Minimalism, Sustainability and Conscientiousness during Covid-19

The Coronavirus pandemic has caused a ‘record fall’ in fossil fuel emissions in 2020, has had charity shops overwhelmed with donations, and households keeping a 2-metre-distance from one another.

There is no denying that this unprecedented time in our lives has been challenging, distressing and even unbearable for many, but what lessons can we take away from our collective experience?

For some, spending much of 2020 and 2021 in various lockdowns has been a time of enlightenment. ‘Staying home’ has granted people quality time with family, dedicated time reading and/or writing, creating art and discovering lost passions. In a small way, it has been an opportunity to return to the simplicity of life, without outside pressures that tell you to ‘move’ and ‘do’ and ‘produce’.

Conscientiousness and Minimalism

Manuscript and writing submissions have increased by almost 40% since 2019, a number way above the expected figure. Time spent reading also increased by 50% during the spring lockdown in 2020. It is also said that a whopping 85,000 online businesses launched during lockdown in the UK. With the privilege of time, people have re-ignited old passions, adopted new habits and learned to be creative again. This is something we can take with us into a post-Covid crisis world.

The Coronavirus pandemic has also taught us to respect the true meaning of freedom. As the global populous has, generally, become more mindful of the well-being of others, we have achieved a consistent level of social freedom. This is the theory of freedom that asserts, freedom cannot exist if it does not exist for everyone.


Historians and Epidemiologists predict a second roaring 20s era this decade, echoing the 1920s boom post-pandemic. Whether this will realise itself or not, going forward, we should collectively continue to practise consciousness and not collapse into a rabbit hole of complete hedonism (though some is surely well deserved).

Evidence from the past suggests that while fossil fuel emissions go down in times of recession and during global pandemics like Covid-19, oftentimes, they increase exponentially the year afterwards. It’s important to take this knowledge with us into our post-Covid crisis world, whenever that may be…

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