While the impacts of the pandemic are affecting people mentally and physically with life for some being incredibly tough right now, the situation we find ourselves is also causing us to think differently about the way we live our lives and what we care about. New perspectives offer new ideas about sustainability, and so while we are doing what we can to support those affected by the virus, we must also seize these opportunities to put us all on a better path while they are still open
At Global Action Plan, along with the rest of the sector, we are using this time of adjustment to listen, observe the potential for change and capture innovations so that we can work together as movements to demonstrate how we want our world to be in the future.
The virus crisis and the lockdown have brought new perspectives to both GAP’s areas of work – securing clean air for all, and an end to exploitative consumerism. Many people have experienced clean air in their neighbourhoods for the first times in their lives with the lowest traffic volumes since 1955. And the closure of shops, rationing of instore and online purchases, and the social debate about hoarding has forced new conversations about what we buy, how, and why. In March, Brits bought 34% less clothing then we normally do (ONS).
Pandemic analysis suggests that the next stage is one of regeneration, a time of revaluation ahead of the new normal. We have been thinking about the new leadership opportunities which are emerging for us both within the sustainability sector and more broadly. If we are to ensure that the future is a better one, we need to be an even stronger environmental movement, with more followers, advocates and changemakers.
In the spirit of hope, which will be so key to this regeneration, we’d love to hear your thoughts on what we can all start work to change right now, so they’ll be no turning back when the time comes, please email [email protected].
Finally perhaps the greatest opportunity for progressive leaders is proving that we can live sustainably. The lockdown has helped us to experience radical shifts in behaviour unthinkable even weeks ago and we now have a fighting chance of making sustainable lifestyles desirable and mainstream. We CAN have an enjoyable life and avoid destroying the planet.
Sonja Graham & Chris Large
Global Action Plan Partners