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Silver Linings of The Pandemic: Finding Light in The Dark

Silver Linings of The Pandemic: Finding Light in The Dark

April 02, 2020

The best way to combat the darkness: be the light! In a situation like this, with so much fear and uncertainty, how can we shift our perspective to see the pockets of light, to find lessons in the gloom? 

Keep reading for:

  • Silver linings of this pandemic
  • Lessons to take with us when this is all over
  • How we're giving back to help fight this pandemic and heal the planet 

CLEANER AIR

With most planes grounded and cars parked in driveways, air pollution has dropped dramatically around the World. In China, a country where 1 million people die every year from air pollution, it’s estimated that 50,000 lives have been saved from improved air quality in the past few months.

china-air-quality

Image: NASA

Los Angeles, named the smoggiest metropolitan area in the US for the last 20 years, has experienced massive improvements in air quality for the last three weeks. On air quality maps, the city is scoring the highest level of clean air possible while quarantines are in place.  

LESS CARBON EMISSIONS

Thanks to production being halted and transport being reduced, greenhouse gases are set to drop almost 25% this year! Unfortunately, this level likely won’t be sustained once economies start back up, but it shows what an impact we can make in a short time by adjusting our lifestyles with sustainability in mind.

CLEARER WATERS

In Venice, the typically murky, crowded waters are sparklingly clear and teaming with marine life for the first time in recent history. Without the continuous traffic of cruise ships and leisure boats, calm is being restored to the delicate local canal. People have posted photos of swans and dolphins in the surrounding waters! 

venice-canals

Image: enzoborriello

RELIEF FOR ANIMALS AND ECOSYSTEMS

Thanks to mostly empty Brazil beaches, over 100 endangered newborn sea turtles had an unobstructed walk across the sand and into the ocean. And ditto for sea turtle hatchlings in India – 70,000 sea turtles underwent their annual nesting without the usual masses of people observing and interrupting their annual ritual.

And less greenhouse gases means a potential life raft for animals in the Arctic too. The nearly endangered polar bears depend on sea ice to survive and their numbers have been dropping continuously with rising ocean temperatures. If we can keep some of these carbon-reducing habits up, maybe we can turn things around for the polar bears.

polar-bear-paul-nicklen

Image Credit: paulnicklen

LESSONS TO BRING FORWARD WITH US

Most of us know on some level that our current lifestyles as humans are not sustainable for the planet. That at some point, to halt climate change and find more joy, we’ll have to make some major changes to the way we live.  

And while this pandemic has been the most surreal, scary time of many of our lives, it’s also an opportunity to reevaluate, to reflect, and find lessons to bring with us. Most of us have seen a complete shake-up – we’ve been forced to restructure our lives, to come up with new habits, new forms of entertainment, new ways to work/socialize/communicate. And yet, some of these changes have been incredibly positive both for us and the planet. So how can we turn these good habits into common practices that stick with us when all of this is over? The ones we’d most like to keep:

“We must not go back to bad habits afterwards”, she said. “It will be easier to persuade people, as we have had to change so dramatically because of this threat.” – UN High Commission for Human Rights

Recognition of our interconnectedness

An amazing shift in perspective has risen out of this pandemic: we’re realizing that we’re all connected - that our actions directly impact those around us. It’s given us so much more empathy and compassion for others. We’re offering help and seeing others’ struggles through a new lens.

It’s given us gratitude – to be thankful for what we have and for the impact of others. So much sincere thankfulness is being spread and experienced throughout the World. Most of all, we’re remembering that we are not solitary islands, but a part of a greater web. We can either contribute to the health of the whole, or break a strand that connects the web together.

interconnected

Reconnecting with nature

Anyone else noticed all the people walking around your neighborhood? Riding bikes and scooters, playing soccer and taking the dog for extra-long walks? How great is that (as long as you’re keeping distance)?! 

How beautiful to remember the joys of being outside, of connecting with nature, of moving our bodies for more than just appearance. It’s a truly healing side effect of this pandemic and one that we can easily hold on to when all this is over.

