Today is Earth Day. Ordinarily there would be events, lots of public statements, renewed focus on dealing with the world’s environmental challenges and (sadly) also a fair bit of greenwash. However this year is different.
With the Covid 19 crisis the world’s attention is focussed (quite rightly) on caring for the sick and stopping the spread of the virus. In this the world is united.
As a result there are a number of reasons why we at The Big Lemon are cautiously optimistic that we are better equipped to take on the world’s huge environmental challenges than we might think. Why?
- We have learned that when there is political will almost anything is achieveable. From block-booking hotels to house rough sleepers to building a fully functioning hospital within 3 weeks, where there’s a will there’s a way.
- We have shown that dramatic reductions in carbon emissions and associated improvements in air quality are possible to make, very quickly.
- We have realised that it’s actually quite easy to work from home, and to do without a huge amount of what we previously thought were life’s essentials.
- We have remembered what’s most important in life; our health and wellbeing, family time, clean air, walks in the woods, birdsong, home-baking, our neighbours, our local independent shops, and keyworkers – mostly low-paid staff who until recently were barely appreciated at all.
We in the bus industry have, as a result of the pandemic, recently been reclassified as key-workers. We always knew we were important (!) but it’s nice to be recognised for the vital role we play in getting people to work, to the hospital, and to the shops.
The bus industry has been hugely affected and nationally is running a fraction of normal services. We at The Big Lemon are running 42.5% of our normal services but many in the industry are running much less or not at all, and the big worry is how many communities will lose their bus service completely as a result.
However it’s clear that the world has changed, the way people travel has changed, the amount people need to travel has changed, and the way we as an industry operate needs to change too.
For a more in depth discussion on the challenges facing our communities this Earth Day please have a look at the video below where Tom Druitt, The Big Lemon’s Founder & CEO, joins Kayla Ente (Founder, BHESCO), Kat Fletcher (Director, Freegle), Ruth Anslow (Co-Founder, HISBE) and Damian Tow (Director, Brighton Energy Coop) in a special virtual discussion to mark the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day: