Eco guilt is that feeling you get when you feel like you're not doing enough to help the planet, it can get very annoying, but it can even be a good thing, it means you really care! This can occur once we learn more about what is happening to the environment, when we're bombarded with information about toxins or pollution. It can lead to people feeling overwhelmed to the point of inaction or raising their anxiety levels. Not cool.
You probably have felt guilty about a purchase you've made, possibly impulsively, I noticed I tend to fall into these kinds of purchases when I'm on holiday, thinking 'I'll probably never come back here, if I don't buy this now I never will', and often I never end up wearing those things that I buy... It happens, we just need to learn from those mistakes.
6 tips on what you can do to feel better and prevent eco guilt
1. Look how far you've already come!
Improvements happen in little steps, you're on the right track, remember perfection is not realistic.
2. learn from your mistakes
It's okay to do some things that go against what you believe (impulse purchases), everyone falls back sometimes, the fact that you noticed that you went off track is already a good sign, just try to limit it and avoid it next time!
Most of us just don’t have the time to fight for all the problems the world is facing, that can really get overwhelming, so pick the one (or two) that really speak to you and start there. It might be becoming a more conscious consumer or reducing plastic or animal welfare – whatever it is, focus your energy there for now. Once you feel like you’ve made some headway you can look at making other changes as well.
4.Focus on yourself, not on others
While it’s definitely important to let Government and organisations know what they should be doing better, the same doesn’t necessarily apply to the people around you. It's important to raise awareness but everyone approaches these kinds of challenges in their own ways, and what is most important to you may not be to other people. Making them feel more guilty for what they haven’t yet changed isn’t going to help them, and it won’t make you feel any better in the long term either. So, focus on the things you can control – yourself! And inform others on your way, but respect their choices as well. And don't compare yourself to others -it’s easy to get swept up in a competitive mindset, but that's not helpful.
Be gentle with yourself and take your journey at your own pace.
When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with how much more we could all be doing, try and make that motivate you into action. Find something positive you can channel that frustration in to – join a community, volunteer your time, write to brands, companies or the government and lead by example. it’s guilt that often drives us to change behaviors and take action, so embrace it!
6. Don't lose hope
Seek out the people, actions and communities that inspire and uplift you. Read about them, learn about them, support them in any way you can, and remind yourself that you are doing enough
hope this post motivates you and helps you deal with these feelings!