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How to Turn Climate Anxiety into Action Through Volunteering

It might feel like everywhere you look, there’s yet another article about climate breakdown and the dire state our planet has fallen into. This news can be impossible to hide away from and can cause eco-anxiety: a feeling of anxiety, relating to global warming and climate change.

This feeling can be rough, but don’t worry, because there are definitely things you can do to help ease anxiety about climate change. While we can’t deny the challenges our planet is facing, through actions, such as volunteering, there are ways to tackle and alleviate eco-anxiety!

4 Ways to Deal with Climate Anxiety by Volunteering

There are many ways in which volunteering that helps the environment, can be a useful way to decrease feelings of eco-anxiety and learn how to deal with eco-anxiety:

1. Take action

Actively taking part in volunteer programs directed towards helping the environment, helps you feel like you are making a contribution to something meaningful, and making an impact that will continue into the future. Activities such as reforestation, wildlife monitoring, litter collection, beach cleanups, and tacking invasive plant species, all support nature and have an impact on the environment.

2. Connect with fellow environmental activists

Through volunteering, you can meet like-minded people who share your passion for the environment, allowing you to build a network of peers who share your concerns and worries and can support each other through coping with eco-anxiety.

two volunteers with Raleigh Tshirt with the text Expedition with Purpose

3. Have a sense of purpose

Volunteering for the environment provides a sense of purpose which can be used to reduce the sense of helplessness surrounding climate change. You’ll know you aren’t just wondering what to do about climate anxiety, you’ll be taking action.

4. Support environmental education

Volunteering means you’ll have the opportunity to learn about environmental issues, conservation strategies, as well as environmental protection methods, all of which provide the tools to support eco-action, both as a volunteer and in your everyday life.

Eco-anxiety creates complex emotions that differ between people, but anyone who volunteers to help the environment can be proud that they are truly learning positive ways to turn climate anxiety into action.

Raleigh expedition volunteers smiling and learning about local environment in Nepal

Raleigh International’s Environmental Impact

Raleigh programmes provide the opportunity for you to engage in environmental action that makes a real difference. Some of the ways we have supported the environment include:

  • Raleigh Volunteers have planted 900,000 trees over the years!
  • 65 kilometres of trails and conservation infrastructure have either been built or rehabilitated by Raleigh Volunteers on Expedition.
  • More than 500 rural households are now supported in order to protect their income from environmental challenges
    Find out more about the work you can do as a Raleigh International Volunteer
Volunteers planting new plants and trees from while using soil from wheelbarrow

Small Actions Make a Big Difference

Structural change is vital in our fight against climate change, so we crucially need those in power, not in government and in business, to invest in supporting the environment. However, our actions are also important, so we can continue to take care of our planet in whatever little ways we can, and it will ease anxiety about climate change along the way too.

We can try to incorporate seemingly little things into our daily lives, such as: using reusable water bottles, opting for public transport, biking or walking to get to places, taking shorter showers etc. These things may feel hopeless when doing them on your own; but remember you’re not doing them alone and that’s why they matter.

Factories using coal and causing air pollution

Small actions can add up to something far bigger. Raleigh International is a place where individuals come together, at a certain time and place, each contributing to environmental change that is bigger than each volunteer, and whose impact will last longer than your time on Expedition. 

We mustn’t underestimate the power of our actions, because we have the power to really make a difference.

This blog was written by Annelies, our Raleigh Social Media Intern.

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