• Esther Jacobs

The New Normal

It goes without saying that the world is a crazy place right now. However, should we all be looking forward to things going back to 'normal'?

Well, what would be the point in that?

Everywhere you look, the world is turning against us. In fact, it's been happening for years, with floods, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, tsunamis, melting glaciers resulting in rising seas, H1N1, Ebola, and now Covid-19. It's time to realise that mother earth is trying to tell us something.

We simply cannot go back to normal, which is poisoning our planet through pollution, deforestation, overfarming livestock, unsustainable fishing, burning fossil fuels, and more.

So what should the new normal look like?

On a government level

• Far stronger global actions against climate change, for every nation on our planet, to be implemented immediately. Not the currently measly targets, with years in which to meet them.

• Stricter measures on the trade of wildlife... let's face it, we now all know that this poorly regulated trade is the reason behind the spread of Covid-19 in the first place.

• Better fisheries management, with only sustainable fishing methods and targets allowed.

• Ensuring environmentally friendly products are the cheapest... solar energy, electric cars, etc.

• Implement legislations for all energy companies to supply more renewable energies, from solar, wave and tidal power.

• More public information campaigns, including being transparent with their efforts, and sharing ideas on what individuals can be doing to help.

On an individual level

• Shop environmentally conscious: free range meat and eggs, sustainable seafood caught via pole and line, handlines or spearfishing, and organic produce.

• Go meatless: even just one day a week, makes a difference. If everyone in the world did #MeatlessMondays, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by millions of tons of carbon dioxide.

• Reduce your plastic footprint: check out my last blog for ideas.

• Reduce emissions: walk or cycle rather than driving. Use public transport. Use video conferencing rather than traveling to meetings. Fly only for extended breaks rather than a few short holidays, to make the carbon footprint more justifiable... let's face it, a week or two is never long enough anyway. Make your extended travels productive, such as gaining your Dive Masters (check out our partners Go Dive Mossel Bay).

• Be more home conscious: switch off lights and electrical items when not in use. Use the washing line, not the tumble dryer. Eat raw veggies, rather than cooked. Reduce your thermostat and shower time.

We have a long way to go to have a chance at saving our planet, and the efforts must start today.

I, for one, want to help create a healthy planet for my children. I want to be able to look back on this pandemic and tell my daughters that "this was the dawning of a new era, where greed was finally put aside, and our planet and all of its inhabitants became a priority for us all."






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