Research shows that more young people than ever are worried about the climate. However, climate anxiety can affect individuals of any age. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help yourself feel better.
Manage Your Anxiety
As with other forms of anxiety, you can manage stress about climate change in many different ways, including:
- Getting enough sleep
- Spending time with friends
- Playing with pets
- Practicing mindfulness
Not all stress-reduction techniques work for everyone. Find what helps you the most and incorporate it into your daily routine. If you are feeling particularly overwhelmed, seek professional help. In addition to traditional therapy, there are newer online options available that have recently made mental health services more accessible.
It takes a lot of energy to keep a residence running. There are many home upgrades, large and small, that can make a difference in your overall energy consumption. Small adjustments include:
- LED light bulbs
- Low flow shower heads
- Programmable thermostats
- Low-VOC paint
- Eco-friendly cleaning products
Larger investments include:
- Energy-efficient appliances
- Dual-pane windows
- Sustainable flooring
- Solar panels
Installing solar panels can make a big impact on your home’s energy efficiency. Solar panels are comprised of photovoltaic cells that capture sunlight and turn it into energy that powers your home. For more info, here is a great article on how to cool down your house and still be green.
Not all home modifications are feasible within all budgets. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t afford to make your home as efficient as you would like. Do what you can, and feel good about the small ways you are helping the planet.
Modify Your Behaviors
There are numerous lifestyle changes you can make to minimize your environmental impact. Recycle paper and plastics. Use reusable shopping bags and soap dispensers. Carpool and avoid flying whenever possible. Consider eating less meat. One popular way to do so is to have a “meat-free Monday.”
When you can fit it into your budget, buy clothes that will last a while. It may help to shop for quality pieces at secondhand stores or minimize your shopping habits as you save up for more expensive purchases. Apply the same mindset to other purchases, such as kitchen gadgets and furniture. When dealing with electronics, see if you can have them repaired rather than replace them.
If you have an environmentally focused volunteer organization in your area, join them and see how you can help. If you don’t have access to such an organization, take some friends and clean up local nature spots yourself. Write to your political representatives about climate legislation.
There has been an increasing movement in recent years toward "going paperless," or reducing our reliance on printed paper and moving towards more digital forms of communication. While this can present a number of advantages for businesses and individuals alike, one of the main benefits is that it helps to protect the environment by minimizing the amount of deforestation and pollution produced by paper production.
One key way to further reduce your environmental footprint when going paperless is to merge PDFs. This allows you to combine multiple documents into one, single PDF file, eliminating the need for multiple file versions that might otherwise be printed and discarded. Merging PDF files shouldn't be hard when you utilize a PDF combiner tool.
Start an Eco-friendly Business
If you are considering entrepreneurship, research sustainable business ideas. Keep in mind the difficulties associated with such business models. For example, sometimes a seemingly eco-friendly move could cause unseen environmental damage. If you advertise as a green business, your customers may disagree with you about what that means. These challenges can be addressed in a thorough business plan that also outlines the business’s structure, product or service, marketing strategy, financial forecast, and other key details. Learn how to start a company with ZenBusiness for more recipes for business success.
If you are suffering from climate anxiety, there are many different ways to address both your anxiety and the larger climate problems whether you’re making home modifications or starting a business. Remember that you don’t have to do them all. Not all stress-management techniques work for everyone, and not all eco-friendly behaviors are feasible for every lifestyle. Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do.
By guest author, Maggie Berry