Environmental Anxiety

Monday, February 06, 2012

**** Just for the edification of the reader, this post originally opened with one of the most awe-inspiring introductions ever. It was utterly captivating. It brought tears to the eyes of the assistant director. It put our entire existence on this planet into perspective. It was lost when we accidentally saved the file under the wrong extension. Easy come easy go I guess. Now let's join this blog post already in progress****

... Now this isn’t my first job so I know that it is natural to experience a little bit of anxiety on the first day of a new job, but what I felt on my way to work my first day wasn’t anxiety but what I call enxiety.

What is enxiety you may ask? Enxiety is the overwhelming feeling of fear and concern in regards to the impending doom of our environment. Enxiety can create feelings of fear over environmental degradation, helplessness in changing national and international policies on the environment, and frustration about the extent of the problem, otherwise known as environmental anxiety. I, personally, feel it is an under examined and under appreciated phenomenon that is being experienced by passionate environmental geeks everywhere.

I’m sure this is a sentiment that many of you out there can identify with, whether you know someone who has struggled with it, or whether you personally have found yourself a victim to this affliction. Sometimes it results from years of devoted environmental stewardship, other times, it strikes without warning; it affects the young and the old, the experienced and those new to the environmental community.

Well this morning, I found myself suffering from about of enxiety, complete with nervous sweats and that sickening feeling of how can I as one person make a difference. This feeling hung over me all morning, what can I possibly do that can mean anything on the large scale, especially when our government and our institutions are failing to take initiative in regard to our environment.

It was around this time that I started to look over the sustainability website, and over some of the plans for upcoming initiatives, and I began meeting some of my new coworkers, and I began to realize that right here, in front of me was an example of an institution, of an office, of people devoted to bringing about a sustainable future. After this my enxiety just seemed to melt away, because I realised that I wasn’t alone in my quest for a greener future.

~kira lamont - campus sustainability coordinator
photo credit - jonathan rausseo

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