Though the coronavirus pandemic has been taking a huge toll on human life, it has appeared to be a blessing for the environment. In the first few months of the pandemic, when most countries around the globe imposed restrictions to contain the life-threatening virus, nature got time to heal the damage living beings have been doing over the decades and centuries. The pandemic has led to a decline in demand for commercial activities that exploit natural resources in many parts of the world. Consequently, scientists observed better environmental conditions— air quality and river water quality were improving and wildlife and aquatic life were flourishing. But, such a situation will not exist for long, and it is not expectable too. Therefore, we should continue our attempts to save the environment by our own initiatives.
World Environment Day was observed yesterday with the theme ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ and the slogan ‘Join# Generation Restoration’. Different programmes were arranged to create awareness among the masses. But, saving the environment is not something that can be achieved in a day, as it is a continuous process and needs regular efforts, both from the government and individuals’ parts. It is unfortunate and worrisome that despite the long campaign against the use of polythene, plastics products are being used all over the country to date in absence of better alternatives and awareness among people. Moreover, efforts to decrease air and water pollution are yet very few. Adding to the woes, deforestation and hill cutting continue in full swing in the name of infrastructural development while the world is urging for tree plantation and ecosystem restoration.
A double standard of morality regarding environmental issues would not bring any positive result since we know that nature takes revenge. People should, therefore, be compelled to save the environment by enacting new laws and implementing those with strict hands. Besides, a drastic change is needed in our food habits that contribute hugely to individuals' carbon footprints, a major contributor to global warming. The changing lifestyle and consumption habits in lockdown have brought a change in our school of thought, many of whom are nature-friendly. Now, what we need to do is to continue this trend to input as little as possible in environmental pollution.