Every Little Bit Helps…
Doing one’s bit to save the planet, one small step at a time!
Climate change. We all know what it means, and nowadays it’s all over the internet, social media and news, everyday, coming up at some point in many conversations. Those of us living in wealthier nations or “the West” will certainly have a different view of climate change than those living in poorer/developing nations or in poverty. In today’s blog we will unpack these viewpoints and effects on our wellbeing, look at the biggest contributors to climate change, and look at ways we can be more sustainable. It can all seem so overwhelming at times, especially for the younger generations as they stand to inherit the Earth next! Climate anxiety is on the rise, so we’ll also take a look at this phenomenon, what are its implications on our wellbeing and see what we can do to cope.
Seeing things from different angles
We all experience life from different perspectives based on our experiences over time. This then also applies to climate change and how it affects our daily lives. What are our challenges and individual priorities? A 16-year-old girl in Switzerland for example will most certainly be faced with completely different “problems” and life experiences than say, an 11-year-old boy working the cobalt mines in the Congo. Take a few mins and just imagine each of their lives… Can you put yourself in their shoes, and really FEEL what that could be like to be them?…
The boy from the Congo only cares where his next meal is coming from, and can he just survive another day in the polluted conditions under the hot African sun. He has probably never heard of climate change. In vast contrast to…
The girl in Switzerland, having all she needs to live quite a healthy, happy life with a potential bright future ahead of her. She has eco-anxiety and is struggling to cope, feeling overwhelmed and helpless.
As you can see from the above examples, there are so many different and complex angles with how each person, communities, nations must deal with global warming. Communication, nuance, debate, sharing of ideas, technologies, funds, and discernment are needed to solve the problems not just “quick fix” solutions from one point of view. (Check out more on carbon tunnel vision, link at end.)
Top polluting industries to climate change
Pollution is the act or process of contaminating the environment and biodiversity by the discharge of harmful substances, making it unsuitable or unsafe. (Causing air, light, noise, soil & water pollution)
For context on this subject, I thought it important to know who the top polluting Countries are in the world, in order from worst, top 10: China – USA – India – Russia – Japan – Iran – Germany – South Korea – Saudi Arabia – Canada.
And for comparison… The world’s biggest importers of Chinese goods, in order from highest, top 10: South Korea – Japan – USA – Australia – Russia – Germany – Malaysia – Brazil – Vietnam – Saudi Arabia.
Interesting right! So, with that in mind, lets now look at the top polluting industries:
– Energy (electricity and heating)
– Transport (Road passenger 45%, road freight 30%, aviation 11.6%, shipping 10.6%)
– Manufacturing and construction
– Industrial Agriculture
– Food Retail (and its transport and waste)
– The fashion Industry
– Technology (Incl Energy use, Crypto & E-Waste)
– Wood/forestry Industry
Big changes need to come from the top down, like shifts in policies at governmental levels and heavier fines for top polluters etc. And while these things are not within most of our control or influence (other than voting or signing petitions online), each person CAN make a difference if more of us take action and let go of what we cannot control.
Here at Samahita Retreat we’ve been eco conscious since day one! Take a look at our WELLBEING and SUSTAINABILITY section.
Here are a few reminders of how we can all make a difference:
– Be more mindful of water, heating and electricity use.
– Always have your refillable water bottle and coffee flask with you.
– Buy second hand clothes from vintage shops and repair torn items instead of buying more.
– Buy your tech from sustainable companies and recycle the old tech responsibly.
– Use re-usable shopping bags and buy as seasonally as you can, look local, farmers markets.
– Reduce how much processed foods you buy and recycle food packaging where possible.
– Try not to waste, cook too much or throw away perfectly good food, and make compost with your fruit and veg scraps.
– Get involved in ‘rewilding’ projects in your area or join a local wildlife organization.
– Walk or use a bicycle for short trips or use public transport more if that’s available.
– Choose to stay at eco conscious resorts/retreats/accommodation when travelling.
Eco-anxiety: How to manage it
“Eco-anxiety refers to a fear of environmental damage or ecological disaster. This sense of anxiety is largely based on the current and predicted future state of the environment and human-induced climate change.”
It is not listed as a diagnosed condition, but it currently falls under ecopsychology (which deals with people’s psychological relationships with nature and how this impacts their wellbeing). There are many mental health issues that can arise from a changing climate, such as depression, substance abuse, feelings of helplessness and fear. Seek help and support where needed in life, don’t feel shy or alone.
Other tips to help cope: Filter your social media feed and reduce “doom scrolling”, try to stay optimistic (remember that bad news and catchy headlines sell), make sure to exercise and get out into nature, focus on building your resiliency. Take action.
Watch how you speak to yourself, the choice of words you use, what you choose to watch, read and listen to, this all impacts. Do what you can, with what you have, just keep making those small steps towards a healthier, happier you and a more sustainable future. Every little bit helps, together, we CAN make a difference!
Till next week, keep smiling! xx Kirst
References: https://www.theecoexperts.co.uk/blog/top-7-most-polluting-industries https://climate.selectra.com/en/carbon-footprint/most-polluting-countries https://tradingeconomics.com/china/imports-by-country https://sustainability.yale.edu/explainers/yale-experts-explain-climate-anxiety https://www.forbes.com/sites/cognizant/2022/04/07/moving-beyond-carbon-tunnel-vision-with-a-sustainability-data-strategy/?sh=3d7fe77970a7 https://www.theecoexperts.co.uk/blog/top-7-most-polluting-industries https://www.genevaenvironmentnetwork.org/resources/updates/the-growing-environmental-risks-of-e-waste/ https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327354
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