Mother nature in our new world

One thing that has been really positive about this difficult period is the fact that nature can have a breather. Mother nature in our new world is beginning to take over again. In the places where us, humans, used to be and live.

Venice, Italy - Photo by Aliona & Pasha  from Pexels

Boats used by the public transportation system and sightseeing boats
are the main cause of air and water pollution in Venice

Photo by Aliona & Pasha  from Pexels

For instance, the dolphins that have started swimming in Venice’s lagoon and the clear water there (although we have since discovered this was not in fact true, but the water is still clear!). With no new cruise ships to churn up the water and nobody out on the gondolas the silt in the water has settled. So, you can now see to the bottom of the canal beds with sightings of fish swimming about. You can also watch dolphins playing near the shore (apparently they were playing by the shore in Sardinia). All things that were unthinkable just a short time ago.

Frequent cruises to/from Venice are one of the major contributor or pollution 
Photo by Matthew Barra from Pexels

Cruise ships
Photo by Matthew Barra from Pexels

There has also been a dramatic decrease in harmful emissions across heavily populated areas. As planes are grounded and we are now mostly staying at home there isn’t any real traffic on the streets. Air pollution has reduced significantly and we can only hope everyone gets used to this improvement.

Horley, United Kingdom - Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels

Horley, United Kingdom – Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels

Mother nature reasserting herself

Mother nature in our new world is reasserting herself as human activity ceases. Perhaps it’s the planet’s way of telling us to take it easy on the whole ‘exploitation of the earth’ thing we’ve been doing for centuries. Even if only a few of us really notice this then it will help. So, the more of us that sit up and take note of nature and all its glory, the more likely we are to think about the planet.

Also, if we all have time to reflect then maybe we will be less keen to see everything go back to normal. Firms will presumably be more willing to let people work from home and we may start taking less flights.

Maybe it is an optimistic vision but there is a feeling change could be in the air. When the dust settles reflect, make a change and take time to look at nature in all its beauty around you.

Green Invasion, an artwork realised by Ludo in 2013

Green Invasion, an artwork realised by Ludo in 2013

Carbon Offsetting your flight

Carbon Offsetting your flight

When travelling abroad it is difficult to know how you can reduce your impact on the environment. The ideal solution is to stay at home and take public transport where possible. Although, of course there are times when you want to fly. Be it to find warmer climes or to see some friends in another country. Carbon offsetting your flight can be an option. This way you are helping to offset your carbon footprint by doing something positive.

You may have noticed the news about people trying to avoid air travel too.
In Sweden, there is a growing movement of ‘flight shaming’ that calls for curbs to air travel due to its environmental impact. The number of passengers who flew through Swedish airports fell four percent in 2019. The drop was led by a decline in domestic traffic.

So, if you cannot really avoid flying, carbon offsetting your flight is a way to invest in green projects that can ‘absorb’ your carbon footprint. In essence making your flight ‘carbon neutral’ in this case. For example, you can contribute to a scheme that plants trees, or helps people in an African country get more efficient cooking stoves. You can either do this through the airline or there are organisations that run carbon offsetting schemes. Although, some in the industry have criticised them for not being effective, so shop around. However, demand for offsetting is growing rapidly.

What Carbon Offsetting choices are there out there?

A number of airlines run their own schemes although they have been criticised for not pushing the environmental message strongly enough. Virgin Atlantic runs its programme in partnership with a reputable offsetting company called ClimateCare.

Alternatively, there is a German carbon offsetting organisation called Atmosfair. They provide customers with quite a bit more information about the impact of their flight.

Julia Zhu, is a spokeswoman for carbon offsetting. She says, “Offsetting is not supposed to salve consciences, or act as a get-out-of-jail-free card. Every serious offsetting organisation really stresses it is better to avoid emissions when you can. It’s always better not to fly. But flying and offsetting is better than flying and not offsetting.”

So, spare a thought when you fly next time and think about what you can do to help reduce your environmental impact.