Updated: May 12
The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis that has affected everyone on the planet. But it’s also affecting our environment, wildlife, and even our pets.
UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, says “We are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations — one that is spreading human suffering, infecting the global economy and upending people’s lives.”
By now we are all aware of how serious the COVID-19 pandemic is. Perhaps you’ve lost your job or business. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one, friend, colleague, or neighbor. At the very least, you might be experiencing cabin fever or missing the simple act of going out for dinner or drinks with family and friends. But how is it affecting the world around us?
One of the pros is that during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, greenhouse gas emissions dropped by a whopping 4.6% - the largest drop since the burning of fossil fuels began. Ranked the worst air quality in the world just one year ago, the skies in L.A. were suddenly blue and smog-free. But it is unclear whether the benefits to air quality will last beyond the immediate crisis.
One of the biggest cons is that disposable paper masks – important in helping to minimize the spread of COVID-19 – are ending up in our landfills and waters by the millions. They are being found on beaches and in fish nets across the planet; birds and other animals are injured or die after becoming entangled in a mask; and recently a dog in Massachusetts had to get emergency surgery when it almost died from ingesting a disposable mask. A disposable mask can smell like food to dogs or other wildlife.
The answer to these problems is really quite simple and will make a world of difference: Use reusable cloth masks or cut the straps of paper masks, then dispose of them in a covered trash can or closed trash bag.
Duk Gear’s mission is to help save our planet and we recommend that you invest in a few cloth masks. With literally hundreds of thousands cool cloth masks available in stores and on websites like Amazon and Etsy (or direct from your grandma’s sewing machine), you’re sure to find some that will suit your unique style.
We’re all in this together and it’s up to us to minimize the effects of COVID-19 in the world around us.