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What does sustainability mean in the time of coronavirus?

Sustainability Coronavirus Earth Day 2020

It’s Earth Day this Wednesday, and everyone at RUSSH  is feeling a little different about their place in the world. 

We’re craving sunshine like we never have before; our ceiling spiders have become conversational partners. The expanse of nature has never seemed more glorious. Case in point: when I read that some of Sydney’s beaches would be reopened for exercise this week, I cried.

This is hardly news, but it’s been A Year. In Australia, where RUSSH’s central headquarters are located, we felt history-making fires ravage our country. We marched for policy change to mitigate the climate crisis that’s already here, and turned our focus to sustainability. The power of the people began gathering momentum.

And then, with seemingly little respite, we switched into another kind of survival mode.

There’ve been plenty of good news stories about what’s happened to our world as the human race has stopped, you know, racing.

You’ve no doubt read that reductions in international and local travel in the coronavirus era have led to reduced air and water pollution world-over. Small, local and environmentally sound initiatives have received renewed focus, and the fashion industry is rethinking the way it does business with sustainability in mind.

On the flip side, health concerns have seen a return to harsh products and single use plastics. And though we’re (understandably) focused on the immediate impacts of the coronavirus, anthropogenic climate change continues. The question is, what happens next?

When it comes to the climate crisis, there is truly no time to lose in bringing real political and institutional change. And in the past months we’ve been gifted lessons. That intentional stillness is also a kind of movement. That it’s possible to stop, think, and change direction (on a personal and societal scale). And even more so, that we are actually very capable of adaptation. 

Stress is an undeniable feature of our present days.

When it comes to our part in healing the planet, self judgement and guilt aren’t going to help. But we know that positive actions do. They might even help heal us, too.

So this week - and this Earth Day - we’re finding focus and starting small. With the knowledge that it’s needed. But also that doing good feels good. As products of the earth, this seems an essential part of our biology - and one we should be tapping into.

It might be writing to your local MP, or using the cleaning products that balance your health with that of the environment. We’re here to help you find out how, and we’d love to learn your knowledge too. Because it’s never been more clear that we’re in this together.