In 2021, the IPCC released a damning report about climate change, stating that humans are ‘unequivocally’ responsible for the crisis. The study also warned that unless we make rapid and drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions this decade, climate change effects will become irreversible.
With new reports like this one emerging each week, it’s no surprise that people are beginning to worry. In today’s blog, we’re going to take a look at the current situation and show you how to turn your climate anxiety into climate action.
What Is Climate Anxiety?
Climate anxiety is a feeling of unease or worry caused by the fear that climate change is destroying the world we live in. This worry for the future manifests itself in a sense of hopelessness, helplessness and a consistently low mood.
The Current Climate Change Crisis
Climate change is happening, and it’s happening quickly. With each new year comes more staggering statistics than ever, suggesting that the efforts made so far to quell the problem are simply not enough.
Climate change is primarily caused by greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere. This includes carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and water vapour. Once they settle in the atmosphere, these pungent gases trap heat inside the earth and turn up the temperature.
According to NASA, Climate Change Effects Include:
- Global temperature rise
- Warmer oceans
- Shrinking ice sheets
- Glacial retreat
- Decreased snow cover
- Rise in sea levels
- Extreme weather
How to Ditch Your Anxiety By Taking Climate Action
Make Your Voice Heard
One of the best ways to turn your climate anxiety into action is by taking a stand and making your voice heard. You can achieve this in many ways, and it doesn’t have to mean joining a big-city protest. Instead, you could join a local group to raise awareness, vote for greener policies in the next election or speak to your relatives about their impact.
Always remember: any change you can instigate is positive change.
Cut Back on Carbon-Heavy Transport
One of the practical ways to put your fears into action is by minimizing your carbon footprint, primarily by cutting down on your transport reliance. Planes and cars are the worst culprits, pumping tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. In fact, global aviation accounts for 1.9% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
So, what can you do to help? If you’re suffering from climate anxiety and want to turn it into climate action, you can:
- Walk or cycle to work instead of driving your car
- Use public transport like buses, trains or car shares
- Opt for a staycation instead of travelling abroad
- If you want a getaway further afield, choose boats or cruises
Reduce Your Energy Use
Another great way to quell the anxiety about your own impact is to reduce the amount of energy you use up at home. Unless you’re fuelled entirely by solar panels, the heat and electricity you rely on are probably derived from fossil fuels that contribute to climate change.
To cut down your energy use, you can:
- Turn off lights when you’re not using them or opt for energy-saving bulbs
- Upgrade your insulation so you can cut down on gas heating
- Take shorter showers instead of baths or long showers
- Fix leaky taps and seal up any draughts
Protect Green Spaces
Getting outdoors into the green spaces where you live is a great way to boost your wellbeing, but protecting them also has other benefits too. Large quantities of trees, plants, and shrubbery can reduce carbon emissions because they turn CO2 into oxygen. They also reduce flooding by absorbing excess rainwater and provide essential habitats for natural wildlife.
To protect green spaces, you can join a local activist group, plant your own garden at home or support community initiatives that encourage preservation.
Spend With Purpose
Money makes the world go round, right? While big corporations are some of the biggest culprits of greenhouse gas contributions, it’s the demand that allows them to continue. By considering your purchases more carefully, you can support businesses that care about the planet instead of the brands intent on destroying it.
To put your money in the right places, you should:
- Buy clothing second-hand or from sustainable brands
- Shop local where you can and support small businesses
- Adopt a minimalist mindset and only buy what you need
- Invest in cars and homes that are built to protect the planet
Waste Less Food
The food waste crisis is one of the most significant issues facing the planet right now, contributing immense amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. To reduce your climate anxiety, you can take climate action from the comfort of your own kitchen.
You can make plenty of simple cooking upgrades to minimize waste at home, and opting to recycle your food waste can make a big difference. With the help of a FoodCycler, you can recycle your scraps or leftovers and turn them into a healthy soil amendment for your garden. Plants that love nitrogen in particular will enjoy the fertilizer – so it’s a win for both your home aesthetic and the world around you.
Spread the Word
Our final tip on how to turn your climate anxiety into climate action is to spread the word. Change can only happen if we make our voices heard, but some people aren’t able to act until they understand the problem at hand.
By having productive conversations and raising awareness for the climate change effects, you could make a real difference to someone’s approach.
This article provides some handy tips, particularly if you’re struggling to convince someone who doesn’t even believe in climate change.
The most important thing to remember is that while your climate anxiety is justified, doing your bit is all you can do. Stay tuned on the FoodCycler blog for all our latest tips and tricks on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle!