10 Tips to overcome Eco-Anxiety this year
We did it! We’ve made it through the first two weeks of a new decade and if you’re anything like me, you’re still riding that energetic wave that comes with a new year and a fresh blanket of snow. As we dig into 2020, it is more important now than ever before that we surge forward with hope and positivity as we rise to the challenges of climate breakdown and worldwide wildlife loss. During the countdown to 2020, we shared a list of our top tips for overcoming eco-anxiety this year that we hope you’ll remember as you connect with nature and take action with us in conservation.
1. Go for a nature walk – It’s true that one of the best things we can do when we’re feeling overwhelmed, whether that be from environmental crises or the stress of everyday life, is to get outside. Choose a local trail or plan a longer hike to reconnect with the nature you love and take a deep breath of fresh air.
2. Take action for your favourite ecosystems – Over the holidays, we encouraged our followers to have their say in establishing the Restigouche River Waterway. As the Government of New Brunswick looks to keep its promise to protect 10% of our natural areas this year, follow our social media pages closely for calls to action to protect your favourite ecosystems in 2020.
3. Voice your support – At CPAWS-NB, we want to encourage you to speak up for nature, and one of the best things you can do to overcome your eco-anxiety is to tell your local representatives and decision-makers that protecting nature is important to you! You can write your own letters or emails, or keep your eyes peeled this year for letter writing campaigns from CPAWS-NB. Adding your voice helps us to show leaders that New Brunswickers support conservation action in our province.
Add your voice in our campaign to protect the Bay of Fundy, here.
4. Nominate an area for protection – Do you have a special place in nature in New Brunswick? One that you feel is worth protecting? This year, we will be looking for folks like you to nominate their favourite wilderness areas for protection. Be sure to reach out to CPAWS-NB to share your stories and help us to increase conservation coverage across the province. Take a look, here.
5. Talk it out – Being worried about the environment can take a big toll but talking about our worries is a great way to combat eco-anxiety. Share your concerns with your friends, family, and colleagues and work together to find ways to overcome eco-anxiety and support conservation action. Don’t forget to also share why you love nature and why you’re thankful to have it in your life!
6. Hold leaders accountable – Late last year, the provincial government promised to increase protected area coverage to 10% by the end of 2020. We were thrilled by this commitment, and it will be important for us all to hold leaders accountable in meeting this target over the next 12 months! You can overcome your eco-anxiety by helping us to see this through and sharing our message whenever and wherever possible. Send a letter today, here!
7. Be a teacher – Have you been taking the time to learn about ecosystems and nature in New Brunswick? We want you to share your knowledge! Teach those around you, family and friends of all ages, about nature, about climate breakdown, and about what we can all do to ensure that New Brunswick’s forests, wetlands, and coasts remain healthy.
8. Give a gift – CPAWS-NB works together with provincial, federal, and territorial governments, local communities, and engaged folks like you to see that New Brunswick’s nature is protected and enjoyed by all. Supporting CPAWS-NB with a gift can help us to keep doing our work all year long, and we are so thankful for any support you can give. You can give a gift any time, here.
You might also want to give the gift of time and action this year! Join us as a volunteer, get started here.
9. Visit a park – Did you know that New Brunswick is home to nine beautiful and fun provincial parks? This year make a plan to visit a park or two (or three or four) to see the best of New Brunswick’s nature. Ready to get started? Visit one of our year-round parks, including Mactaquac Provincial Park, Mount Carleton Provincial Park, or Sugarloaf Provincial Park, to enjoy some winter activities in the crisp snowy air!
10. Join the conservation community – New Brunswick is home to a vibrant community of conservation enthusiasts! Join CPAWS-NB for one of our many events this year. Through the winter and spring, we host a Tuesday Talks speaker series where we hear from members of this community and engage in lively discussion. In the summer, we host lots of events across our provincial parks. Follow us on Facebook to keep up with our latest events.
Eco-anxiety can be tough, but by trying some of these tips we can overcome our worry and work together to ensure that the special wilderness of New Brunswick thrives into the future. CPAWS-NB wishes you a happy and hopeful year ahead!
Header photo of Fundy National Park by Nick Hawkins.
Julie Reimer is a PhD student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Board Member of CPAWS-NB. Having worked in the whale watching industry in New Brunswick and conducted her Master’s research on conservation planning for the North Atlantic right whale, Julie is an advocate for MPAs in New Brunswick. Julie’s current research attempts to see the “bigger picture” of conservation, reaching beyond protected areas to understand the synergies between conservation actions and ocean industries. To connect with Julie, visit http://juliereimer.wixsite.com/hello.