Do you have eco guilt
In a world where we see climate change problems every day, it can be easy to develop eco-guilt, a sense of remorse people may experience about the impact of their lifestyle on the environment. No less than 75 per cent of adults in Britain admit to worrying about climate change, and parents are inclined to worry more than others as they feel responsible for the world they are passing on to their children.
Eco-guilt comes from our ability to do something good for the environment, but the conscious decision not to. Sometimes, it’s all about convenience, such as when we purchase plastic bags to carry our shopping. But at other times, it may be to do with issues we feel we have no control over and cannot change.
Guilt is a natural feeling and one that we all experience at some point or other. But you don’t have to feel this way. Here are some ways you can cope with your eco-guilt.
Understand your carbon
Calculating your carbon footprint can help highlight how much you are producing, or saving from being produced, through your daily life. If you discover that you have a larger carbon footprint than you expected, you can take steps to reduce it. One obvious way is to reduce your commuting/travelling distances.
On the other hand, you might discover you have a lower unit than expected and this can help ease some of the eco-guilt you have been feeling You can calculate your carbon usage with the WWF Footprint Calculator (www.ifu.com).
Build a sustainable routine
Another way to reduce eco-guilt is to establish a sustainable routine that has a positive effect on the environment. Lifestyle changes, such as using reusable travel coffee cups rather than plastic ones, can mean you are positively impacting the environment and your community without causing extra problems for yourself.
Another idea is to start harvesting your own allotment. Children will love to get involved in this and it will teach them how to become more eco-friendly too. By making this a routine, rather than a one-off effort, being sustainable will become an unconscious, long-term habit.
Don’t compare your efforts with those of other people. There is a lot of pressure to be sustainable, but you should do it at your own pace. Don’t allow eco-guilt to diminish the steps you have taken so far. As with all lifestyle changes, small actions can create big changes. Avoid eco-paralysis by focusing on what good you do. Making positive changes towards the climate should be seen as a collaboration and strive for progression rather than perfection.