Coronavirus has overhauled our collective thought, media and, well, pretty much everything else. We’re living through a crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen for decades, so it’s bound to dominate. But with 71% of people in the world thinking climate change is as serious as Covid-19, why isn’t the climate crisis getting anywhere near the same amount of coverage?
We know students care about the environment and it’s a message that resonates deeply. We’ve been in lockdown now for over two months, and with flights cancelled, car journeys reduced and people returning to ‘make do and mend’, if there’s any silver lining to all this disruption, it could be the impact on our planet.
First things first; let’s take a look at the global carbon footprint.
China's coal use fell by 40% during the middle of the crisis, Milan's carbon transport system usage has decreased by 75%, Berlin’s air pollution is down 25% YoY and London’s is down by 44%. Two million Brits have taken up cycling and research is showing that pedestrianised city centres may become the norm. And electric cars featured in four out of 10 top spots in the top car searches; usually only one electric car makes it onto the list.
Working from home has become the norm, and almost one in five people are likely to continue to do this after the Covid-19 lockdown is lifted. There are many advantages to working from home, from flexibility with working hours to a more relaxed working environment, resulting in less stress and no decrease in productivity. But the big winner could be climate change: with the need to commute taken away, and people spending more time in their local areas, this will clearly have a huge impact on the environment.
All of this can only mean a happier planet and fitter, healthier inhabitants, right? So while coronavirus has forced most of us to slow down, it’s also given the planet a chance to start healing.
So what does this mean for students?
We know climate change is one of the most important issues for students, even now (93% of students believe that brands have an obligation to take a stand on environmental issues). So take this opportunity to create something positive. Share stories of what you’re doing to help tackle climate change, how students are adapting their lives one bike ride at a time, and what that’s doing both for them and the planet. How slowing down has allowed us all to regroup and rebuild and how prospective students could be a part of that at your institution.
If you’d like to get in touch with our creative strategists on how you could build in powerful, positive, inspiring campaigns that will land and connect with your target audience during this uncertain time, get in touch today.