For R U OK Day today we’re bringing you five ways to deal with climate anxiety. Climate anxiety is a real thing and it particularly affects young people. We hear figures like Christiana Rivett-Carnac and Tom Figueres present in their book The future we choose, that sea levels have risen more than 20 centimetres and 12% of all surviving species are currently under threat of extinction. It’s easy to become anxious and despair. But there are things you can do to help lessen the impact of climate change and decrease your climate anxiety. Here’s 5 of our favourites:
- Talk to a friend: Talk to a friend about their worries. You’ll probably find you’re not alone in your climate anxiety and that a problem shared is a problem halved. There are some great tips on how to start a conversation on the R U OK Day website.
2. Join a movement: Many movements in Australia are dedicated to helping the environment and thereby climate change. You can choose to join Plastic Free July at any time and help our marine life live plastic free or get involved in Clean Up Australia Day to reduce rubbish in suburban areas and on our beaches. Joining these campaigns also means you have the opportunity to become involved in likeminded communities.
3. Declutter: Get rid of the stuff you don’t need and donate it to your local op shops. Natalie Fee in How to save the world for free estimates that in the UK alone 7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions were avoided by charity shops diverting clothes from landfill. That goes a long way to help stop climate change!
4. Recycle: Check out our previous blog Top 5 things you didn’t know you could recycle. Recycling helps to reduce the amount of garbage that goes to landfill which in turn reduces emissions. So do your bit for the planet and recycle!
5. Change your diet: Craig Reucassel in Fight for Planet A states that while agriculture accounts for 13% of Australia’s emissions 80% of this is from beef. If you want to help stop climate change becoming a vegetarian is a very easy way to do it.
We recognise that these top 5 favourite things might not be enough to help you feel better about the state of the world. If you’re feeling particularly anxious please call Lifeline or Beyond Blue or consider seeing a psychologist. Climate anxiety is so big it can help to get support from the experts and they might even have a few favourite tips of their own!
By Anne Reddacliff, ALIA Sustainable Libraries Group committee member