Why do we say mother earth? Why not “the planet”, earth, or planet earth? There are many names for this gorgeous place we all live in. Yet, we chose to use Mother Earth because of her life-giving properties.
When we as humans step out of the way long enough, she has the space to heal. During this pandemic, that’s one thing we know for sure and have witnessed through videos and pictures. She’s healed in many glorious ways. But, in this blog, we’re only going to talk about three.
Yet, they are the most impactful displays of healing she’s experienced in a long, long time. And for that, we have something to be grateful for during this challenging and distressing time.
1. Improvement in air quality
1. Everyone walking the planet today needs air to breathe. So, the quality of our air is beyond important. Thankfully, we’ve seen a massive decrease in pollution, due to factory shutdowns, fewer cars on the road, and the drop in flights.
In Delhi India, the most polluted capital in the world saw a 50% drop in their pollution levels during the shutdown. And in Punjab, which is close to Delhi, locals could spot outlines of the Himalayan mountains, even though 100 miles stand between them.
This phenomenon hasn’t happened in decades. There’s less smog and clearer skies for many of the big cities around the world because of the major drop off in industrial waste and pollutants.
2. Happier Wildlife
Animals around the world are thriving during this pandemic. It’s awesome to know because they’ve taken a backseat to humans for a long time now. With all of us staying inside more than ever, animals have free reign over the parks, forests, rivers, oceans, and even the streets!
There have been many coyote sightings in San Francisco during the early mornings and some afternoons. Residents catch glimpses of them outside their apartment window. Coyotes, like most wild animals, tend to stay away from people and therefore avoid venturing out during the day. But not anymore!
Also, one study estimates that each year in the United States, 1 million animals get killed because of car-related accidents. This number will drop significantly due to fewer people driving.
Even more, there’s some wonderful news for the leatherback turtle population. They’re the largest sea turtle population in the world yet they’re at risk of extinction. At least they were. This year in Phuket, Thailand animal conservationists identified 11 turtle nests. Over the last five years, the number of nests totaled zero. Needless to say, this is wonderful news and gives this species hope for a future.
3. Cleaner Oceans
When the pandemic first hit, global shipping ceased immediately. Fewer boats in the water, including commercial fishermen, meant less noise. And less pollution too for that matter. Animals like dolphins and whales rely on sonar to communicate. But, with the constant ship and boat traffic and noises, it would interfere with that communication.
Also, another major issue with our precious oceans has to do with plastic pollution. In 2018, a United Nations report found that 13 million metric tons of plastics, (many of which are single-use), get dumped into oceans each and every year.
So, how can we protect our Mother Earth?
It all starts with awareness. Without being aware of the problems Mother Earth is up against, how can we work to do better? Another benefit to the shutdown, besides the improvements to the planet, is the increase in awareness about these issues.
People are sharing and chatting about the issues we shared on their social media accounts. It’s circling around the web and reaching mainstream media.
So the days that we’re “stuck” at home aren't wasteful. Sure, the pandemic can be very frustrating at times. But this is a huge learning opportunity, for growth, for improvement, and a time for change. If we don’t do something now, when will we?
The change can be something small, like taking your reusable bags to the grocery store, buying a metal straw instead of a single-use plastic one. Or refilling a 5-gallon jug of water instead of shopping for a 24 pack of plastic water bottles.
Carpool, or take public transportation. Share these ideas and others with your family and friends. It’s the least and the best thing we can do.
These “little” changes are actually critical steps in the direction of healing the planet. Let’s not let this time go to waste — Mother Earth is counting on us!