Tips for Dealing with Eco-Anxiety

Eco-anxiety is nothing new, but the term has recently been coined to explain the anxiety, grief, and despair that’s often felt about the state of the environment/climate change or climate breakdown.

There’s a growing, new vocabulary for how we address the climate as climate change feels passive and adaptable whereas breakdown or emergency sound more alarming and in need of action. Here’s an article The Guardian wrote about it.

5 Tips for dealing with eco-anxiety from www.goingzerowaste.com #eco #zerowaste #sustainable #anxiety #ecoanxiety

A lot of this is stemming from recent protests like Extinction Rebellion and the School Strike for Climate being led by Greta Thunberg. You might remember a speech Thunberg made to parliament saying, “I want you to panic.”

I think “panicking” in the context of talking to world leaders who are a refusing and/or dragging their feet on climate change policies is apt.

However, you, yourself, I do NOT want you to panic. You can feel a since of urgency without panicking. I repeat, you can feel a since of urgency WITHOUT panicking.

When your body starts panicking your brain is working in over drive, your "fight-or-flight" response is triggered, adrenaline is released into the bloodstream, your heart rate shoots up, and you can experience shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness etc.

Now, do you think in that state of panic you can make rational decisions? Effectively create change? Or just generally function at that level of intensity?

No, probably not. In fact, the only person you’re hurting by panicking is yourself, and not only is it bad for both your physical and mental health it can hold you back from creating change.

Eco-anxiety can of course, hit at anytime, but it’s triggered by the news. Bad news. You know the news I’m talking about.

Headlines like:

Unless you’re a monster, how can you not be affected by those headlines? What are you feeling right now? Sad? Scared? Worried? Upset? Because, how can world leaders read things like this and NOT want to act?

It’s infuriating right? Like HELLO. Humans need the earth to survive. Our species depends on these resources too!

1. acceptance:

This might be the hardest step in fighting climate change. There’s something about humans especially impassioned ones that are so against duality. But, if you’re going to keep eco-anxiety at bay you HAVE to learn to live with both the positive and negative emotions and realize that not everything is simple cut-and-dry.

You can make peace with something without condoning. You can also accept an outcome while fighting tooth and nail against it.

Practicing acceptance does NOT mean that I’m going to sit back and watch it happen. There’s a difference and I hope that you can understand the distinction.

But, there’s something about accepting “the very worse thing” that might happen that’s absolutely freeing. It’s like being afraid of it in its abstract is almost more scary than just accepting the fact that you don’t know what’s going to happen.

Tons of irrational ideas float through my head all the time like:

  • I will lose everything and be homeless.

  • The stock market will crash and we'll be living like Fallout

  • An Earthquake will hit, my house will collapse and it will kill my family

The list goes on and on, but when I get these thoughts I just accept them and it really helps break my spiral. I just say, if that happens I accept it. And, it's almost like flipping a magic switch in my brain.

This is just like the serenity prayer that is often recited, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

ACTION ITEM: When you start to feel very overwhelmed by impending climate doom practice acceptance without complacency.

If the serenity prayer helps you, say that. If not, think of another similar mantra you can write and meditate on that involves both acceptance and action.

5 Tips for dealing with eco-anxiety from www.goingzerowaste.com #eco #zerowaste #sustainable #anxiety #ecoanxiety

2. get a new view:

In the same way that you needed to accept that bad things might happen, you also need to accept that good things might happen. But, that’s much more difficult to do because we have the dystopian future in spades.

Everywhere you turn, there’s post-apocalyptic media from books, TV, movies. In fact, if you think about the future, you probably see something dusty, dry, and kinda steampunky, right?

We’ve got that vision on lock. You know what we don’t have? We don’t have a vision of the future that’s just awesome!

I mean, what if we switched to a completely renewable energy grid? What if every roof and building were green spaces? What if these green space grew organic food that could supply the community? What if we started working with nature rather than against her?

We have to get a beautiful, clear picture of what we’re fighting for. If we’re just fighting for our lives that’s not very interesting. Paint a picture, a beautiful picture of a life that people want.

When people hear survival, they think surviving like barely surviving living in a cave and no one wants to fight for that. You know what they want to hear, they want to hear about thriving show them utopia. Show them how their life will drastically improve.

This is also a key principle for talking to people about saving the planet who don’t care about the planet. Let me know if a blog post on this interests you.

