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Eco Anxiety


Eco-anxiety has hit us hard this week. It’s surprising that we haven’t been affected by it more in the past two years .


Jess and I got up early and went for a walk this morning to discuss how we can build an organisation that keeps an eye on this and manages it well, especially as we start to grow our workforce.


Working with young people has played a huge part in keeping eco anxiety at bay - children represent hope and potential for the future. They are full of energy and openness and have a very natural connection to the natural world which hasn’t yet been influenced by:

How-can-I-make-money-out-of-this?

How-can-I-control-this?

How-can-I-remove/reduce-this-because-it’s-in-my-way?!


As Planet & People moves into a new phase, focussed on engaging businesses to take action for the planet , we are working increasingly with adults. We are being challenged (rightly) and questioned. Adults (especially those in business) need convincing before they want to invest - they are understandably worried about their time and money being put into something that offers returns. This is how business works.


We’ve needed to persuade, and in persuading we’ve been accessing and spending more time on the hard facts and the uncomfortable truths. We’re developing content and our content needs to be embedded in reality and in data that drives home the need for action. Whilst working with young people, we have been positive and empowering in our approach. We are still fully committed to that approach, but adults are the ‘grown ups’... they need to hear the hard stuff too.


SO - the IMPORTANT question. What can we do when eco anxiety pulls the rug from under our feet and takes away our peace of mind?. This is what we are learning:


One: Get out into nature. Go and be in the places and spaces where it is healthy and thriving. The natural world has a positive effect on our mental health and wellbeing - this has been proven! Be in it and gain all the brilliance that it has to offer - exercise, fresh air, calmness, beauty. You can’t beat it!


Two: Get active and take action. Having a sense of agency and purpose is vital in dealing with anxiety. Powerlessness and overwhelm are so unpleasant to feel and sit with. There are so many ways you can act positively for the planet - you do not need to be an expert in climate science or ecology. Link up with local charities and organisations that are doing good stuff, make some lifestyle shifts, move your money to ethical banking, suggest and implement planet positive changes where you work, donate to nature conservation, get political and put pressure on the people at the top. If you want more ideas - get in touch!


I also thoroughly recommend a 6.45am walk in the rain with a medicinal coffee and a kindred spirit. Now THAT’s the good stuff.


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Planet & People is a Community Interest Company with two main aims:


To empower the next generation to create a better future for planet and people. Our funded Planet Action Workshops are delivered in schools across Devon - get in touch with us if you need support with environmental education at your school.


To engage businesses, particularly those with a connection to the education sphere, to take positive action for the planet and invest in the next generation by joining the Devon Planet Action Partnership.


“The future of humankind, and indeed all life on earth, depends on us”

David Attenborough


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Welcome to Planet & People, a Devon-based Community Interest Company which empowers people to create a better future for planet and people.

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