Mention of environmental threats can send us on an emotional roller coaster like no other. These days, hearing the latest news on trash-clogged oceans, decaying coral reefs, and warming temperatures can be scary, sad, and overwhelming all at once. The trick is harnessing these emotions to be motivating instead of crippling, but it's easier said than done.
That's where Renee Lertzman, Ph.D., an expert on the psychological impact of environmental threats, comes in. After years as a researcher, teacher, and communicator, she has gathered tons of insight on how we can use complicated, deep-rooted emotions as catalysts for change.
"To me, it's always been very obvious that the unconscious is a huge piece of this whole picture," she explains about why we all deal with these threats a little differently. "Now we know more than ever that our unconscious selves are often driving a lot of what we do."
From a psychological perspective, she says that making green changes comes down to being kind to yourself, identifying your strengths, and surrounding yourself with supportive, like-minded people. This five-step action plan can help you get you started: