How to Alleviate Your Eco-Anxiety

7 mins
08 Apr 2022
How to Alleviate Your Eco-Anxiety

It may feel like humanity has decimated the planet, but rest assured: there’s still hope yet

words Team Woo

The climate crisis is furious and real, there’s no denying it, but as with all crises, it’s the terrible stories that tend to dominate feeds. But behind the scary statistics, progress is being made. Activists are fighting for change, new organisations and initiatives are being rolled out and on a global level, mindsets are changing. Public attitudes towards the environment are shifting, and those who are concerned about the health of the planet are much more likely to make the important lifestyle changes needed to of it.

There are successes worth celebrating, and Woo is committed to documenting them. Below is a welcome and refreshing list of positive climate news, detailing the steady progress, foremost thinkers and innovations, in addition to educational resources and charities to support. We don’t say share this to diminish the negative but necessary news, it’s merely to highlight that it isn’t all bad. We all need something to alleviate the eco-anxiety that, according to the National Office of Statistics, 75% of UK adults suffer from, to varying degrees. So, we’ll keep adding to this rolling inventory, bookmark it and refer back whether you’re feeling sad, stressed or like you need to do something – anything! – to help.

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Leonardo DiCaprio in Don't Look Up
“You don’t have to subsist on bugs or be a staunch vegan to do your bit”

COP26

At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in October 2021, Indian PM Narendra Modi pledged that India will become carbon neutral by 2070. Although the rest of the world, bar China, is aiming for 2050, it’s better late than never. What’s more, 110 world leaders have promised to address deforestation to the point of reversing it by 2030.

Magic Mushrooms

You might munch mushrooms or rely on microdoses of them to keep you happy and sane, but don’t overestimate their role in the fight against climate change. Right under our feet, in forests and fields, uphill and down dale, are vast fungal networks that decompose organic and inorganic waste into nutrients, filter water and treat disease. They also help to store carbon safely in the soil (some studies suggest up to a staggering 70%), even after trees have died.

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Get Fit And Pick Up Shit

Lizzie Carr started paddleboarding after surviving cancer, but now she uses it as a way to pick plastic from the UK’s waterways from London to Glasgow, she collects water samples to monitor pollution as she paddleboards. If you’re looking for an active and social way to get involved this is it. Visit the Planet Patrol for more details,

Ethical Living

Contrary to the headlines, you don’t have to subsist on bugs or be a staunch vegan to do your bit. If you do eat and enjoy meat, try consuming it more ethically – especially red meat which has the biggest environmental impact. Try to eat seasonal produce, and reduce the amount of flights you take. If you drive and own a car, consider a hybrid or electric one. Switch off lights, stop the tap when you’re brushing your teeth and don’t leave the shower running unnecessarily when you potter or scroll or whatever else it is you’re doing. Head to second-hand shops for furniture and clothes, instead of buying new – and mass.

Get to Know: Vanessa Nakate

25-year-old Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate is fighting for the voices of the climate crisis that are not being platformed, not being listened to, and not being amplified. After The Associated Press cropped Nakate out of an image from a press conference with Greta Thunberg and three other white climate activists, Nakate spoke out in a video statement. “You didn't just erase a photo. You erased a continent,” she stated. Since then, Nakate has continuously advocated for climate action in Africa and the Global South at conferences and climate strikes – including COP26, where she delivered a speech calling for tangible change from the leaders and corporations branding the conference as a success.

Give and Feel Great

Ahead of your fridge or kitchen cupboard clear out, download Olio. Aware and rightly horrified that the UK wastes around £16bn worth of food every year in the UK, this app lets you upload details of what it is you’re giving away, whether three tangerines or a tub of ice cream. Maybe you’re going on holiday, need to thaw your freezer or you simply don’t like something you bought? Set your location, state when you’re in for someone to be able to collect and confirm the recipient. With an intuitive interface and reward badges, it couldn’t be simpler or more addictive. It also works for old electricals, clothes, and well, just about anything.

Click here to download the app

Tonne of Terrific Bricks

Gjenge Makers, founded by Kenyan engineer Nzambi Matee, turns plastic into bricks. By combining used plastic water bottles and general waste with sand, she’s created blocks that are up to seven times stronger than concrete. What’s more, they don’t weigh as much which means the carbon footprint in transporting them is reduced too.

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“A recent study has shown that microbes have evolved to eradicate (some) plastic. Of the 200 million types tested, 30,000 were found to be able to munch their way through 10 different types of plastic”

Bacteria Better Than Yakult

A recent study has shown that microbes have evolved to eradicate (some) plastic. Of the 200 million types tested, 30,000 were found to be able to munch their way through 10 different types of plastic, of which polyethylene terephthalate polymer is one – you know the stuff that drinks bottles are made from? With 1 million bottles every minute around the world, they’ll have to work fast, but scientists are currently working out how to harvest and evolve said enzymes as a way to sustainably break down plastic.

A Precedent For Change

A court ordered Royal Dutch Shell to cut its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030. The first time a company has been obligated to operate in accordance with the Paris agreement. Given the grave havoc oil companies wreak on the world, it’s a step in the right direction.

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Intersectional Environmentalist

Founded by environmental activist and content creator Leah Thomas, Intersectional Environmentalist is a non-profit organisation, climate justice community, and online resource hub centering BIPOC and historically under-amplified voices in the environmental space. Launched in 2020 after Leah Thomas went viral for stating “Environmentalists for Black Lives Matter” on Instagram, the organisation has amassed over 400,000 followers and uses its reach to champion meaningful, inclusive, and sustainable change through consulting with companies and brands, providing resources, and prompting one million people to sign a pledge to ​​stand in solidarity with BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disabled communities, and the planet.

Level Up With The Breakdown

Filmmaker (and former YouTube star) Jack Harries has dedicated his work to documenting stories surrounding climate change. Besides founding creative studio Earthrise – which aims to platform people who are doing important work in climate activism – and covering environmental stories in environmental stories in Greenland, Somaliland, Bhutan, Kiribati and Borneo, Harries launched a docu-series, The Breakdown, which dives into topics like climate justice, climate denial, and climate solutions while prompting viewers to sign petitions and engage with environmental organisations.

Get Gardening with Poppy Okotcha

Writer, speaker, and environmentalist Poppy Okotcha has amassed over 73,000 followers on Instagram through advocating for regenerative gardening – a form of horticulture which uses methods like permaculture, forest gardening, and organic soil practices to reverse climate change and restore biodiversity. Check out her Instagram for practical gardening tips that you can use at home to create change.

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