The ecological impact of COVID-19

keeping the earth healthy


Taken by Braley Haviland

A beautiful summer sunset in the mountains overlooking a dock

Olivia Forti, Staff Writer

While the effects of the Coronavirus on an individual or corporation are fairly known, not many people are aware of the effects the pandemic is having on the environment.

With people staying inside, the environment has had a break from human activity. Eric Mack, of CNET, says that the environment is doing better now than ever. Since fuel emissions have greatly decreased, both air quality and clarity have improved, especially in busy cities, according to data gathered by satellites. The use of electricity has also decreased as fewer buildings and factories have been functioning. Like the environment, animals have also benefited from the stay at home orders. The lives of wild animals are improving from lack of human interruption and the ability to roam freely.

​These benefits are offset, however, by an increase in waste products polluting the environment as well as a decrease in the implementation of environmental policies. Residential waste, or waste from one’s home, has drastically increased, with online shopping and the ban of reusable bags at supermarkets generating more waste than usual. According to Business Insider, “Medical masks and gloves are washing up on beaches in Hong Kong because of improper disposal and policymakers have put in environmental policies and climate summits on hold to focus on the coronavirus crisis at hand.”

​In order to make a lasting change, everyone must do his or her part to help the environment. According to, The Nature Conservancy has created a list of small changes one can make to an everyday life that is eco-friendly and will provide long-lasting effects. Using reusable cups, bottles, utensils and straws; recycling packaging from a purchase; using rags or cloths instead of paper towels to clean; composting unwanted food; buying second hand, and even purchasing in bulk will all positively impact the environment.