Earth day, ecological friendly and corporate social responsibility concept with kid raising world on green lawn: Element of the image furnished by NASA

This Version Posted: April 22, 2020

Image of staff member Sue Shikaze

Sue Shikaze
Health Promoter
HKPR District Health Unit

#InThisTogether has been trending on social media during the COVID-19 situation. It speaks to how collectively we have changed our habits to protect against a dangerous virus. 

Today (April 22) is also a time to think about what we can do together to further protect our health… and that of our planet. It’s Earth Day, an event that marks its 50th anniversary raising awareness of the toll that human activity is having on the environment.  

When we review how people have changed their daily lives to fight COVID-19, Earth Day gives us the chance to reflect on the beneficial impacts these actions have also had on our environment. We can also find hope that they could continue post-pandemic. Consider:    

  • The advice to stay at home except for essential trips means people are driving less. Many are working from home and making fewer shopping trips. Could we not continue efforts to reduce our driving trips in the future?  
  • There’s more time to cook and bake food from scratch, meaning less waste from packaging. Can we not keep this up once COVID-19 is over? 
  • Many of us may have be repairing or reusing items, given stores are closed or access to retailers that are open is limited. Maybe this experience helps us realize we don’t need to buy as much stuff? 

If COVID-19 shows us anything, it’s the power that individual actions have when combined on a worldwide scale. Together, we have all contributed to help flatten the curve. Let’s take what we’ve learned from this global health crisis and apply it to another one… climate change.  

Even though Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki’s Earth Day message for 2010 is a decade old, his point that we can ALL change the world together still resonates today. After all, by looking out for our planet’s well-being, we’re also taking care of our health!