When you have this very clear big picture of how amazing things could be it becomes so much easier to talk to people. It also becomes so much easier to take action because you have a clear vision of what you’re fighting for.

ACTION ITEM: Take a few moments to journal or just day dream about how wonderful the future could be. Describe in detail how awesome the future could look. How does it look?

How do we live in harmony? How has general consciousness changed? When you get struck with a wave of fear, re-read this entry or go back to that place in your mind palace to remind yourself of what you’re fighting for.

5 Tips for dealing with eco-anxiety from www.goingzerowaste.com #eco #zerowaste #sustainable #anxiety #ecoanxiety

3. find a support system:

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s also easy to feel isolated, and one of the best ways to combat this loneliness is to find a group of like minded people.

Check out this post if you’re looking for tips on finding a local like minded eco-friendly community.

When we’re triggered everything feels very Us VS Them. It makes us turn on our closest friends and family - you know the ones that we don’t don’t consider to be on our “eco level” and wonder, “If they’re not on board, how is anything ever going to improve!?”

This can bring out a lot of negative traits like bitterness and being judgmental which can cause you to lash out at friends, family and unsuspecting strangers.

RELATED: How to Deal with Judgmental Friends and Family

ACTION ITEM: Remember that you’re not alone. There are TONS of people, groups, and organizations that are all working towards change.

Plug in and connect with a friend who cares about the environment. If you don’t feel like you have anyone who understands be sure to check out my blog post on finding a local community and consider joining my private facebook group and make a new friend!

5 Tips for dealing with eco-anxiety from www.goingzerowaste.com #eco #zerowaste #sustainable #anxiety #ecoanxiety

4. get to work:

After you’ve decompressed from the initial feelings of overwhelm, it’s time to get to work. The only way to truly work through these feelings is to make changes! This doesn’t mean that you need to make every change overnight and it certainly doesn’t mean that you take on the sole responsibility for the fate of the world.

Anxiety can also stem from feeling like you HAVE to be perfect and that you can NEVER make a mistake because if you do then the world will collapse and it will be all your fault.

That over course, is not true. Yes, it sounds like gross hyperbole when typed out, but somehow when you’re spiraling your thoughts go there.

We need individuals making changes, but we also need businesses and policy too. My recommendation is to start making simple changes around your home. Once you feel like you have a grasp on that, it’s time to get your community involved.

Then once you have your local community involved then pursue things, as a group, in policy and contacting businesses - there’s power in numbers!

I have blog posts to help you with all of those things, but this one The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide might be particularly helpful if you want to get a road map of what it looks like as you go from just starting to accomplished activist.

ACTION ITEM: Start making changes in your own life and in your community.

5 Tips for dealing with eco-anxiety from www.goingzerowaste.com #eco #zerowaste #sustainable #anxiety #ecoanxiety

5. seek out the positive:

And, lastly make sure that you’re seeking out the positive. One of the things I do to maintain positivity is intentionally seek out positive news. I make sure that I’m following accounts on social media that have a positive and uplifting take on what’s happening.

When all you hear is bad news because let’s be honest, it’s SO much easier to find the negative than it is the positive, it’s pretty demotivating. When you hear the good news, you just feel empowered. It makes you feel like what you’re doing is making a difference.

And, just so that we’re clear - what you’re doing is ABSOLUTELY making difference! Here are a few places that are great for finding good news.

ACTION ITEM: Follow a few accounts that inspire you with good news! I’ve rounded up a few that I like to follow if you need some inspiration.

If you found this article helpful, I would love it if you would give it a share!

How to Incorporate Adaptogens in Your Morning Lattes

If you’ve seen my Instagram stories then you’ve definitely seen me pour a matcha latte once, twice, or a dozen times. When I make my matcha lattes, I always include dashes, pinches, and scoops of different powders like Hecate called Adaptogens to which I get a bunch of DMs saying - adapta-what?

So, I figured it’s time to write a blog post! The best piece of blogging advice I’ve ever received is, “If you have to answer a question more than once, you need to write a post about it.”

How to incorporate adaptogens in your morning lattes from www.goingzerowaste.com #latte #adaptogens #herbaltea #tea #morningroutine

Here we are, and I am so excited to have Further Food on board. Further Food has sponsored this post all thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.

I've been using Further Food for several months - you've probably seen me tag them on my IG stories! They were kind enough to offer a discount code! GOINGZEROWASTE for 15% off.

I’ve been taking adaptogens and collagen for a little over a year now. Since I work and blog full time, I’m always looking for easy ways to infuse and adjust my current routines to take full advantage of them like getting a set of pedals under my desk (writing while cycling!) or elevating my current tea routine.

This, of course, saves me a TON of time, and also makes changes easier to implement since they’re piggybacking off of existing habits.

personal health:

As many of you know, I started going zero waste due to health reasons. My hormones were completely out of whack so I started trying to avoid endocrine disruptors like plastic, conventional beauty, and cleaning products.

It took several years for me to feel like I had a handle on balancing my hormones, and feel like I am always learning new things. I really try to listen to my body and support it - journaling has been huge for me in identifying problems and patterns!

At the end of 2017, my inflammation got really out of hand. I’ve been very sensitive to inflammation even as a kid and arthritis is a major problem in my family. Throw in my skin troubles, and I think we’ve pretty much hit the personal health highlights.

I slowly started introducing some supplements and then started eliminating certain foods from my diet to pinpoint triggers.

Caffeine was a major trigger which led me to cutting out coffee and then eventually all caffeine. I have slowly introduced some caffeine back into my diet, but I only do caffeine in the form of tea.

RELATED: How I Quit Coffee

How to incorporate adaptogens in your morning lattes from www.goingzerowaste.com #latte #adaptogens #herbaltea #tea #morningroutine

I introduced collagen, b12 complex, omega-3s, CBD-oil, and use turmeric in everything I cook.

I have to say my homemade golden milk icing I used to decorate Christmas cookies is still one of my favorites!

I still struggle to find a lot of these supplements without plastic packaging and was so happy to hear that Further Food, while still packaged in plastic, uses 100% post-consumer recycled plastic #2 which is actually my favorite of all the plastics.

Yes, I do have a list ranking all of the plastics #HotOrNot, I talked about it in this post.

I like Plastic #2 because it’s considered the safest and has a great domestic recycling market which means it will actually be recycled as long as it’s clean!

Using the recycled plastic reduces the carbon footprint by 78%, drastically improves the carbon footprint for travel due to it being lighter than glass, it consumes 90% less energy, and it’s a pure plastic (not a mix!) so it can be recycled again and again.

Further Food is a woman-owned and operated company right here in San Francisco, and a portion of each sale goes to chronic illness and healthy eating programs. You know how much I love companies that give back.

How to incorporate adaptogens in your morning lattes from www.goingzerowaste.com #latte #adaptogens #herbaltea #tea #morningroutine

about adaptogens:

Adaptogens AKA adaptogenic herbs aren’t a new fancy thing. They’ve been used for centuries in both Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions in the forms of supplements, tinctures, and teas.

These herbs help the body resist or adapt to stressors whether they’re physical, chemical, or biological. Adaptogens work with the endocrine system to tweak hormone production and the physiological responses to stress.

There are several adaptogens I use regularly:

  • Ashwaganda is best known for helping to reduce stress and anxiety. (source)

  • Maca gives a natural energy boost and helps to regulate estrogen. Which is great if you produce too much estrogen naturally - like ME. (source)

  • Reishi helps boost your immune system (source)

  • Cordyceps keeps blood sugar levels in check and helps to fight inflammation. (source)

  • Chaga is rich in essential vitamins and minerals like the b12 complex, zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium (source)

I can really feel the energy boost from maca and recommend only taking a small amount in the beginning like a 1/4 of a teaspoon to see how it affects you.

I bought most of these adaptogens in plastic tubs, but was able to find a few at a special herb shop in bulk! I only use a teeny-tiny bit of each so thankfully they last a super long time.

I mix my adaptogens along with collagen and CBD into my morning tea lattes, but one of my favorite products Further Food offers is their pre-made Mindful Matcha and Turmeric Tonic mixes both of which are vegan! They come in big tubs (they are transitioning their entire line to recycled plastic so some are made from recycled plastic and some aren’t yet) and they already have the adaptogens mixed in.

This is honestly my favorite way to make an iced latte because I don’t need to dirty up my blender. I just put a scoop in a mason jar and add water, ice, nut milk and shake it really good. Voila, no extra dishes plus I'm saving a bunch of water. ;)

How to incorporate adaptogens in your morning lattes from www.goingzerowaste.com #latte #adaptogens #herbaltea #tea #morningroutine

about collagen:

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. It makes up 90% of connective tissue, bone mass, and 70% of our skin, but our body's natural collagen production declines as we age

Most people that adhere to a typical western diet aren’t getting enough collagen through their meals. Collagen is not vegan, and most of the vegan collagens on the market are collagen boosters rather than collagen itself.

