Combatting Eco Anxiety

Combatting Eco Anxiety

How can we help with eco-anxiety?

By now, you or someone you know has probably suffered from anxiety. But have you heard of “eco-anxiety”? It’s exactly as it sounds: an emotional response to climate change and other environmental issues, or chronic fear of environmental doom. In a recent study conducted in the UK, it was found that 3 in 4 adults feel worried about climate change. This increased even further when just surveying teenagers. Eco-anxiety can manifest itself in a number of ways, and how we address it depends on this response.

Response 1: Worry

 Let’s look at response number one: worry.  Worry is not necessarily a bad thing – it can motivate us to figure out what we can do about it. People who are often worried about climate change are worried about how it is going to affect them, and how they can take on such an impossible task of tackling it. That is why how we address it is so important.

Step 1: Make it normal

Social pressure can be a good motivator to encourage taking action. If we act like taking action against climate change is a completely normal thing to do, the pressure is on for people frozen with eco anxiety to get with the norm. This is a good time to mention things like statistics, or in any way convey that people are on board about tackling climate change, and we want them to be on board too. 

Step 2: Make it doable

If you start out with saying that it will cost billions of dollars and worldwide participation to make a difference in fighting climate change, it feels like an extremely heavy burden and will make people lose hope. That is why it is important to point out things that people can do in their everyday lives to make a difference, even if it is small. Make it a measurable task with a clear end goal, or a straightforward way of maintaining a change. This way, people are less likely to get discouraged and not take any action at all.

 Step 3: Focus on solutions

Not going to lie, climate talk is depressing. And it can be incredibly hard to make light of the situation when all we do is focus on the never-ending doom bit. Instead of dwelling solely on the problems, try to shift the conversation in a positive way and what we can do right now to make a difference. This can be hard, but so worth it to make sure we can help our eco anxiety subside and take action to make change happen.

 Response 2: Denial

Now we have to look at the dreaded response number two: denial. I think we have all seen our fair share of climate deniers, and tackling them can pose quite the challenge. But denial is based on one very specific desire – for something not to be true. It is sometimes easier for people to deny something is happening out of fear of what’s to come in order to protect themselves. When this happens, it’s important for us to know how to respond in a way that will get through to them. Soooooo…

Step 1: Find points of connection 

People are not so different when it really comes down to it. When talking to a climate denier, find a community they are a part of. This could be many different things: a school, a church, a local biking club, a basket weaving Facebook group, anything you might have in common! Then use that to help them understand why climate change matters to that community. For example, joining your coastal biking cub on Sunday mornings might be difficult with sea level rise and coastal erosion in the future. Although it might be silly, by connecting climate change to something that matters to them, it might just help you understand each other.

Step 2: Expose manipulation

Fake news! Fake news! Fake news! We’ve seen the stories. We also know that 99.7% of climate scientists believe in climate change caused by human activity. But these guys just love to pull out the 0.03% that’s been paid off to say otherwise! We know its hard to point out, but sometimes we just got to come out and say it: “Have you considered that some of these theories might have been created to take advantage of people?” By exposing manipulation and revealing the truth, it might cause an epiphany that will at least shift denial to worry. But don’t worry (LOL) we have the steps above for you to follow again!

Step 3: Be patient and persistent

Changing beliefs take time, and providing opportunities for them to reconsider their stance in their own time will make the world of the difference. We can plant the seeds and be persistent, but for someone to actually change their views entirely will take time. We need to allow individuals to take this time, but remember to be persistent leave the opportunities for them to reconsider. 

Step 4: Know when to disengage

Sadly, sometimes despite your best efforts, just may not be able to change someone’s mind. Knowing when to disengage is important because some people are just not ready yet. (But also, for our own sanity). Sometimes the best thing you can do is step away. 


Talking about climate change should not be a scary task, and worrying about climate change should not cause so much anxiety. Focusing on the positive, and doing our best to move forward and do our part to make a difference individually is the best thing we can do to tackle climate issues. 

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Kun Feng
Kun Feng is the foremost sustainable packaging expert who possesses the fundamental eco-knowledge and passion necessary to drive new levels of eCommerce growth without compromising people, the planet, or the economy. 

As the co-founder and managing director of SR Mailing, He has successfully helped over 9,000 eCommerce businesses transform into sustainable suppliers and takes pride in being able to offer eco-friendly packaging solutions that bolster eCommerce reputation and scalability, all while supporting the bigger picture along the way.

Feel free to contact with Kun on Linkedin or Facebook
Kun Feng

Managing Director