4Rs Tip for 4.8.2022 – How to Fight Climate Overwhelm
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Pick Your Battles and Take Control
An article in Psychology Today said that “more and more people are grappling with moderate to severe climate anxiety.” This isn’t surprising since it has really snowballed on us. What I mean is the problem has been building so there’s a lot of work piled up.
When it comes to climate change it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The best approach is to pitch in by finding things you enjoy doing. I enjoy writing the 4Rs blog for two reasons.
- It motivates me to stay current with what needs to be done so I’m thinking about how I can help, and
- It makes me focus on boiling action into easier steps we can all take, no matter how much time we have.
When I break it down into actionable items, it’s easier for me to figure out what I can do.
Like anything, once you start taking action it feels like a task is more doable. Climate action is no different. If all you can spare is 15-30 minutes a week (a day would be great – I’m just sayin’), take a few of those minutes right now and look through these categories of things you can do to help save the planet.
The more control we have the less anxiety we will feel
Like anything, once you start taking action it feels like a task is more doable. Climate action is no different. If all you can spare is 15-30 minutes a week (a day would be great – I’m just sayin’), take a few of those minutes right now and look through these things you can do to help save the planet.
From the comfort of your home…
Read and stay informed
15 minutes of reading the website of an organization making an impact can help you find ways to stay informed and take action. Put in a little time researching a few. Here are some I follow for climate news and actions I can take.
- The Climate reality project has great updates on the reality of our situation and ways to get involved.
- EcoWatch is a source for the latest eco-news.
- EarthDay.org can be very educational and a great way to learn what you can do, especially right now during earth month.
- WasteDive is how I keep up on the latest news on how we are tackling our waste issues across the US.
- Earth911 is a great resource. It’s my go-to when I need to figure out how to recycle something (I recently started writing for this site). From green investing and how to recycle stuff to gardening and natural living, the newsletter covers a lot of great topics and I like to catch their podcasts when I can.
- The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an environmental agency that has been around since the 1970s.
Follow young people and their climate organizations
We all know younger people have a fresh perspective on things that can make all the difference. There’s a lot of work being done by the youth of our world. Do a little research on youth climate activists and follow a few.
- The Sunrise Movement is one of my favorites. They’re checking all the boxes for me and what I support.
- ClimateGeneration.org is a place to find out about events and youth environmental activists.
- Follow youth activists like Greta Thunberg in the news and on social media. It’s a great way to learn about actions you can take and issues to support.
Once you find organizations you want to support, sign up for their newsletters and you will likely receive invitations to sign petitions they generate and support. This is a great way to make changes in policies to protect our planet. I’ve found that reading their petitions helps me decide if I support what they do.
The Climate Reality Project is a good example. The information I find there is consistent with my vetted sources and they send out petitions that I can stand behind, such as this one demanding more transparency from businesses about their environmental impacts on the planet. I feel people have a right to know the impact of a company before they buy from them.
Note: I recommend that you verify what you read online. Check multiple sources. Look at articles and reports to make sure they’re quoted correctly. The latest IPCC Report is a good example. The report is a public record issued by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Any references to it can be verified.
In Your Community…
Volunteer for clean-up, recycling, and zero-waste events
Clean-up events go on regularly in many communities and there are a bunch of ways to find them. Once I found out about volunteer trash pick-ups in my city I started building the habit of signing up for one a month. Two hours a month isn’t hard to fit into my busy schedule. I may not always make it but it’s always on my radar for next month.
- Use VolunteerCleanup.org to search for clean-up events by US zip codes.
- EarthDay.org has this map to help you find current clean-ups in your area.
- Globally there is World Clean-up Month every year in September. Find or lead a clean-up event in your community.
- One Earth Film Festival has a take action page to help you find ways to support cleaning up the planet.
- Search for clean-up events and add your town or city to the search. You never know what you might find. It could be fun.
Stay informed and vote locally
Local elections make the most impact on your community and life. Grassroots efforts for climate change often rewrite policies in communities and affect bigger policies.
If you don’t already know, search online for who your local state and federal representatives are. Then search for their name and their climate record. There are a few sites that rate politicians and how they voted in the past on climate issues. They’re your voice in government, make sure they speak for you. When local candidates come up for election, search on their climate record and make sure they are on the side of the planet.
Find A Cause and You’ll Find An Organization Fighting For It
Whether you want to donate to an organization fighting climate change, get involved in activities to clean up our planet, or find out how you can reduce your carbon footprint, there is an organization that can help you learn how to do these things.
Learn more and take action about…
Oceans – they’re pretty important. Here are a few organizations you might want to follow:
- The Ocean Conservancy is finding ways to help our oceans heal and combat the effects of climate change
- Big Blue Ocean Clean-up has opportunities to volunteer and is in a fight to clean-up our oceans.
Forests – one of the most important things we need to do is save our forests. They keep us alive by providing the air we breathe. Yet they are under threat with a million acres cut down every year.
- The Forest Service of the US Department of Agriculture has information on climate change and a helpful list of basic actions we should all be taking.
- The Rainforest Alliance is a non-profit working to save our forests and helping people and farmers adapt to the changing climate. One way is by teaching regenerative agriculture.
- The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is fighting to save our rainforests, one of the most critical elements in the delicate balance of our ecosystem.
Animals and habitats
All living creatures have a place in the balance of life. We need to stay aware of what threatens them and fight to save them in any way we can.
- The World Wide Fund For Nature has been fighting to save our wildlife and their homes for years. They have a great article on forests and climate change you should check out.
Encourage others to take action
- Talk to friends and family and ask them if they have suggestions of ways to live eco-friendly and fight climate change.
- At work talk to the bosses and ask if they will support the SME Climate Hub initiative to help businesses be more sustainable.
We will feel less anxious about climate disasters if we are prepared. Learn about efforts to help us be more resilient to changing climate and severe weather. Check out this US Climate Resilience Toolkit.
Find something that interests you and commit to following through on it. That’s all it takes.
Don’t Forget Earth Day
- Earth Day is April 22nd. Don’t forget to grab your free tool kit and help make a difference in the life of our planet and how we can live in harmony with it.
Why It’s Important
I’m not going to sit here and repeat the statistics. I don’t want to increase anyone’s anxiety, including mine. The fact that scientists are predicting another busy hurricane season is enough to freak me out.
Bottom line, it’s time we all got off our duffs and took action. According to the latest IPCC report, this is the last decade to make the changes needed before it’s too late.
With Much Gratitude
That’s it for this week. If you like this post, please forward it to every earth-friendly human you know.
Drop me a line anytime if you have questions or comments. I love hearing from you.
I do not get paid to write this blog, none of the products I recommend sponsor me, so any support you can send my way would help, even a few bucks.
Thank you for reading these tips and subscribing. Pat yourself on the back for doing your part. Remember, every little bit helps.
You got this!