#10 Invest in Yourself

It’s all about you…

One of the best things you can do to be more eco friendly is to simply stay informed, because informed decisions are better decisions. Unfortunately this can be one of the hardest parts of being a responsible human – unless you know how to approach it.

Diving into environmental topics can be utterly overwhelming and terribly depressing. Our oceans are being overfished, the polar ice caps are melting, dozens of species go extinct every day, and the headlines never stop. So let’s take a step back from the mayhem.

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t be concerned, because you definitely should be. But being concerned about the right things can make a big difference on the impact you actually have as 1 of 7 billion humans on the earth.

The Puzzle

Trying to keep up with every environmental and social issue is like trying to put together a million piece puzzle¬†whose picture is constantly changing. You might be able to get a few of the border pieces, but before too long you’ll give up altogether and put it back on the shelf to collect dust.

Luckily there are a lot of people working on the puzzleūüéČ. Expert marine biologists are working on the ocean scene, climatologists on the skies, and NGOs are recruiting more volunteers to help turn over and organize all the pieces.

Soooo, what part do you want to work on?

Find a few issues that really matter to you, really understand what’s going on in those areas, and find a way to contribute. Yes, I think it’s important to know about what’s going on in the world and I’m not recommending you intentionally bubble¬†yourself. But narrowing down your scope will set you up for success better than trying to save the whole world.

Some Tools to Help

For both looking at the big picture and staying informed about your niche of interest, try a few of these:

  • Podcasts – Great for travel. Check my list of sustainability related podcasts if you need ideas.
  • Twitter Lists – A Twitter list will allow you to follow only a handful of accounts that tweet about a specific topic so you can reference a “biodiversity” list or “stop microplastics” list rather than getting lost in your Twitter feed.
  • Email Subscription – Having an update right in your inbox allows you to browse a pre-screened selection of important and popular posts from reliable websites like The Guardian or Triple Pundit so you don’t have to go out looking for it.

One last note: Something we often overlook is what’s happening in our own community. While our day to day actions like reducing consumption will help the overall effort, our biggest impact might be in our own community where we can have a considerable impact in local politics and environmental groups.

Your Action Item (s)

  1. Pick a topic or two you’re most interested in.
  2. Find a few trusted news sources and dedicate either 15 minutes a day or an hour a week to stay up to speed.
  3. See what environmental issues are going on in your own community.

 

A piece of the puzzle:

<<#9 Navigating Digital Media

#11 Don’t Waste Food >>


Resources:

Learn More, Save Time

In this post I explain how I go about being an informed environmentalist in 2hrs or less per week.

Environmental Podcasts 

This list has a few environment and sustainability related podcasts. It’s a good place to start if you’re looking for a new and informative podcast to follow.

Merchants of Doubt

This is an eye opening book that will help you understand why so many people are still on the fence about things science has known for years.

MeetUp

Find an environmental group near you.

 

Dave

I am a minimalist, environmentalist, and conscious consumer with a background in environmental studies, conservation, and tech. I founded prch to help others be more sustainable and realize an alternative to consumerism.