How to Go Waste Free to Fight Your Climate Anxiety
How to go waste free to fight your climate anxiety. What do you think creates a high quality of life?Lots of money? A nice car? A big house? Do extravagant vacations make the list?
In a society all about consumerism, we are taught life goals that are not sustainable. More than that, these goals contribute to climate change. Goals that are at odds with sustainability, like traveling the world in an airplane, may worsen climate anxiety.
However, living a fulfilling life doesn’t depend on consumerism. You can be happy without wasting resources. With a mindset shift, it is possible to live well while fighting climate anxiety and reducing waste.
To begin, focus on waste-free goals like building relationships and community, learning, getting creative, becoming healthy and advocating for the environment. Keep these goals top of mind to live a more meaningful, happy, and aligned life.
Build Community to go Waste Free and Fight Your Climate Anxiety
Human connection is a waste-free way of enhancing your well-being. Beginning in 1938, a Harvard study for determining the greatest predictors of happiness followed 268 Harvard sophomores throughout their lives. As a result, the study finds an association between strong relationships and happiness.1 At the same time, the study indicates that loneliness can cause early death. “Loneliness kills. It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism,” says Robert Waldinger, a lead on the study.1
Therefore, spending time with loved ones and making new friends is a scientifically backed method of living a good life. Also, it doesn’t necessitate any waste! Focus on community to take your mind off climate change and to “fill your cup.”
Take Time to Learn Something New to go Waste Free and Fight Your Climate Anxiety
Psychological studies suggest that learning and taking part in difficult-but-doable tasks are important for happiness.2 Fortunately, learning about a topic that intrigues you doesn’t require much more fossil fuel use than is needed to connect to the internet. Virtual learning creates minimal waste.
Therefore, educate yourself virtually to get inspired! Learn a new skill or interesting bit of information to distract your mind from the impacts of climate change. All without contributing much or at all to the crisis.
However, if you want to learn more about climate change, perhaps focus on learning about the incredible solutions available to us. There is no use becoming worried or depressed about climate change if you are already doing what you can to help.
Get Creative to go Waste Free and Fight Your Climate Anxiety
Research has shown that involving yourself in creative activities can boost your sense of well-being.3 As with learning something new, creativity may give you inspiration and help you feel better if you are worrying about climate change.
Fortunately, being creative doesn’t demand the use of too many resources. Therefore, getting creative is a waste-free method of combating climate anxiety and increasing well-being. Making music, creating art, and writing can all put you into a mental flow that eases anxiety and makes you feel good. These creative outlets may require some resources to accomplish, but are waste-free compared to other pastimes, such as traveling or shopping.
Moreover, you can be creative by brainstorming solutions to what worries you. Get involved in research on climate change solutions to exercise your brain and empower yourself.
Focus on Improving Your Health to go Waste Free and Fight Your Climate Anxiety
Improving your health can help you feel better by preventing sickness, while also giving you something to focus on besides the climate. Moreover, following a plant-based diet to boost your health and exercising more can be fully waste-free. A lot of research has shown, too, that exercising can make you happier through the body’s release of endorphins.4
You don’t need a gym that consumes a lot of electricity to exercise. For instance, doing body-weight exercises at home and walking or running outside don’t produce any waste but will help you to get healthy. Eating plant-based meals reduces waste from meat production and can improve your health too, as discussed in the Fleet Farming blog “4 Easy Ways to Incorporate More Plant-Based Eating Practices”.5
Involving friends in your health journey can even help you accomplish two goals at the same time, of building relationships and improving your health. Getting out with companions to walk or run or cooking a plant-based dinner with a friend are waste-free ways to feel good, decrease climate anxiety and foster connection.
Advocate For the Environment to go Waste Free and Fight Your Climate Anxiety
If you are feeling depressed or anxious about climate change, an excellent way to overcome these emotions and to switch them to feelings of empowerment is to work in environmental activism and advocacy. The environmental activist Greta Thunberg struggled with depression because of climate change but began engaging in activism to fight for the environment and to feel better.6
Environmental advocacy can look like contacting your government officials to ask for climate action, participating in climate marches, or even doing local tree-plantings or eco-action projects with IDEAS for Us. Environmental advocacy can increase well-being by giving you something to fight for, decreasing boredom and reducing climate anxiety. Environmental and climate activism is an entirely waste-free way to spend your time to feel better.
As with focusing on your health, advocating for the environment can introduce you to like-minded people and help you build relationships. Excitingly, certain types of environmental action, such as tree-plantings and waste-clean ups, can aid in improving your health through exercise. There are cascading benefits to environmental advocacy that are waste-free and will help create a better world.
Put These Goals in Action
A great way to fight climate anxiety and improve your well-being in a waste-free way is to get involved in IDEAS for Us. Our events can introduce you to new, like-minded friends. Our blogs can educate you on the environment. Volunteering with IDEAS for Us allows you to get creative. Moreover, our workshops on plant-based eating as well as events that involve exercise, such as the Fleet Farming gardening events, can help you focus on your health. In regards to the last goal, to advocate for the environment, IDEAS was built around advocating for the environment!
To live a fulfilling life and fight climate anxiety, you don’t have to waste resources. Actually, by focusing on these waste-free goals to feel better, we can build a better world for everyone.
1. Mineo, Liz. “Good Genes Are Nice, But Joy Is Better.” The Harvard Gazette. 11 April 2017. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/04/over-nearly-80-years-harvard-study-has-been-showing-how-to-live-a-healthy-and-happy-life/
2. Gopal, Shivani. “Why Learning Makes You Happy, Healthy, and Wealthy.” The Remarkable Woman. 18 December 2018. https://theremarkablewoman.medium.com/why-learning-makes-you-more-happy-healthy-and-wealthy-1ba8bcb5cc7a
3. Suttie, Jill. “Doing Something Creative Can Boost Your Well-Being.” Berkeley. 21 March 2017. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/doing_something_creative_can_boost_your_well_being
4. Domonell, Kristen. “Why Endorphins (And Exercise) Make You Happy.” Daily Burn and CNN Health. 13 January 2016. https://www.cnn.com/2016/01/13/health/endorphins-exercise-cause-happiness/index.html
5. Hernandez, Maria. “4 Easy Ways to Incorporate More Plant-Based Eating Practices.” Fleet Farming. 14 February 2021. https://fleetfarming.org/4-easy-ways-to-incorporate-more-plant-based-eating-practices/
6. Zukor, Leslie A. “How Greta Thunberg Channeled Depression Into Planet-Altering Activism.” The Mighty. 6 January 2020. https://themighty.com/2020/01/greta-thunberg-depression-environmental-activism/
1. Kraemer, Daniel. “Greta Thunberg: Who Is the Climate Campaigner and What Are Her Aims?” BBC News. 28 July 2021. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49918719