Better Hygiene 

The easiest lesson to keep up from all this: proper health hygiene! Let's keep washing our hands regularly, staying home when sick, not touching our face and mouth constantly, and coughing/sneezing into our elbow to prevent spreading germs to vulnerable people. Even without Coronavirus, between 300,000 and 650,000 die each year from flu and flu-related illnesses - proper hygiene can help to lessen these numbers too. 

sara-shakeel-washing-hands

Less travel

Imagine if even a portion of us could continue working remotely when all this is over? How many less cars would be on the roads doing massive commutes and polluting the air unnecessarily? It would mean not only lower carbon emissions, but also more time to live your life rather than spending it in traffic.

Here’s hoping for some mass awakenings around the possibility of permanently remote offices, zoom meetings, and nixed work travel for all of us that can!

Connection over Busyness

Anyone else managed more phone calls, FaceTimes, and deep chats than you ever did before? Now that we have some time to slow down, and less distractions and obligations, we can call that friend, video chat with family, and actually sit down for dinner with our partner. We’re remembering what’s important, what has gotten lost in the frenzied activity.

So, what unnecessary activity or obligation have we realized we can live without in favor of more time for self-care, connection, and um, Fun?! Not to mention, less driving around to activity after activity, and more staying put and connecting = a healthier planet.

“When the dust settles, we will realize how very little we need, how much we actually have, and true value of human connection.” - Unknown

on-the-phone-in-bath

Image: @sarashakeel

Choose wiser

While it’s entirely possible that our society will simply go back to its mindless, unsustainable ways after this, and that governments will rush to restore all the carbon-heavy industries that have been slowed during this time, it’s also possible that this crisis could open our collective eyes!

Here’s hoping that we realize the substantial impact we can make when we band together and buy into the change! Imagine if we could apply this urgency to sustainability and climate change (and really to any worldwide issue) – the impact could be transformative!

HOW WE TRY TO UPLIFT THE PLANET IN OUR SMALL CORNER OF THE BEAUTYVERSE

While we're passionate about creating beautiful, non-toxic, supercharged cosmetics, we’re just as passionate about making this earth (and this industry) a better, cleaner, more ethical place. We won’t create a single product unless it’s fully recyclable, completely sustainable, ethically sourced, and 100% vegan & cruelty-free. 

As a Certified Benefit Corporation, we use our brand as a force for public good. In every decision we make, we consider our impact on the environment, society, workers, and the community in addition to profit. We also give 1% of our sales to environmental charities through our partnership with 1% For The Planet. The charities we partner with for each product: 

Rose Quartz Palette: 1% of all palette sales go to The Water Project. This charity works to “provide access to clean, safe, and reliable water across Sub-Saharan Africa – one community at a time. 

Summer Solstice Palette: 1% of proceeds go to The Surfrider Foundation which helps to clean up our oceans and protect marine life. 

Amethyst Crystal Gemstone Palette: 1% of proceeds go towards The Coalition for Clean Air which works to improve air quality, protect public health, and prevent climate change. 

Supernova Crushed Diamond Highlighters: 1% of proceeds go towards WWF Australia who are working tirelessly to help the wildlife and habitat recover from their nationwide bushfire emergency.

Joshua Tree Palette (available for pre-order now): 1% of sales go towards the Mojave Desert Land Trust which helps protect the Mojave Desert ecosystem. 

Crystal Charged Cheek Palettes: 1% of proceeds are donated to Keep-A-Breast which creates resources to empower women with breast health education, early breast cancer detection tools, and support.

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And starting today, to help support the worldwide COVID-19 response, we've created our Stay Home, Stay Healthy Bundle where 10% of all proceeds will be donated to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO. This sampler will include the Āether Beauty favourites:
  • Summer Solstice Palette 
  • Crystal Charged Cheek Palette in Ruby 
  • Supernova Crushed Pink Diamond Highlighter 

A $140 value, this collection is just $100 plus free carbon-neutral USA shipping. 

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P.S. Tune in to #tiilathursdaytopics on IG LIVE every Thursday at 3pm PST with our Founder, Tiila! 

- Āether Beauty xo


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