The recent gut wrenching reports from the National Center for Climate Restoration about the existential threat of the end of times is depressing A.F. The picture painted is bleak and places more than a billion people displaced, food production next to nothing, and some of the world's most populous cities left partially abandoned. To put it simply, it is apopolyptic.
The impact of this doomsday news on the mental health on us is understandably an issue. Coined "eco-anxiety", many people are fearing the impact that climate change will cause to the future of our planet. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), eco-anxiety is a “chronic fear of environmental doom.” Many of our youth have been exemplary at voicing their despair and “eco-anxiety” around the foreseeable deterioration of our planet. This envronmental doom is a real threat - apparently second to nuclear attack.
A majority of Northwest residents also believe consuming less and making lifestyle changes is the best way to address the economy based on new data from a poll commissioned by EarthFix. The carbon footprint of all the little purchases we make is significant. But aside from cars and large appliances it’s difficult for a consumer to evaluate the carbon emissions impact of any single purchase.
So where does it leave us this holiday season? Don't get me wrong...I'm all about homemade gifts. But when it comes to the holidays....I like to make it really special. So, while consuming LESS is great, if we absolutely need to have gifts wrapped under the tree this year, perhaps we could choose ones that have less environmental impact or even reduce our carbon footprint. I also love the idea that the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Ashland, Oregon is doing. Spearheaded by Paula Sohl and Lacey Hunter, they are collecting old t-shirts and magazines, and inviting people to spend Saturdays making crafts. I can take this idea one step further and see bartering or trading services or goods from friend groups in order to find gifts for other family or friends. But, if you simply MUST BUY SOMETHING because 2020 has got ya down (retail therapy, anyone?), choose eco-conscious products, shop small, and/or shop local.
Every year we come out with an Eco Gift Guide packed with our top pics for eco gifting. Stay tuned for the release of our 2020 edition - Self and Environment Care-Inspired Giving.