Updated: Apr 20
"Viewing our reality with optimism means recognizing that another future is possible, not promised. In the face of climate change, we all have to be optimistic, not because success is guaranteed but because failure is unthinkable." (The Future We Choose, The Stubborn Optimist's Guide to the Climate Change by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac)
It's no secret that our planet is facing numerous environmental challenges. From rising sea levels to extreme weather events, the statistics and news can be overwhelming. This has led to a growing phenomenon known as "eco anxiety," where people experience significant distress and worry about the state of the planet. However, it's essential to remain optimistic and continue to take positive actions towards a more sustainable future.
Taking positive action can help reduce feelings of anxiety and powerlessness. Helping others has well established psychological benefits.
Take Action Locally
Taking action on a local level can have a significant impact on the environment and help alleviate eco anxiety. Here are some ways to take action:
Participate in beach cleanups: If you're in Phuket, Thailand, consider participating in beach cleanups. This is a great way to contribute to the local community and make a positive impact on the environment.
Support sustainable initiatives: Look for businesses that prioritize sustainability. For example, choose hotels that have implemented eco-friendly practices like reducing single-use plastics or supporting local conservation efforts.
Reduce fast fashion: Fast fashion is a significant contributor to environmental degradation. Consider reducing your consumption of fast fashion and opt for sustainable fashion alternatives like second-hand clothing or clothing made from eco-friendly materials.
It's essential to stay informed about environmental issues, but it's equally important to focus on positive news and progress. Here are some ways to stay informed:
Follow sustainable influencers and organizations: Follow social media accounts of sustainable influencers and organizations to stay up to date with positive news and progress.
Celebrate successes: Celebrate environmental successes, no matter how small they may seem. Every positive action counts towards a more sustainable future.
Educate yourself: Educate yourself on the impact of your actions on the environment. Small changes like reducing your meat consumption or using a reusable water bottle can have a significant impact.
Finding a community of like-minded individuals can help alleviate eco anxiety and provide support in taking positive actions. Here are some ways to find community:
Join local environmental groups: Join local environmental groups in your area to connect with individuals who share your passion for the environment.
Attend sustainable events: Attend sustainable events like eco markets or sustainability conferences to connect with others and learn more about sustainable practices.
Start a sustainability initiative: Consider starting a sustainability initiative at your workplace or within your community to bring people together and make a positive impact.
It can be challenging to remain optimistic in the face of alarming environmental statistics and news. However, taking action locally, staying informed, and finding community can help alleviate eco anxiety and provide hope for a more sustainable future. Remember, every positive action counts towards a more sustainable planet, and together, we can make a difference.
Every positive action counts towards a more sustainable planet, and together, we can make a difference. By focusing on the good news, we can hope for bigger change. Although none of this is happening at the necessary scale, it is still happening. "Optimism is about being able to intentionally identify and prescribe the desired future so to actively pull it closer"