Eco Anxiety: What is it and how to cope.

Eco anxiety refers to the mental health issues experienced by an individual as a direct result of their increased awareness of the climate crisis.

Most people are aware, to some extent, that climate change can impact their physical health with air pollution, food poverty and disease all being associated with climate change.

However, eco anxiety is a rather new mental health phenomenon that, like most mental health issues, isn’t being spoken about.

Addressing eco anxiety goes hand in hand with addressing the climate crisis. Anxiety is how the body response to perceived threats and we all now know that climate change is real.  

The recent IPCC report has left many with the feeling of existential dread and hopelessness but, despite being a pandora’s box of worst-case scenarios and hard to digest realities, it gave us hope.

So, like its cause, eco anxiety requires action and participation from the individual to overcome it. And positive action, whether on an individual level or as part of a larger group is the best way to combat it.

Simply look at the impact Greta Thunberg has. Her School Strike for Climate has inspired a global movement. Irish based charity, Flossie and the Beach Cleaners are an excellent example of how one person’s passion to make a difference can spur others into positive action.

The world over there are grassroots movements and groups who have all started small, inspiring others along the way to join them and, in the process, have grown into the registered charities, organisations and lobbying groups they are today.

The Climate Craic festival is just one example of a group of people coming together to actively address their individual eco anxiety, creating something positive to raise awareness around climate change on a local level.

Being part of a collective or group within the climate movement is one of the best ways to tackle that feeling of hopelessness. Getting involved in an action or event that aims to address climate change, even at a local level is a great way to negate eco anxiety and connect with other like-minded people whilst fighting for our futures.

But like any anxiety disorder it’s important to look after yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and you can’t save a burning planet if you yourself are burnt out.

There are so many ways to get involved in the global climate movement if physical actions aren’t for you and it is important to pair active participation with active rest.

Take time away from technology. Switch off the news, log out of Twitter and Instagram and any other social media platform where you find yourself doom-scrolling for hours. Mainstream media have a poor track record of reporting on climate change and, when they do, it’s all very doom and gloom.

There is good climate news out there to be found and shared. Soulful Seeds and Climate Good News are excellent sources of the good news. And each month there are news stories of innovative, inventive, climate concerned individuals find green solutions and eco-friendly alternatives to everyday problems and products.

Focus on what you can do. The temptation to jump in headfirst and do something grand is something every climate concerned individual experiences, and for some it works, but for most of us we need to do what we can, where we can, with what we have.

We must go back to basics, to the reduce and reuse mindset. Ditching single-use plastics is a good place to start. Whether you invest in reusable canvas tote bags for your groceries, reusing a single-use water bottle for as long as possible or, ditch it for a metal or glass one, or you reduce your weekly meat or dairy intake, and buy loose fruit and veg where possible, it all adds up. The less you put into your home recycling the better.

Recycling isn’t a perfect system after all, so while it’s still important to do it, its crucial we recycle smarter when we do. Personal responsibility matters. Afterall, we don’t need a handful of people doing zero waster perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly.

Despite the doom and gloom the mainstream media is putting out there daily, Climate scientists and activists have made it abundantly clear that we have the time and the resources to advert climate disaster.

Press Release

Climate Craic

Northern Ireland’s Inaugural Climate Festival

Northern Ireland’s first climate festival will be hosted by Climate Craic on Sunday September 19th, 2021. The event will be held in the grounds of the Stormont Estate and is open to people of all ages who would like to learn more about and celebrate climate activism.

Climate Craic was founded in 2021 as a result of an Active Citizens programme which was sponsored by Co-operation Ireland, a cross-border peace building charity, and the British Council. The primary objective of this organisation is to create positive, borderless engagement with climate action. With inclusivity at its core, Climate Craic supports the calls for NI Assembly to pass the current Climate Bill. Its core members are also focused on facilitating creative approaches to climate action, socially diverse collaboration, and cross-border climate legislation.

The Director and Founder of Climate Craic, Jacinta Hamley said;
“At Climate Craic, we recognise that there are no borders when it comes to climate change. We are all in this together, and we would like to invite those who might be on the periphery to join the climate conversation. We would like to invite anyone who might be interested in learning more about climate action to our very first festival. We are particularly excited to welcome those who might not currently feel sufficiently represented within climate activism. We encourage anyone who would like to hear from scientists and activists to come along and engage. There has never been a better time to think globally and act locally.”.

