Keeping Beaches and Natural Sites Clean This Summer
As much as the world has suffered due to COVID-19, the Earth itself has managed to benefit from months without the usual volume of daily travel, industries in full swing and people going about their normal, busy lives. Global carbon emissions fell dramatically due the collective efforts to contain the virus, while many natural sites experienced a letup like never before from waves of visitors.
There has been research to show the connection between the coronavirus pandemic and positive effects on the environment, including less pollution in the air, lower noise levels and cleaner beaches. But since lockdown restrictions have begun easing the public has flooded back to these momentarily inaccessible spots, and if we are not mindful of our actions the natural world will be no better off from the “unprecedented” change in 2020.
These are a few reminders of how you can get back to enjoying the great outdoors this summer while helping to limit the harm that could come to it.
Appreciate what’s near you
The good weather has seen an influx of people to popular, well-known locations and the more concentrated these numbers are at one place the greater the disturbance there is and likelihood for there to be litter left behind. Before heading straight out to wherever first springs to mind, maybe consider getting your fix of fresh air from somewhere closer and less obvious, until at least until the rush dies down. This should save you travelling by car and help keep your carbon footprint down as a result.
Consider different travel options
If you are going for a mini adventure or day out somewhere further from home, check if it’s accessible by public transport. It may not always be the most convenient option but it does cut down the number of cars in use. If the journey isn’t possible by bus or train, and you’re going with friends, can you share the one car rather than each bring your own? What seems like a minor change will actually make a huge difference to the Earth’s atmosphere if everyone driving was to make this their primary way of thinking.
Leave no trace
This saying has stood the test of time for good reason. Our magnificent planet should be treated with respect, so whether you’ve gone for a scenic hike, a picnic, camping or are taking the dog for a stroll, no litter or waste should be left behind. Bring dog waste bags if you have your little companion along and dispose of them either in designated bins or wait until you get to one. Try to also keep to pathways when you can, as not to trample over any plant life and things living amongst them.
Any packaging or food and drinks containers should be binned or recycled if possible, or else brought back home to sort into the correct bins for collection. Anything carelessly discarded not only diminishes the spotless image of beaches and the like, but causes devastation to wildlife whether it’s in the water, grass or anywhere creatures could be dwelling. You can also think about having reusable bottles, bags and anything else which will reduce what’s thrown away each time you go out.
Take heed of these tips and hopefully our return to planning outdoor activities won’t prove to be as damaging as before