I get really down about how we, as human beings, treat the world. I see these awful stories about emissions targets not being hit, CO2 levels rising, plastic inside all these dead creatures. It’s almost a guarantee that there is plastic inside every human because of eating and drinking things that have small particles of plastic in them. I walk down the road, walk at the beach or in the woods and I see crappy plastic everywhere. Things don’t look good.
I used to get caught up in the sadness of all of this. I would be reduced to tears while watching Blue Planet With Dave Attenborough. I would get into a down ward spiral the more i engrossed myself in these awful stories, and it made me hate the human race a little more…….me included. all of this didn’t help my mental health. I would get caught up in horrid stories i would have made up in my head. you see, my head can create its own facts and make me believe them. its horrible. my paranoia would become a problem because i would start believing people were intentionally destroying the world we live in, people close to me and those others (perhaps even world leaders). something had to be done.
A few months ago I decided that enough was enough. I decided that getting really down and yes, depressed about such awful things wasn’t making anything better.
I started with a single beach clean with a group of volunteers. So many people turned up. people who wanted to clean up the beaches in the local area and that now had the opportunity to help. I’ve been on a few more since then and people always turn up, even for a little while, just to do their bit. Its nice to know that there is a bit less plastic on the beach because of this.
I’ve started walking to the shops for my groceries. Now i would normally drive because of my mental illness. My mental illness stops me from moving around by walking. I get scared that any number of awful things can happen to me, and I use my car as a safety cocoon to get from place to place. It’s just a little change but has reduced my driving by half, and by doing this it’s reduced my car emissions by half!
there has been another big thing I’ve done in the last few months, and that is giving up smoking. Now this is a big personal gain for me, obviously, but its also a little gain for the world i guess. God only knows what goes into the air from a single cigarette. whatever there is, i’m sure it isn’t pretty looking! im now cigarette free for over three months. This has definitely had an effect on my mental health, after about two weeks my mental illness started kicking in. My mood did drop, but i tell you what, its not there anymore, well not because of smoking anyway.
Thanks to a little link share on Facebook from a friend i was introduced to EcoBricking. This is brilliant! i now have a way to reuse all my single use plastics 🙂 what you do is put all of your single use plastics into a bottle, up to the correct weight for the capacity of the bottle. The bottles can then be used as building materials for all sorts. I’ve got my family involved in this as well.
I’ve done other things to this as well, one other being an almost completely plastic free christmas present list, and all wrapped in recyclable paper, with no plastic tape but reused ribbon instead.
So I wrote about how badly all the awful environment stories were affecting me. But things are different now. I feel a bit better about things. I can now see that people want to help the environment. I can see how i can help, and i can see some good in among all the bad environmental stories. There’s a community of people, like me, who are doing their bit. This really lifts my spirits, makes me see that the human race isn’t all that bad, but it could just do with improvement. This helps with my mental health no end. It keeps my mood higher, and in turn keeps my pschosis in check. Getting off my arse and doing something about the environment has really helped my mental wellbeing. Environmental therapy, i guess.
Perhaps we just need larger powers to start making a difference and we could possibly change some of the bad stories into good stories.