Staying green during quarantine

Jaimie Alessi and Shaina Julis

While the coronavirus has been devastating to people and the economy, it has had an unexpected impact on the environment. The reduced travel and economic slowdown caused by the quarantine has reduced pollution around the world. 

NASA’s satellite images of China show that there has been a visible decrease in nitrogen dioxide over the country since the beginning of this year. According to NASA, this was “at least partly” due to the economic slowdown due to the outbreak. 

In Italy, IFL Science reported that Venice canals have become clear due to less tourism. The absence of boats and cruise ships allow fish to also be seen. Citizens who live along the coasts have watched dolphins swim closer to the shore.

In cities around the world, including Wuhan, China, people under lockdown have seen blue skies return from pollution which has been a public health concern. 

Scott Collins, an atmospheric scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, has satellites displaying how after big factories have shut down, over 50% of harmful chemicals, such as carbon monoxide, have been reduced over China. Similar reductions have been proven due to less traffic and commercial air travel in big cities such as New York City and Los Angeles.

Pascack Valley has taken the matter into its own hands, installing motion-activated lights on the second floor and hand dryers in the bathrooms.

In October, to spread awareness of Greta Thunberg’s environmental campaign, the school participated in the “The Lights Out Movement” which involved shutting the lights off in classrooms for the first 15 minutes of school. The goal of the movement was to inspire people to use less electricity and fossil fuels.

While PV has already taken multiple actions to keep an eco-friendly environment, there is much more to be done while at home. This break from everyday life and society is an opportunity for each individual to make the cleanliness of the Earth a priority.