Dealing With My Anxiety From Climate Change

Iles de Boucherville

Climate change is real and it is the biggest crisis our generation will be faced with.

This is such a simple statement yet it is still being debated all over the world, mostly by privileged people who profit from harming our planet every day.

We have been hearing about climate change and its many repercussions on our lives for many years now. For some people, this crisis has been unfolding for many decades already and I can’t imagine the weight of experiencing things getting worst every single day for so long.

In my case, I just kept feeding myself with information, unsure of what to think or feel yet. As an optimist, I always felt like it couldn’t be that bad. That things would improve.

I still believed that up until a month ago, when I took the time to read The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming. It took me a week to get through each page. It was a much faster rate than usual, because I couldn’t believe what I was reading and needed to get to the part where the author would explain how things would get fixed. But I reached the end, and that part never came. Instead, what I found was a deep sadness I had never felt before. My heart breaking for something that could never be replaced.

How do you go on then?

Knowing that everyday, we are all living beyond the resources available. That what we see, feel & have around us today will not be there tomorrow. In my opinion (because I am still trying to be optimistic), you do better, care about what’s out there and prepare for the future.

Do better

There are so many things we can all do today that already makes us better to our Earth. I know that each action done individually is small and might not feel like it would change much. I also know that it’s easy to blame the people instead of making corporations responsible.

But the thing is that we all need to work together. It’s not one group or another, it’s all of us that need to do better right now.

I took the time to review my daily life after reading the book and realized there were a lot of things I could improve already. As small as they are, it gives me power and inspiration:

Garbage I reviewed the waste that I create at home. I started by getting a smaller garbage bin. I also gave away the plastic bags I had for the bin because I live in a condo building with a chute system so it really wasn’t necessary to use bags for a bin to bin transfer.

Compost Because I live in a condo building, I don’t get access to the city compost pickup service. That definitely creates more waste than I want to in my garbage bin. I always felt bad about it without actually finding a solution. I fixed that this week by purchasing a compost bin and registering to a volunteer program with my Écoquartier. I have a 15-min training this week and will receive a code to use a shared compost bin five minutes away from my home. Plus, I watched a super helpful video that shows how to create a “bag” for the bin from newspaper, once I’m done updating myself on what’s up with the world.

Water A friend who moved in with her boyfriend this summer shared that he kept a bucket in their shower to save the water that was unused. I thought it was brilliant and I started doing that myself this week. I’m so surprised at the quantity I have already, which is perfect to water my plants everyday.

Plants I doubled the number of plants I have inside & outside my home. On top of helping purify the air, it brings me deep joy and I love repotting the plants as they grow. The contact with soil is always so special.

Clothes I lost a lot of weight in the past year which made most of my wardrobe unwearable. I took the time to review what I owned and brought a few bags to local second-hand stores. As for the pieces I cared about, I found a tailor close-by who will make them fit perfectly by the end of the week.

Shopping I’m guilty of becoming too comfortable with online shopping. While I’m a pretty solid minimalist, whenever I needed things for my everyday life (kitchen stuff, books, etc), I would order on that popular website right away. Knowing how much gas & noise pollution trucks create in our cities, it’s the last thing I should support. That’s why I started working much harder on purchasing things in the city, especially on foot. Things are a bit pricier and sometimes take longer to find but I’ve managed to make 90% of my purchases that way for the past weeks.

Care about what’s out there

Our nature is changing everyday, and not for the best. Fires, droughts and floods have become part of everyday news. I truly have no idea what our biosphere will look like 10, 20 or 30 years from today.

For that reason, I have a feeling of urgency of being in nature.

As summer nears the end of its cycle this year, it’s become my mission to be outside as much as possible. To take myself places I have never been before to see & feel what’s out there. This connection is important for all of us, to feel closer to the real world and also feel empowered in trying to protect it.

It’s been interesting for me to live all these new outdoor experiences because I’ve never felt like I really belonged outside before. I always have joked about being such a city girl because that’s where I grew up. But in the end, we do all belong outside and feel the good from it.

Prepare for the future

How do you get ready for the unknown? It’s hard to know how fast things will change and what they will look like. All I can do is get more knowledge about how to support myself & others in a world that most likely will be more difficult to navigate.

As I’ve said earlier, we are living way over the resources we have left. That’s why I think it’s important to learn on how to be comfortable in the uncomfortable.

I’m trying to push my comfort & knowledge in the outdoors. Understand how to forage and thrive in more extreme temperatures. Also make sure that the places I call home can still be home in the future.

I hope sharing this wasn’t too much of a downer but hopefully more of a wake up call or inspiration! I feel so excited to share the places & experiences I have & will live in the future. I hope you stay around for that.

🍃