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Eco Anxiety: How to Deal when the World is on Fire and everything seems Hopeless

I put up a post recently regarding my eco –anxiety, since recent news of the Amazon being ablaze.

You feel pretty powerless, as there’s only so much on person can do when it feels so many around us are behaving so complacently. Generally I’ve become numb to it, what’s happening with our world, but occasionally it’ll strike me just how tragic our situation is and how the clock is ticking, with the ticks only getting faster.

It’s an endless circle of questions for me, Why, How, Who and What for?

For each person who dreams of having a family or already has a family, what air will their children breathe?

What animals or trees will even be left?

The beautiful world we grew up in will be a long gone fantasy for them. And to those future generations, I am sorry on behalf of us.

People teach their kids to be loving, kind and compassionate whilst at the same time defend their rights to a lifestyle that allows our planet to die. This makes me honestly fearful of having my own biological children considering the environmental mess we are in and personally won’t entertain the idea until man-made climate change stops.

How can we live in a world where our leaders don’t have the world’s best interests at heart?

One human, Leonardo Dicaprio, singlehandedly donated 25% of what the worlds G7 (top 7 wealthiest economies) donated to the Amazon. This just goes to show the denial mindset of those leading us, and if anything that the power is really up to us as individuals.

In reality though, the planet will go on without us. Which lead me to yet another question: Are we saving the planet, or are we just saving ourselves –human kind? We are just a blip in the history of the world after all, we’ve not been about for very long.

Something I read that stuck with me is:

The earth is 4.6 billion years old. Lets scale that that to 46 years. We have been here for 4 hours. Our industrial revolution began 1 minute ago. In that time, we have destroyed more than 50% of the world’s forests. This isn’t sustainable. But once we have destroyed our own habitat, and consequently ourselves, the Earth will rejuvenate once we are all gone.

I also often wonder, why do so few of us care enough to do anything about the environment?

The main culprit I can think of is ego.

It is because when the ego is in control of us, it convinces us that we are the centre of the universe – the only one truly important. So unless it’s the ego’s home being attacked we don’t defend it. So perhaps, to help shift this mindset, maybe we should be saying ‘my planet’, instead of ‘the planet’ and ‘my ocean’ instead of ‘the ocean’.

Perhaps we should all work WITH our egos to take ownership of our universal home, then maybe we’ll be willing to fight a little harder to protect it.

There is so much going on in the world, so many injustices against the land, the people and the animals. But we can’t let that overwhelm us into inaction. This eco anxiety – born of fear, frustration, love and rage are going global. Use your fear as fuel!

So what can we do about it?

Don’t be a ‘slactivist’.

We must make immediate changes to our lifestyles, there is absolutely no argument against the fact that this is the direct result of our apathy towards the environmental destruction our choices have. If you are outraged by what is happening, then we can simply stop paying for this to happen. Nothing ever fuelled oppression through neutrality. Demand change and be a conscious consumer and encourage others to do the same. We don’t need to convince 100% of people just 25% to make an ‘idea go from marginal to mainstream.

I know I am only one small person, and I can’t do everything. But, I can do something, so don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

I came across a hashtag recently that I love ‘startwith1thing’ and it’s a great incentive to just start somewhere. Pick one or two things that you’d like to focus on. Work on that until it becomes a habit and then move on to the next.

Here’s some ideas with where you could start to help with eco-anxiety:

– Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of amazon deforestation. Going vegan or plant based is the most immediate thing you can do.

Find a tonne of sustainable and plant rich recipes >> HERE <<

– Are you a business owner?

If so look out for the grants that the government might not have even told you about. Such as in the UK you can get £3000 towards electric business vehicles.

– If you must travel by plane look up carbon compensation to counteract the impact

– be an ethical tourist.

Respect the country where you are going. We live in a liminal state of mind when we are in new and unfamiliar environments, which causes us to be more wasteful e.g. Don’t take souvenirs such as shells and stones from the beach, this causes beach erosion. As cute as that little shell is, leave it there where it belongs. Every little thing is a part of something greater and if every little one of us collaboratively acts positively this will impact nature.

– Protect an acre of rainforest through the rainforest action network

– Help buy land in the rainforest through the rainforest trust

– Support the rainforest’s indigenous populations with amazon watch

– Reduce, reuse, recycle .. you know how it goes

Every day every news headline reaffirms more and more that we are not separated from nature. We are ONE with it. We need to reevaluate our lifestyles and things we can do to lessen our negative impact on this world. There is always room for improvement, there is always something that can be done. Let’s start by making baby steps.

I want you to know that you are not helpless. You can do something. And ‘when many little people, in many little places, do many little things… the world changes’

So… what is your one thing?

 

Feature Image Credit: Oui Surf

About the Author:

Rebecca is a doggy day care owner from the UK and a dirt bag darling who loves nothing more than being outdoors in nature whether it’s in the forest, by the sea or up a mountain trail. A Vegan and Environmentalist who believes in leading a life of compassion (ahimsa) through our words, thoughts and actions in our daily lives and is always looking for ways to be kinder to mama earth. @one.little.earthling

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