Earth911 talks with Tessa Wardley, author of a handy new guide to reducing your environmental impact, The Eco Hero Handbook: Simple Solutions to Tackle Eco-Anxiety. Young and older people are increasingly battling a paralyzing fear for the future, known as eco-anxiety, but they don’t have to feel trapped. Taking the time to do research about the carbon footprint of your daily activities to make simple earth-friendly decisions, such as reducing plastic use in the bathroom or choosing a slower form of travel than flying, does make a difference, she explains. You’ll save money, plus individual decisions add up to social transformation as companies and governments respond to people’s new priorities.
“Our consumer power is actually really powerful, and we should not underestimate that,” Wardley said. She also points to the fact that businesses that take social and environmental responsibility get the most qualified talent when hiring — green is already good business.
She also draws on experiences in her work at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the U.K. sharing how to improve local pollinator and insect biodiversity by gardening with nativar plants without using chemicals. Even window plantings can contribute to a local healthier environment, as recent research proves.
The Eco Hero Handbook provides hundreds of simple steps, from reducing food waste, choosing more durable clothing, and sharing used clothes to changing our driving habits are effective ways to break out of eco-anxiety. Wardley also talks about how to become better informed about your shopping choices and ways to amplify your decisions to make the biggest social changes.
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This podcast was originally published on March 1, 2021.