Go back

What a difference a Pandemic makes

What a difference a Pandemic makes
By Simon Williams
June 24, 2020

2020 is a year that no one could have planned for, but that’s not to say there haven’t been some silver linings along the way. As the economy halts and business’ continue to pivot to a new way of working, the environment has been the single positive recipient of this pandemic with some truly staggering results. Before you make rushed plans to return with your team to work or pick up your old consumption habits, let’s review the passive benefits of this pause and let that colour your decision of how you proceed from here. At CartridgesDirect, we love to champion the remote and home office worker, especially when there are global and environmental benefits that come as a result. 

Air pollution has significantly reduced

In the fight against overconsumption and the realities of climate change, air pollution is a growing concern globally with cities like Beijing, New Delhi, London, New York and many other hotspots enduring very poor air quality year-round which is a result of their population size and the density of their city. Then COVID-19 hit, and we retreated to our homes only leaving for mandatory tasks with the roads clear and the air clearer still. You only need to look at these global before and after pictures to appreciate how much pollution has cleared, and what an unacceptable shape these landmarks were in before COVID-19 hit.

In China alone, half a billion of their citizens heeded the warning to stay at home and this action alone equated to a 7% reduction in the world’s pollution. South Korea has followed the same guidelines and seen the cleanest air in almost seven years, with Italy and India on the same trajectory despite their population. With NASA reporting on just about every country and our combined unintentional efforts to reduce pollution, this is the silver lining every person in the world can get behind.

How we interact with the environment has changed

In the first month of isolation, book stores, craft studios, exercise equipment and home improvement stores were sold out of their stock. We have almost seen a return to a past era that most of us never fully experienced, with our entertainment being derived from simple pleasures. Chief among these new habits is visiting parks and green spaces giving us an enriching experience as the only outing many are taking, and not only associated with walking to and from a car garage or functional action but mindful exercise instead. Our habits pre-COVID-19 were probably calling out for intervention, and our pollution and consumption levels more than support this.

Take London for example, in the height of isolation the city decided to close their underground service as it was a vehicle for a possible outbreak, and London folk had no choice but to walk or ride as a mode of transport. There was an understandable outcry by the public at this ruling, although three weeks later when the underground system re-opened, they didn’t see the numbers on board and rather cycling and walking was up with the public having time to reconcile and explore the option of other transport modes, none of which use the energy or elicit the pollution of the underground tube.

How can we continue these positive environmental impacts?

Now that we are allowed to return to work and some of our old activities, it doesn’t mean we should rush them and the global pollution that is created as a by-product. In fact, the directives of all our elected officials have been to continue working from home if it’s possible. You might not think this simple act carries much responsibility but think of the commute and workplace overheads that are putting our environment under unnecessary stress. 

The greener alternative is to furnish our homes with the tech we need that supports sustainable initiatives and consume only within what is needed. Our experienced team can help you set up a functional home office with all your printing needs met, and we can refer you to the many models that are made from recycled materials or low in energy consumption so that you can make an even greater impact. As the world heads toward a digital focus regardless of the COVID-19 interruption, it’s never been more important to have your home office set up anyway.


If you haven’t already had the discussion with your team and workplace about the impact you have made staying at home during these times - start the conversation. We should all be proud of our societal and environmental effort and do our best to stay working at home until this chapter is behind us. That said, consider working from home to be part of our permanent work-life culture, and contact our team if you need help in setting yourself up at home.