Further Food goes to great lengths to make sure the collagen is sourced sustainably. I prefer to use the Premium Marine Collagen Peptides because fish has a lower carbon footprint compared to beef.

The collagen is strictly a byproduct of the fishing industry. No fish are caught specifically for collagen. Further Food only uses the fish skin (very rich in collagen) which often goes to waste.

On top of that, they still see to it that the fish skins only come from sustainable sources with ethical fishing practices and make sure that the entire fish has been used.

Collagen is special because it contains glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline three amino acids that you won't find (in any meaningful amount) in any other foods. These amino acids help with muscle growth and joint and skin health.

How to incorporate adaptogens in your morning lattes from www.goingzerowaste.com #latte #adaptogens #herbaltea #tea #morningroutine

But, there are a NUMBER of reasons you might want to consider taking collagen:

  • Improves gut health
  • Reduces joint stiffness
  • Repairs muscle and prevents injury
  • Reduces wrinkles and increases skin elasticity
  • Thicker hair and stronger nails
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Improves thyroid health
  • Prevents and can reverse arthritis

I personally, take collagen to help with my my skin, to improve my gut and joint health. I can definitely see a difference in my face, nails, and hair after consistently taking collagen.

I got a manicure this January, just a polish, and got a bunch of dms asking why I chose to get acrylic nails… I didn’t… I just painted them. That’s how good this stuff is, people thought my real nails were acrylics because they’re so strong.

Collagen doesn’t work overnight though, you need about six consistent months of taking it.

You can learn more about the benefits of collagen

You can brew any tea that you like, but if I’m not doing a matcha latte then I like to do a black tea.

my morning tea latte recipe:

Ingredients:

    1. 12 oz cup of Black Tea
    1. 8 oz of nut milk (I like coconut or cashew)
    1. 1 scoop of Further Food Marine Collagen Peptides
    1. 1 teaspoon of Ashwaganda
    1. 1/2 teaspoon of reishi
    1. 1/4 teaspoon of Maca
    1. 1 dropper of CBD
    1. Dash of cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Put the first seven ingredients in a 32 oz wide mouth mason jar.
  2. Use a blender wand on it’s lowest setting (in the mason jar) and blend for 30 seconds to a minute, everything will get nice and frothy!
  3. Pour into a 27 oz thermos
  4. Complete with a dash of cinnamon on top!

Making tea is one of my favorite aspects of my morning routine. I use the time to slowly process the upcoming day and check in with my body.

Do you have a morning routine you like to follow?

A huge shout out and thank you to Further Food for sponsoring this post, if you’re interested in trying any of their products you can get 15% off with the code GOINGZEROWASTE!

How to incorporate adaptogens in your morning lattes from www.goingzerowaste.com #latte #adaptogens #herbaltea #tea #morningroutine

All-Natural Cough Remedies

California is in full bloom, and lots of people’s allergies are causing runny noses, watery eyes, and lot’s of coughing. If you’re starting to feel a sore throat coming on, or already have a cough, there are several zero waste cough remedies that could help.

5 all-natural cough remedies from www.goingzerowaste.com #cough #allnatural #remedies #wellness #allergies

First and foremost, always remember to put health first! Going to see your doctor and resting up are two essentials to this.

With that said, there are lots of natural remedies to coughs. Here are a few I personally prefer.

Related: Zero Waste Cold and Flu Remedies

honey:

Local raw honey is one of the best treatments for a sore throat and a cough. Not only does it taste delicious, but it will help sooth your throat.

Just make sure to get local raw honey, as store bought honey is often “ultra-filtered” through heat and pasteurization. This processing destroys the beneficial compounds, pollen and enzymes that make raw honey so nutrient dense.

You can look for local raw honey at your local farmers market, or check online. Just do a quick google search of “local raw honey near me” or specify the state you’re in.

When you get your hands on the honey, you can eat a tablespoon of it straight up to help with a cough. Two to four tablespoons of raw honey a day is best (one at night, one in the morning).

However, if you have a coughing fit, feel free to reach for the honey to help calm it down!

