Protect the Parks: Low waste and irony in a global pandemic

It’s time to implement changes in the spirit of chaos and toilet paper shortages

By Jane Park

It’s 2020, and the world is in a panic. Toilet paper and hygienic supplies are flying off the shelves, schools and stores are shutting down and people are terrified of being infected with the coronavirus. 

There are lots of ways to stay secure in this time of panic buying. The shortage of toilet paper has a simple, eco-friendly solution: bidets. Bidets are extremely common in Europe and Asia, and it’s about time the US starts using them as well. It is a basin used to clean yourself after using the bathroom, and they are beneficial in reducing irritation and are simply more hygienic.

Illustration by Jane Park
The focus on coronavirus is irrelevant when, in a couple decades, the world will be in flames

Furthemore, a substitute women could use during isolation and product shortages is a menstrual cup. Pads and tampons are extremely expensive; however, cups and disks are reusable.  You can use one menstrual cup for up to 12 hours a day, and should replace it every 1 to2 years, according to cup brand Lunette

You could also take up sewing while stuck inside and create your own reusable cloth pads, soap pouch and hand sanitizer holders.

Additionally, you can craft dish rags to save on paper towels that you may need for something more urgent than cleaning up the kitchen counter. 

One thing that bothers me about the state of our world is this disaster mindset, and how seriously the world has taken this issue.

Where was the immediate action when Australia was going up in flames, and 480 million animals died from wildfires which were exacerbated by climate change? Where is the action for the disappearing coral reefs which absorb the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to help us breathe? 

Isn’t today’s chaos essentially our future? After all, there are so many parallels: masks to protect us from the overwhelming pollution, people crowding hospitals with all sorts of health problems and people quarantined in their homes because there aren’t enough resources to go around. 

Scientists estimate that we have one or two decades before a global temperature rise of 2.7 degrees fahrenheit will occur, according to National Geographic. 

So it is ironic that here we are, freaking out about a virus that 7,965 have died from, as of March 17, when an estimated 150,000 human deaths are held accountable by global warming every year. 

Climate change will claim endless innocent victims if we don’t start making changes to our daily lifestyles and start holding companies accountable for their actions. 

Why isn’t there an action that mirrors the severity of school and store lockdowns in response to climate change? Where is the national attention? How many more of the screams from poor, voiceless animals and the shrieks of those suffering from deep poverty must we hear before something changes? 

Yes, climate change is not physically visible. But neither is a virus, yet people seem to pay full attention to it. The victim count is clear, yet people do not seem to recognize the severity of an issue like climate change. Climate change is not something to be put off until tomorrow. Changes need to be happening now. If you think our current situation is bad, just wait. It will be all too late to have regret when the world in 12 years will be unlivable, with suffocating smoke in the air and food and water scarcity for all.