The Galway public have been advised by the Galway Environmental Network (GEN) to keep up environmentally sustainable living during the current government sanctioned lockdown, which has been ongoing since 13 March.
Their global Earth Hour event will take place tonight, 28 March, at 8.30pm where people around the world will switch off their lights for an hour in order to save energy.
At present, it’s hard to say whether the reduction of social movement and therefore transport emissions have drastically affected pollution levels in the city, but people could be consuming just as much at home instead.
Caroline Stanely, a representative of GEN and advocate for biodiversity, says, “If you look at it, say on a worldwide scale, if you look at those areas which had the virus, you can really see there’s been a drop in air pollution, especially in nitrogen dioxide.”
She gives some suggestions people can utilise to ensure they continue to lower the impact they may have on the planet and climate change.
“Continue to practice waste management, food waste, you know, consuming the least amount of energy you can possibly. Don’t have the heating on all day, put an extra jumper on; common sense approaches to how you’d reduce your energy – not only just your energy but it’ll reduce your bill in the long-term as well. There’s plenty of stuff you can do; water consumption, less snacking and more meal eating, preparing your meals and having set mealtimes where people eat at. There’s all sorts of things people can do to reduce waste and energy usage.”
She says the surge in bulk buying has a lot to do with the public being scared that we are going into lockdown and won’t be able to obtain produce.
“But then again, you know, when you go to the shops and if you can’t get everything you want you know, just pick up what you need. There’s that other side as well, you know, you make do with what you have. If you have the basics to survive, everyone should be grand, really.”
She hopes that when the lockdown is over, they will remember the importance of nature in their lives when walks in green spaces and beaches were permitted.
For more information on the Galway Environmental Network and their work, please visit their Facebook page https://bit.ly/2yh22Xp or Twitter handle @GalwayEnvNet