COVID-19: Let’s not forget about the Environment!

With a flood of headlines in last few days all about carbon emissions – they fell by a record amount in 2020! At Livetree, in order to maintain the one silver lining of this year… we want to give you some tips on how to make sure you stay safe in the now, and make sure the environment is fail-safe for the future.

In the midst of worries that emissions in 2021 may rebound after falling in 2020, it’s ever more important that we work to flatten this curve in the coming months.

While the light at the end of the tunnel for Covid-19 is in sight, in the form of a Pfizer vaccine, we still have a long way to go.

Coronavirus has made us as a society more concerned about space, hygiene and distance. More people are afraid to take public transport. They generally seek more exclusive (thus, more carbon-emitting) forms of transport; Ubers, private hire cars or their own vehicles. More people than ever are wearing face coverings. They are generally seeking disposable masks that can’t be reused.

For the sake of our environment, we have some recommendations on how to protect yourself from Coronavirus, while being mindful of our current climate crisis.

Public Transport

Choose walking, or cycling, buses or trains, over the tube or aeroplanes!

Travelling on the tube or most airlines does not guarantee you either hygiene or a safe distance from others. There are no official guidelines for tube travel, except that it is mandatory to wear a face covering, and travellers must stay 1.5 to 2 metres away from fellow passengers.

At peak times, this 2 metre distance cannot always be guaranteed, and in terms of hygiene, tubes were never the most cleanly, were they?

Most airlines are still operating at a capacity of up to 70%, which still means passengers are more likely than not to be sitting close to others. With the average short-haul flight duration being 3 hours, this puts exposure time up even higher than all bus, train and tube journeys altogether.

So, travelling by air is both dangerous for its passengers, and for the environment. The aviation industry accounts for 2% of all human-induced carbon dioxide emissions, as well as 12% of all emissions produced by transport services.

Your Own Vehicles

While using public transport is better for the environment, sometimes an individual must make their own judgement about what is best for them. In this case, we recommend electric cars. According to EDF Energy, in just one year, a car that runs on electric can save an average of 1.5 million grams of CO2.

Our Livetree certified partners, NIO, offer high-performance electric vehicles of all shapes, sizes and colours. Their ethos centres around the idea that consumers shouldn’t have to attach guilt to car ownership. We can all own cars while reducing our carbon footprint, it’s possible.

With the UK’s upcoming ban on petrol and diesel cars by 2030, was there ever a better time to invest in an electric one?

Face Coverings and Masks

The recent surge in production and use of single-use masks, gloves and hand sanitiser bottles is undeniable. We cannot ignore it any longer.

Plastic Ocean UK has enlightened us on the sheer damage these disposable products do. The organisation has found them in our oceans and on our beaches, threatening local environments and natural eco-systems.

We recommend that people try their best to wear reusable, washable masks and face coverings as well as effectively recycle their sanitation bottles.

Here are some great small businesses where you can buy masks that protect you, the environment and look cute:

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