I suffer from eco-anxiety. It’s always been a worry and as a child of the seventies, I remember being terrified of nuclear warfare and the ever-expanding hole in the ozone layer. But today as an adult, I try to channel this despair and fear into action, albeit in little steps. I am fortunate enough to work in a primary school where I have created an Eco Council where young hearts and minds come together to make some small but important changes. The project inspired the children to write and produce a music video for a competition, winning the first prize of £5000 for the school.
But the prize was far more meaningful and valuable than the sum of the financial reward. It communicated the message that however small you are, however powerless you feel, you can make a difference. The children felt proud and empowered, hopeful and united.
The current global situation can feel overwhelmingly depressing with so much negativity and devastation, it’s important to, now more than ever, hold tightly to that little raft of hope we all have and know that we can do our bit. That each and every one of us is a ’Part of One’.
Christmas fuels my eco-anxiety more than ever. Walking past the shop windows, watching tv adverts, and knowing that the average household generates 25 per cent more waste than usual over this period. It’s all about over-consumption and mass consumerism.
Don’t worry, I’m not here to be Scrooge or steal your Christmas like the Grinch; I actually love Christmas time. I’m far from perfect and my home certainly does not resemble a festive Little House on the Prairie. However, I would like to share a few simple ideas to help us be a little more mindful of the environmental impact of this time of year. Nothing complicated or hugely time-consuming and some are actually quite fun.
With just a little extra thought, it’s easy to have an eco-friendlier Christmas. You can still have a fabulous time whilst being conscious of the planet.
I wish you all a very merry, peaceful and mindful Christmas.
To end, I’ve taken the words of a dear friend and inspirational environmentalist Claire who sadly died this year leaving two young children to spend their first Christmas without their beautiful mama. “Keep up all the good work you do and changes you’ve made, and keep Christmas as a time to enjoy each other not masses of gifts.”