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Lockdowns Aiding Eco-Awakenings

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

Nick Webb explores how the slowdown of lockdown has provided an opportunity for environmental change within work and the household.

Photo by Roberto Nickson

As many countries around the world struggle under various levels of lockdown due to the Coronavirus, the situation has given some a new outlook on becoming more eco-friendly.

With more people working from home, less traffic on the roads and in the skies, and a winding back of many heavily-polluting industries, the world saw an overall drop in emissions of around 8% during the first months of 2020. With this, more and more people are realising the extent of their personal carbon footprint and considering change.

A poll commissioned by Avocado Green Mattress and undertaken by OnePoll has determined that since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, 64% of 2000 Americans have experienced an “eco wake-up call” since the beginning of the pandemic and have decided that they need to make some lifestyle changes to become more environmentally friendly.

This is largely due to the extra time at home giving increased focus on choices being made around the home.

The results show that 70% of those polled said that being at home has made them more aware of needing more eco-friendly habits, including being more aware of wasting food, more sparing with paper products, and more considerate when purchasing meat.

What About After the Pandemic?

While these changes in behaviour were inspired by the Coronavirus, the poll also suggests that 81% of responders are planning to continue with these better habits once the lockdowns are lifted and life can return to normal. Most people are planning to continue their new habits by recycling more (55%), and using fewer paper products.

Moreover, many are planning to work from home, with 42% of the sample saying that they would try to work from home at least one day a week. As well as reducing the carbon footprint caused by commuting, it has also been shown that working from home has many other benefits, including better employee happiness levels, and the ability to be more flexible with schedules.

“We’re living in unprecedented times. Now, more than ever, we’ve been presented with an opportunity to reflect on and reassess our current way of living as a society, and help make strides towards adopting more thoughtful, sustainable habits.” – Mark Abrials, Chief Marketing Officer of Avocado Green Mattress

The survey indicates that people are becoming increasingly interested in ecological issues, both close to home and on a global scale. 79% of the respondents said that they are thinking more about global connectivity between nature and humanity as it is suggested that Covid-19 has its origin in human activity.

Abrials has said that

“Covid-19 hasn’t just changed our habits, but the survey found it’s also affected the way we think about the world.”

The real question is whether these good ecological habits will continue after lockdowns end; how far will people continue to monitor their behaviour responsibly to have a positive effect on the world around them? Hopefully the photos of clean air over China and dolphins in Venice’s canals will inspire greener mindsets for years to come.


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