Environment awareness during lockdown

Surrey Business School’s Dr Alvina Gillani, who works and researches in the area of ethical consumption and sustainability, took the opportunity to ask colleagues on World Environment Day 2020 how they thought their relationship with the environment might have changed during Covid-19 and lockdown.

Alvina invited members of the University of Surrey’s Faculty of Arts and Social Science (FASS) community to share their thoughts on how we might continue to nurture our relationship with the environment post Covid-19, whether it be more recycling or a bit of gardening. Here are some of the reflections, from animal-spotting to reduced fuel consumption. 

“As someone who spends a lot of time outside I have enjoyed seeing nature come forward again as humans have retreated. I have seen Red Kites, deer, blue herons all in places and at times that they wouldn’t normally been.

I have also enjoyed being able to cycle in safety throughout the day, rather than having to get up super early to avoid the traffic. Perhaps my greatest pleasure though has been seeing more families out and enjoying nature in a way, and to an extent that I have never seen before.”

“As part of the course I’m teaching for the Masters in Management, my students have to come up with a digital economy solution to a world problem in times of the pandemic. Three out of four groups have worked on very interesting projects, from designing a platform to reduce food waste in Brazil, a carbon footprint calculator for homes and a virtual reality app for people to travel/without taking airplanes.”

“My husband made three little ladder bridges for the kids using the branches from the bay tree in our garden. The kids are loving it and so do we! We have been “summoned” and given a tuition on how it works by the “game ruler”. Going up and down the bridges has become an important exercise since then.”

“Car use: barely use the cars at all now. We have 3 and we didn’t go anywhere until garden centers opened. This means that 2 petrol cars and one diesel are not on the roads. Both cars took a 28 mile journey each weekday. Fuel use has gone down hugely.”

“I now walk at least 5km in nature every day – this includes 5mins to sit quietly and just be still in nature each day. Moving forward I am hoping to travel less – but perhaps for longer. It’s been a good lesson in just how fragile we (humans) and our environments are.”

“I worry that my Amazon deliveries and other deliveries including via Royal Mail are causing many van journeys, although it is good for them to be working and the roads are empty.”

“Nature has music for those who know how to listen to it. Let’s listen carefully because this Earth risks losing up to a million species due to human activities in the near future. A small step by each one of us can go a long way in making our Earth a better place to live in. Every action to preserve our biodiversity for our future generations’ counts”. 

We’d love to hear how your experience during lockdown may have changed your behaviour and relationship with the environment. Please email any comments to a.gillani@surrey.ac.uk.