The world is heating up, fast. And it’s all our fault.
You’ve probably seen the horrifying footage of an emaciated polar bear wandering Canada’s Arctic, circulated widely as proof of climate change’s effects on wildlife.
If you feel a twinge a guilt every time you take a plastic bag or toss a bottle of water, you’re not alone. (And if you don’t, hey, no judgement here.) Many people experience what the American Psychological Association terms “ecoanxiety”, which describes those who “are deeply affected by feelings of loss, helplessness, and frustration due to their inability to feel like they are making a difference in stopping climate change”.
Aspiring eco-warriors tend to jump in at the deep end of the boundless sea that is climate action. They intend to upend their lives in the name of saving our planet, but end up drowning in the vast expanse of information. Because the more you know about the environmental impact of our collective consumption patterns, the smaller and more futile your individual efforts to reverse climate change feel.
Do you throw up your arms in surrender to what appears to be the inevitable, or do you press on and despair over the pointlessness of it all? Both options take a toll on your emotional wellbeing.
Enter Paula Miquelis, who co-founded Green is The New Black Asia, a conscious festival that aims to take sustainability mainstream and brings together brands, artists and change makers with a passion for social and environmental change. The environmental advocate shares how even she feels ecoanxiety, and what to do about it.
1. The Guardian article on the difference between cynicism and scepticism
2. The environmental impact of eating beans instead of beef, here
3. A guide on the impact of climate change on mental health published by the American Psychological Association
Sound design by Lee Zhe Ren. Thanks to the lovely Paula Miquelis for speaking to us all the way from Hongkong, where she’s currently based. This year, Green is the New Black Asia is happening on Nov 3 to 4. Find out more here. Also, a big thank you to Florence Tay from UnPackt, the packaging free grocery store at 6 Jalan Kuras.