As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease across Australia, students and educators will be seeing more of classrooms, and each other. With this positive step toward more familiar routines comes an excellent opportunity to reflect on and discuss positive changes that could be embraced post-pandemic.

  1. Clear skies mean cleaner air
    The global lockdown has seen the biggest emissions decline in history and a significant proportion of this drop can be attributed to the number of flights being grounded.

    Many of us are daydreaming about exotic locations but the evidence is clear, if we fly a little less it does make a massive difference.
  2. We don’t always need cars
    With restrictions on travel distances and public transport, walking and cycling have become popular options when leaving the house. Bike sales around the world have exploded with people literally lining up around the block in the United States as severe bike shortages are being reported.

    In Europe, governments are going one step further by implementing long term strategies such as adding permanent bike lanes while city streets are relatively empty. Italy is even offering 500 Euro subsidies to purchase bikes while London is expanding car-free blocks. With so many capital cities taking the opportunity to permanently reduce traffic and emissions, COVID-19 may transform transportation as we know it.
  3. There’s beauty in our backyard
    Confined to our neighbourhoods, many of us have developed a newfound appreciation for the outdoors. Backyards have never looked more appealing and droves have embraced home veggie gardens. It’s important to take stock of the natural beauty in your own area and being self-sufficient means you’ll always eat well.
  4. Nature appreciates a break
    As humans stayed inside, animals reclaimed spaces long lost to concrete structures and thrived in empty national parks. While it’s not ideal to have wild animals roaming city streets, it’s a reminder we should consider creating more space for nature in urban areas.

    There is also plenty of evidence the COVID-19 recovery can benefit biodiversity and scientists have called for the conservation of nature to be at the centre of economic recovery efforts.
  5. We’re all in this together
    Friends and families have been brought closer together and for many industries working from home could likely become a permanent option. Tragedy has forced communities to provide support in unique ways and reminded us just how important personal connections are. If we work as a team we can overcome the greatest of challenges, and create smarter, more sustainable communities that can slow pandemics and climate change.