You can also mix in two tablespoons of honey into your tea, and drink this honey tea at least twice a day. Tea is very soothing to the throat as well, so the two combined should help nicely.

5 all-natural cough remedies from www.goingzerowaste.com #cough #allnatural #remedies #wellness #allergies

ginger:

Believe it or not, ginger may actually help ease a dry throat, seeing as it has anti-inflammatory properties. As a bonus, it also helps relieve nausea and pain.

If you find yourself coughing a lot, ginger can help relax membranes in the airways, which can help reduce the amount you cough.

I suggest brewing up a cup of ginger tea using fresh ginger slices. You can add them directly to the hot water and let it steep a few minutes.

You can also add honey or lemon juice to improve the taste and increase the benefits of ginger tea. Opt for organic ginger whenever possible too.

Drink ginger tea at least twice a day for the best results.

5 all-natural cough remedies from www.goingzerowaste.com #cough #allnatural #remedies #wellness #allergieså

fluids:

As a general rule, you should always consume more fluids when you’re sick. Your body really needs them to help flush out toxins.

Make sure you’re getting enough water, for starters. You should be aiming for at least 8 cups of water a day.

Drinking liquids at room temperature can also help alleviate a cough, runny nose, and sneezing. So the next time you reach for some water, consider not drinking it ice cold.

However, drinking some warming fluids will also help with a sore throat and cough. Specifically, hot drinks.

Try to consume more tea and soup whenever you have a cough. Consuming fluids will be easier on your throat and make you less likely to cough.

I recommend trying licorice root or marshmallow root tea for a stubborn cough. Both those herbs are great at relieving any tickling, itching or irritation you might feel in your throat that causes you to cough in the first place.

Make sure you brew some zero waste tea, if you decide to drink it. Most tea bags are made from plastic, which isn’t healthy for you or the earth.

Choose bulk teas, or purchase tea from companies that make compostable tea bags whenever possible (Yogi Tea is my favorite). Loose leaf tea in reusable tins are great as well.

You can also try drinking clear broths or plain old warm water (with a slice of lemon perhaps).

5 all-natural cough remedies from www.goingzerowaste.com #cough #allnatural #remedies #wellness #allergies

steam:

If you have a nasty wet cough, steam might be able to help provide some relief. Take a hot shower with eucalyptus or bath to allow the bathroom to fill with steam.

I know baths aren’t the most environmentally friendly option (so much wasted water), but if you don’t take a bath too often, it’s okay to treat yourself when you’re sick.

Besides, there are plenty of other ways to reduce your water footprint, such as cutting out meat and dairy products from your diet.

Related: 5 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Whatever you decide to do (bath or shower), stay in the steam for a few minutes until your symptoms subside. Just make sure to drink a glass of water afterwards to prevent dehydration (and to cool down).

You can alternatively make a steam bowl to save water. Just fill a large bowl with hot water: You can add herbs or essential oils to it if you so choose. Eucalyptus or rosemary are nice choices that also help relieve decongestion.

Place a towel over your head and lean over the bowl, inhaling the vapors for about 5 minutes. This will help loosen you up and ease your symptoms.

5 all-natural cough remedies from www.goingzerowaste.com #cough #allnatural #remedies #wellness #allergies

salt water gargle:

My boyfriend loves doing this every time he feels a sore throat coming on. More than half the time, it actually works too.

This simple remedy is the most effective way to treat a wet cough and a sore throat. That’s because salt water actually reduces phlegm and mucus in the back of the throat.

All you need to do is stir half a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water and let it dissolve. When the solution cools slightly, just gargle with it a little at a time, making sure to let it sit on the back of your throat for a few moments before spitting.

Gargle with salt water several times each day until your cough improves or completely subsides.

Altogether, please make sure to see a doctor if your condition worsens.

If you wind up needing an over the counter medication for your cough, don’t beat yourself up over it. Waste happens.

If you’d like to stay as healthy as possible this winter, I recommend trying some of these natural immune boosters. The best cure is always prevention, after all!

What are some zero waste cough remedies you prefer?

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Guest Post: Ariana Palmieri is the founder of Greenify-Me.com, a blog dedicated to zero waste living and sustainability. Her work has been featured on MindBodyGreen, Green Matters, The Penny Hoarder and several other publications. Get her free e-book "10 Ways to Reduce Trash" by signing up to her newsletter and learn how to reduce your waste today.