mini earth and airplane

Stay Home!
Is The Coronavirus a Catalyst
For Sustainable Change?

Please, stay at home. This Coronavirus situation is one which people do not know when it will improve. 

There are many people who are stressed because they are spending more time at home. Due to the virus restrictions, they can’t go out easily even when the weather is nice. 

It’s natural to feel sad or anxious when considering the possibility that you or someone close to you will be seriously affected by the coronavirus.

One may wonder; what will things be like if this critical situation persists for a while. Could it change things in a positive way in terms of sustainability, in the long-term? Is the coronavirus a catalyst for change?

Video conferencing develops, eliminating unnecessary travel

While working from home is encouraged as much as possible to prevent infections, many companies that have not introduced remote work previously, have now set up a system to work from home utilising video conferencing. While there are still security and management issues, video conferencing usage will increase even further, especially  if this pandemic persists for an extended amount of time. While there is a stated difference between a face-to-face meeting and video conferencing, video conferencing is a less costly method of achieving the same means.  Taking the steps to incorporate video conferencing into your working life, also means less travel, lower travel expenses for the business, therefore producing less carbon dioxide.

Another possible future result of the current coronavirus restrictions, is the continuance of remote work. Now that companies have firsthand experience of how remote work with their employees, they are better able to assess the challenges and advantages of continuing such a work scenario. The continuance of remote working possibilities could result in not only happier, more independent employees but also in a drastic reduction in the companies carbon footprint simply by reducing the amount of office space needed and not requiring a high amount of employee transport to/from the office.

So, can the development of a video conferencing system help in other ways as well? The work from home style clearly may be left as an option in the future because many companies have already adopted it. And if the development of online teaching materials for children spreads and continues, it will be more diverse. Many people will be given different working styles and learning opportunities.

Elimination of paper waste as computerization progresses

Although it has been progressing little by little already over the past several years, there is a possibility that digital documents will be more rapidly developed and applied from now on. The movement to eliminate the paper waste of bills by digitalising them, has been in the process in quite many countries around the globe. Other digitalisation services may follow, in order to avoid seemingly unnecessary person-to-person contact.

Recovery from damage caused by over-tourism

Over tourism has been a problem in various places around the world. There are many examples of tourists exceeding the capacity in a destination, and the sea and waterways were naturally overloaded and polluted. There are reports that ecosystems and pollution are recovering due to the sudden disappearance of tourists in places where overtourism was a problem, such as waterways in Venice, Hanauma Bay in Hawaii, and beaches in Mexico. Now is a good time to review entrance restrictions and regulations.

There is a possibility that corona will change the way the world does things, into a more environmentally-friendly direction. Everything was functioning in a way that did not change easily in the normal mode. However, in this unavoidable situation of pandemic,  things are  changing more rapidly or inevitably. 

It is common knowledge that changes are needed in order to overcome the problem of overtourism. As the tourism industry is currently on pause for the pandemic, it does create the opportune moment for implementing change. One could find themselves wondering; is now the ideal time for a reset to the tourism industry? 


Damage to the economy may lead to a move towards purchasing locally made products which contribute to and benefit the community more. Local production for local consumption may become not only more popular, but more necessary as global supply chains and manufacturing weaknesses have been recently brought to the forefront with the Coronavirus crises. 

Localisation would be of enormous benefit to local communities. Not only would it help to keep profit directed to small producers, but can also serve as a way to further reduce carbon emissions, as products would not need to be shipped long distances. As it is currently, people tend to encourage and foster their local economic situation simply by purchasing more locally produced items.

Future travel

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, and during the 2008 recession, the tourism industry declined. But then people gradually began to step out, visit local eateries, and have a strong demand for local and nearby trips for weekend breaks, and ultimately for overseas travel. The financial damage is unavoidable this time as well, but one would think it will gradually approach the situation where travel becomes increasingly possible again.

In this pandemic, many people have realised how connected the world is and how many people are moving around the world. People are now lonely at home during the Corona pandemic. Being unable to meet friends and distant family members can feel restricting. When the situation calms and travel increases again, more people may be looking for vacations to connect with others, such as local tours and family trips.

What has been  taken for granted is that it was difficult to appreciate how wonderful it was at that time. Many people may have noticed that it was a wonderful thing to be able to travel freely now that they are not able to do it.

It is with a hopeful heart that many long for the possibility that one day as soon as possible one will be able to explore the world while feeling the gratitude of being able to travel and know the world again.

Would you like to learn more about eco-friendly travel? Please, click here to sign up for the Ecotourism World newsletter to receive more inspiring information to your email!