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Corona – Breathing time for nature

Posted on May 22 2020

Sure, the Corona crisis hits us all and should be over as soon as possible. And yet Corona brought a positive effect on nature through its life slowing effect. What do we learn from it?


The Corona Virus keeps populations worldwide at home. The effects of the pandemic are causing, in some cases, alarming mortality rates and thus incomprehensible individual suffering. Not to be underestimated are the consequences for the economy, which every individual will also ultimately feel. Amid the bad news, however, there is also much good news to report – even if not directly for people, but for nature.

Worldwide decline of pollutant emissions

Only a few weeks after the first cases and the lockdown in Wuhan the consequences from space were clearly visible. The sky over China was suddenly blue again. The same could be observed everywhere where air pollution is a visible problem. It can be explained by the shutdown of the industry, which can no longer rely on a mobile and cheap workforce.

But even where smog does not take people's breath away, emissions are falling. Since the majority of people around the world stay at home, individual mobility has fallen to almost zero in some places, and logistics and tourism are also hardly ever practiced at present. Airplanes stay on the ground, and global shipping traffic also suffers from quarantine regulations.

As a result, CO 2 emissions this year are 5% lower than last year – to understand how much that is, you have to remember that emissions have so far risen by 1% every year, despite all the assurances given by governments and industry. One swallow – or 5% – does not make a summer, but the Corona crisis is giving the climate savers valuable time.

"Vacation" for wildlife and more local shopping

The retreat of humans is also a blessing for the wildlife. Shy wild animals venture into the city centres, probably astonished at the sudden absence of human activity. Dolphins play in the lagoon of Venice, a roebuck was filmed in Liguria while walking along the beach promenade and taking a bath in the sea.

Consumers are also starting to rethink, as the virus reveals the weaknesses of long, overly long supply chains. More and more customers are beginning to take an interest in products from their own region – because even if imported goods are still available, prices have already risen, and many people no longer want to resort to canned fruit and vegetables that have travelled halfway around the world, partly because of Corona.

A lot of potential for change

That many things can change abruptly if you have to – that is probably the clearest lesson to be learned from the pandemic, which is far from over. Moreover, people have had more time to think. In many cases, their own living and consumption habits were also examined. For the mortality of others, which we used to be less interested in, through civil wars, famine, migration, is now coming back to affect us. Even with comparatively low mortality rates, compared to the Spanish flu around a hundred years ago, the Corona Virus makes many people think about what really matters. Besides health, family and friends, it is above all nature and its riches, which are now all the more appreciated when one can venture out of the lockdown. With the right willpower, citizens and governments can help to make the exceptional situation of the Corona pandemic a lesson for the future – so that in 50 years' time, looking back, this period may well become an important turning point in our history.

NIKIN wants to help change – and make people think about it

Although we at NIKIN are primarily concerned with sustainable materials in the fashion industry and fight against global deforestation, it is important to think sustainably in other areas of life as well. We want to motivate people to rethink their lifestyle and possibly make it more sustainable.


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