There will be a variety of activities at the festival, including live entertainment, eco-friendly workshops, presentations from guest speakers, and displays from local artists. Climate Craic will be announcing further details regarding entertainment, catering, accessibility, and COVID-19 restrictions on social media in the coming weeks. This event will take place in accordance with all relevant COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines and will have a number of stewards present to ensure social distancing is adhered to. Although this event is free, registration is essential as there are a limited number of tickets available.

This event will be delivered as part of the Climate Coalition’s “Great Big Green Week”, a nationwide celebration of action on climate change. You can contact Sophia Devlin at for further information.

You can register to attend now, using the Eventbrite link below.

EventbriteEventbrite NI Climate Festival! Northern Ireland’s 1st Climate Festival! Log In or Sign Up to View Climate Craic (@ClimateCraic) | Twitter

Who is behind Climate Craic?

This is a brief introduction to Climate Craic, in its earliest stages. I hope within a month or 2 this post becomes royally outdated and there are many more team members. In the meantime, this will do to get us started!

At this moment, there are 3 key people behind Climate Craic; Jacinta, Jemma and Rebecca-Jane. We met on a program by the British Council & Co-operation Ireland, and in response are creating social action projects. Each has their main baby. For myself (Jacinta) it is Climate Craic. For Jemma, it is the Climate Cabaret. For Rebecca-Jane it is Climate Action on Film. Each of these projects are still in the early stages so we will post a blog on each of them in foreseeable future.

A bit about me. My name is Jacinta Hamley. I am a long term eco gal and full time advocate for life. I strive to keep my environmental and social action intersectional, recognising that social and environmental justice are inseparable. From an early age I realised that the environment (and life on it) is the most fundamental aspect to our existence – it is the air we breath, the water that nourishes us and food that fuels us. I have always been keen to respect and protect it. This led me to study Earth, Energy and Sustainability at a Liberal Arts & Sciences College in the Netherlands. After graduating in 2019, I took part in a climate action project called Sail to the COP. As a team of 36 environmentalists, we sailed across the Atlantic ocean calling for sustainable travel – through lobbying politicians at COP25 (an annual global climate conference) and raising awareness of the issue.

The loving Sail to the COP family

What did I learn from Sail to the COP?

I was inspired by the power of community. That there is strength in caring and greater strength in caring together. That as a collective, we can transform that care for the wellbeing of our planet and its inhabitants into lasting change. That when many motivated people come together – incredible things are created. And most beautifully of all, we are not alone in this. We are not alone in feeling powerless, scared, angry, anxious. When we come together we can transform those feelings into action, support and friendship.

I also realised that the place in which I can have the greatest impact will be in my own home. That I need to apply my conceptual knowledge and international experience at a local level. Ground it in the reality of where I grew up. I was inspired to mobilise citizens in attending COP26 – to call for strong political action and a green recovery from the Covid crisis. This idea transformed into something even more exciting; Climate Craic.

The idea behind Climate Craic

Climate Craic will build upon the existing movement here in NI. It is to focus on political action in 2021, at Stormont (through the Climate Bill) and hopefully through a physical presence at COP26 in Glasgow. We want to shine light on the joyous and beautiful aspects of climate action, while also creating space to support and empower each other. We have many ideas of how Climate Craic will evolve but are always open to fresh perspectives and energy. So if you have any capacity and interest to join and support us please get in touch!

A few words by Jemma

From beginning an Artificial Intelligence degree to dropping-out and studying at circus school to then volunteering at spiritual centres around Europe (until a global pandemic hit), my life has been a bit all-over-the-place in the last five years! But the one constant has always been wanting to make the world a better place.

I have always had an affinity for nature and harmonious ways of living but it’s only been more recently that I’ve begun to educate myself on activism. I am currently producing an online fundraising Climate Cabaret to premiere on 26th September in lead-up to the COP. As a performer, I believe art is an essential part of activism given it’s potential to change people’s hearts and minds. I hope I can help do my part in bringing us closer towards the Eco-utopia we all deserve!

A few words by Rebecca-Jane

I first became worried about the climate crisis while studying climate change and carbon management as part of my Chemical Engineering degree. I mostly just tried to do my bit to live greener whilst simultaneously fluctuating between states of eco-angst and convincement that everything was fine (everything was not fine). I got involved with other areas of social activism but had not taken action against climate change. I wanted to change that.

With the help of an amazing team of filmmakers and all round creative people, I will be producing a documentary film about the range of climate actions happening across the Ireland of Island in the run up to the COP26. We hope the film will spread awareness about the work being done by young people, activists, creative groups, and everyone in between who are fighting to combat climate change.

Check out Climate Action on Film for more details!