How You Can Combat Your “Eco-Angst”

Two people walking in nature.
  • May 4, 2022

In recent years, it’s seemed like almost every day there’s a new article about the dire state of the climate crisis. When we’re faced with a near-constant barrage of climate news, it can be hard not to feel a sense of despair, helplessness, or “eco-angst.” Luckily, there are steps you can take to combat these feelings. Here are some ways you can make yourself feel better when you’re experiencing eco-angst, as well as some ways you can take action to feel less helpless against climate change:

Ways You Can Work Through Your Feelings of Eco-Angst

1. Find ways to relax, unwind, and de-stress. Light a candle, meditate, do a mud mask or clay mask, read a book, write in a journal, or listen to music to make yourself feel better when the eco-angst becomes a little too overwhelming.

2. Get outside and enjoy nature. Go for a walk or bike ride, go kayaking or hiking, or visit your favorite places in nature. Enjoy some fresh air and take in the beauty of our natural world! 

3. Use your green thumb. Spend time in your garden planting flowers and plants that bring you joy, add some indoor plants to your home decor to green your space, or start growing your own fruits and vegetables to reduce your “foodprint.” 

4. Give yourself a break from the news. Sometimes staying up-to-date on the latest climate news can take its toll. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and unplug. Turn off your TV and shut your computer for a few hours to allow yourself to recharge. 

5. Read All We Can Save. This anthology of essays and poems from female climate scientists, journalists, policy experts, and activists will help you feel inspired and empowered in our collective fight against climate change. Find the book here. 

6. Talk through your feelings. Whatever you’re feeling about climate change, you’re not alone. Try talking it out with friends, family members, or other people who are passionate about the environment to help each other process your emotions.

7. Shift your focus to the things you can control and the ways you can take action. If you’re ever feeling helpless or powerless in the fight against climate change, remember all of the ways you can take action in your everyday life to make a positive impact on our planet. 

Ways You Can Take Action to Feel Less Helpless and More Empowered

1. Clean up a nearby park, beach, or trail. Pick up litter to make a positive impact on the environment and help keep your community clean!

2. Plant trees. Trees are a vital tool in our efforts to remove carbon dioxide from the air and curb climate change. Plant trees yourself in your yard, or plant them through an organization such as Arbor Day Foundation!

3. Start composting. Did you know that when food waste sits in a landfill, it produces methane? Composting your food waste is a great way you can reduce harmful methane emissions and help fight climate change. Check out our blog post to learn how you can get started with composting—even if you live in an apartment!

4. Do Meatless Mondays. Reducing the amount of meat and dairy you consume is a simple yet surprisingly effective way to reduce your personal impact. Even just giving up meat one day a week can significantly reduce the footprint of your meals! Learn more about how plant-based eating can help our planet in this blog post

5. Take steps to make your home more eco-friendly, such asinstalling a smart thermostat or switching all of your light bulbs to LEDs. Check out our blog post with more ideas for how you can reduce your impact at home.

6. Switch to an electric car. The transportation sector is responsible for 29% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions—many of which come from passenger cars. If you drive a gas-powered car, switching to an electric vehicle (EV) is one of the most impactful ways you can reduce your emissions. Learn more about the many benefits of switching to an electric car, and check out some of this year’s top EVs!

7. Contact your elected officials. Urge your elected officials to support legislation and other measures that will help protect our planet. Find out how to contact them here, and browse current environmental protection legislation here.

8. Sign petitions. Raise your voice in support of various efforts to protect our planet by signing petitions on platforms such as Care2.

9. Donate to causes and organizations fighting for our planet. One great way to alleviate the feeling of powerlessness is to donate to organizations, causes, and candidates that are fighting to protect our planet and advance clean energy. 

10. Educate others on the climate crisis. Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe says that simply talking to others about climate change is one of the most important ways we can help fight it. Make sure your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers are aware of what’s happening with our planet, and help them learn about ways they can do their part to protect it. 

11. Reduce your energy usage. Take energy-saving steps such as limiting your heat/AC use, air-drying your laundry, and skipping the heated dry setting on your dishwasher to significantly reduce your impact on the environment. Check out this blog post to find more ways you can reduce your energy usage at home.

12. Sign up for clean energy. According to the latest IPCC report, we can still limit the worst effects of climate change by reducing our emissions and transitioning away from fossil fuels. Choosing 100% clean, renewable energy from wind and solar sources is one of the best ways you can take matters into your own hands and help curb climate change. Sign up for 100% clean energy for your home today!

Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed with eco-angst, we hope these tips will help you feel less helpless and more empowered in the fight against climate change. Remember: solutions do exist, and we can all play a role in combating climate change!

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