Solastagia: How Your Environmental Knowledge Can Affect Your Mental Health

Is knowing more really knowing better? Do you think that knowing about something helps your understanding or makes a situation better or worse? At the moment the information the media is featuring regarding environmental issues highlighting the crises in our environment. From devastating fires to rising global temperatures, plastic pollution, animal cruelty, poaching, endangered species, fracking and everything in-between… it can feel as if we are heading to a point of no return. Granted, a few uplifting stories are sprinkled in-between the disaster ones, but how many positive stories are happening which we are not hearing about? Is all this “negative” information really good for us? The good, the bad and the global knowing: what is your environmental knowledge?

Solstagia

 

Environmental knowledge is when you have enough information to make informed and responsible decisions about which environmental factors may have little impact on our ecosystem. After researching environmental knowledge I found that climate change can be associated with a form of depression.

The International Journal of Mental Health Systems states: “Climate change and related catastrophic weather events have been linked to elevated rates of depression, anxiety, and pre-and-post-traumatic stress”.  The formal name given is solastalgia: a cause of distress from natural and anthropogenic environmental change, mostly damaging change. The distress, which manifests in different forms, describes the loss we may feel for the destruction of our environmental surroundings, something that sadly seems to be accelerating.

Solstagia


This got me thinking about children and their future. How much information and awareness is appropriate for them? Is there a point where information for kids can become overwhelming and depressing, leaving them to think that their future is already doomed? Try to fill them with hope rather than gloom, because we need more hope for change.

Educational awareness is an important aspect for action and change, so perhaps more of our awareness should be on current actions from all over the world. Should our awareness focus solely on local issues?  I can’t seem to answer these questions because I’m afraid it is more complicated than we may think… but is it too late?

solstagia


Many people are already doing many good things around the world, things which they find beneficial to their environment. From one country planting millions of trees on a single day to another that has banned single use plastics. Another is working to restoration of coral reefs. And there’s more, which proves we are capable of huge and meaningful change. This means that future generations should stop focusing on how things will become, because we already know that climate change is going to change our world. Future generations will change things with their future in mind, and for the positive.

solstagia

 

What I do know is that we can ALL improve our environmental knowledge. We can all improve our relationship with nature. The question I ask you is: Do you have the information you need to make informed choices that will have minimal environmental impact? It makes sense to tackle issues which are within our control, which is the easiest way to make change around you.

So take action. Become more environmentally knowledgeable. Become the change you want for our future. We hope to see you soon at Waste Me Not Sustainable Living Zimbabwe, where we can offer you the change and environmental knowledge you are looking for.

Yours Faithfully,
Waste Me Not Sustainable Living

Solstagia

 

References:
https://www.scitecheuropa.eu/climate-change-depression-anxiety/92090/
https://grist.org/climate-energy/climate-depression-is-for-real-just-ask-a-scientist/

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