The Earth Hero app (iOS, Android) helps you calculate, track, and reduce your personal carbon footprint, and it connects users to climate action groups. You can set emission-reduction targets for yourself, browse suggested actions based on IPCC recommendations, track your progress, and join a community of climate activists. Each action includes an explanation about its relevance and importance, along with tips for various levels of implementation.
Good Empire (iOS, Android) is a new social app whose mission is “to gather, unite, and empower an empire of good humans to save the f**king world.” Good Empire features challenges that highlight direct actions individuals can take to help reduce their carbon emissions and plastic waste, address hunger and poverty in their communities and around the world, and empower women and girls. Actions must have measurable impacts and are aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Good Empire just launched in September 2021.
Brightly.eco is a community platform with the mission to “empower conscious consumers around the world.” Brightly features news about zero waste, sustainable fashion, circular economy, clean beauty, conscious consumerism, DIY, and eco-friendly recipes. The Brightly app (iOS, Android) offers monthly eco-challenges and community chat groups. The Brightly Shop connects users to verified ethical and sustainable brands and small businesses to simplify the guesswork of conscious consumption.
I’m not saying that the best way to alleviate climate anxiety is to rush out and buy a bunch of eco-friendly products, but we are all consumers, whether we like it or not, and our purchases have a direct impact on climate change. If we can choose brands and products that are truly ethical and sustainable, it can help shift the culture toward more sustainable options.
Carbon Offset Tools
Carbon offsets are not a stand-alone solution for climate change: They’re basically a “pay to pollute” scheme that only works if companies and individuals are doing everything else possible to reduce emissions. However, they can serve a useful role in funding emission-reduction projects and raising awareness about climate change. For an individual, carbon offsets are a tangible way to supplement other actions. There are multiple apps that let you calculate and track your carbon footprint, pledge actions, and donate to emission-reduction projects.
The Klima app (iOS, Android) lets users fund science-backed projects that can be tracked in real time. Klima selects projects with the greatest impacts in accordance with Project Drawdown rankings, supports programs designed to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and verifies projects by an independent third party. Even if you don’t have a lot to donate, it adds up collectively.
Ecologi.com is a program that offsets user emissions from flying and travel. In addition to funding new emission-reduction projects like renewable energy, Ecologi.com plants trees for long-term impact. It offers a directory of climate-positive gifts, carbon awareness and education, and goal setting for low-carbon living.
Ecosia is a search engine app (iOS and Android) and extension for all major browsers that automatically offsets every internet search you make through the service. Ecosia plants a tree for every 50 searches. It is free to use and earns revenue through clicks on advertisements. Ecosia markets itself as a carbon-negative search engine, meaning it generates more renewable power than is needed to run its servers, and it exports clean power back to the grid. Ecosia built solar plants to provide 100 percent clean energy to power its searches.
Community Support Resources
Thanks to technology, climate anxiety support is available anywhere there is an internet connection. Pre-Covid, many support offerings were only available in person in urban centers or the home communities of organizations. Now, support circles and groups meet online, and we get to make friends all over the world.
This past spring, I was able to participate virtually in the Good Grief Network’s 10 Steps to Personal Resilience & Empowerment in a Chaotic Climate program. Each week, I joined 13 other amazing humans from across the globe to process our difficult emotions about climate change, examine our own privilege, and build individual and community resilience. This was hands-down the most helpful resource I’ve experienced to navigate climate anxiety.