Oslo, Norway yesterday during what was previously known as “rush hour”:

3. People understand the importance of using Skype for business

I’ve never been a big fan of business travel. In fact, I prefer Skype. Once you’re done with the meeting, you’re literally done. No chit-chat, coffee or other stuff that will take unnecessary time.

Now that people are working from home, they finally understand that it’s possible to make most business meetings over the computer or phone. There isn’t any need to travel across the world to meet someone in person.

“Fun fact”: According to CondorFerries, the business travel industry is worth 1.6 BILLION (with a B) USD$ every year.

4. All the news is consumed online or through the TV

How The Guardian looks like during the COVID-19 crisis. Always updated at the latest news. Photo: Screenshot, theguardian.com.

We do no longer go to the store to get the newspaper. As new government regulations are rolled out literally every third hour, it’s important to be 100 % updated at any time.

The good old newspaper isn’t able to update you on the latest development. Your mobile phone is.

Comscore published an article about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we consume media. It’s quite an interesting read.

5. The production in China has slowed down drastically

This wouldn’t be a proper article without including the pictures from NASA. In March 2020, they released pictures that illustrate how the pollution level has drastically decreased in the world’s most populated country:

It’s impossible not the spot the difference. Photo: NASA.

It’s quite amazing, isn’t it?

Want to know more about pollution in China?

I would recommend an article I wrote that is called “How I survived a year in the Beijing air pollution“. I was actually living in Beijing in 2015 – which is often referred to as “the worst year for air pollution in the Chinese capital”.

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