As COVID led to worldwide shifts in behavior, it left some wondering how the pandemic would influence climate change. Now, as we transition into post-vaccine life, here are reflections on the sustainability of just a few of our newest habits.
WORKING AND LEARNING FROM HOME
Emails, internet searches, Zoom meetings, and more are made possible by a massive network of physical infrastructure and storage on servers and hard drives. With increasing reliance on the cloud, we’re creating a demand for energy-hungry, space-occupying infrastructure.
When restaurants shut down early in the pandemic, many adapted to pickup and delivery as a means to stay in business and continue to feed the community. But to-go translates into packaging and while many restaurants utilize biodegradable products, single-use items remain taxing on our environment. Remember: You can bring takeout food home and use your own reusable dishware.
Skyrocketing housing prices and an influx of people moving to Montana are amping up construction pressure. Options for aff ordable housing, community development, and residential neighborhoods are important, but unwieldy development eats away at open land.
Ordering online requires energy-using infrastructure and adds to the problem of single-use items heading to the landfill. Shipping transportation also contributes to emissions and takes business away from the local community. Sometimes having it shipped makes sense, but in other cases there may be a more sustainable, local option.