Building a Vision Board to Fight Climate Change & Anxiety
It's been a rough couple of months when it comes to climate change. Between wildfires, hurricanes, and the IPCC report, many of us feel more stressed out about the future than ever before.
Here at CarbonForest, we believe in grounded optimism. We know how easy it is to get swept up in all of the doom news, but we also know that these narratives aren't helping fight climate change.
We talk a lot about the importance of managing eco-anxiety. Taking care of your mental health, focusing on what you can do, and joining a support group like Eco-Anxious are all great tools for navigating climate change anxiety.
Today we're introducing another tool: the Green Future Vision Board.
You might be thinking, "But it's not New Year's Eve!" or "That's a little too woo woo for me." Fair! While vision boards are most often associated with personal health, we can also use them to help map out positive climate actions and changes we want to see happen. Most importantly, they are fantastic tools for keeping us focused on the positive. And let's be honest, we could all use some sustained positivity when it comes to climate change.
Your Green Future Vision Board
The first step to building your vision board is figuring out what you want to put on it. Vision boards are a collection of images, words, and phrases that remind us of our goals and dreams for the future. Because climate change is a big topic, we broke it down into different steps to help you get started. Remember: the more specific you get here, the better!
Step one: What are your personal climate action goals?
Step one is about deciding what actions you want to take to fight climate change. When it comes to what we can do as individuals, there are so many levels of involvement, groups to join, and actions we can take. Here are a few questions to help you figure this out.
- What causes do you care deeply about? (Animal rights, education for women and girls, fighting poverty, etc.)
- What brings you joy? (Being in nature, recycling, working with animals, etc.)
- Do you prefer working in groups or solo? Are there local groups you would like to join?
- Do you have any skills that you feel would help contribute to fighting climate change? (Maybe you're great at spreading the word about local issues or staying up to date on the latest technologies.)
- What small lifestyle tweaks are you itching to implement? (Staying more informed on the news, listening to more climate podcasts, not forgetting your reusable bags, etc.)
Step two: What change do you want to see on a global scale?
We aren't exaggerating when we say there are a lot of positive actions that we would love to see on a global scale. A lot. But you only have one board! So here are some questions to help narrow it down.
- What positive environmental actions do you want to happen soon? (More ocean clean-up technology, better protection for endangered species, etc.)
- When it comes to climate change, what work do you feel needs to be done? (More activism, policy changes, volunteering, etc.)
- What advances in energy do you want to see in the coming years? (More electric cars on the road, a bigger solar grid, etc.)
- What social/political changes do you want to see? (More governmental action, increased corporate responsibility, etc.)
- Are there any leaders who really inspire you? (Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, etc.)
- What else would you include on your Green Future Vision Board? What changes do you think would make the world a better and greener place? (More trees, clean drinking water for Flint!, etc.)
How to Build Your Vision Board
Once you've answered the questions above, you can start finding images, quotes, and visual ideas that represent your answers and begin building your board.
There are a couple of ways to build your vision board. You can do it the old-school way of printing out images or cutting them magazines and then sticking them to a cork or poster board. Or you can do it digitally using a program like Indesign or a graphic design website like Canva.
If you're looking for great places to find images online, we suggest sites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr. Look for images that represent your goals and also make you feel positive.
When you're done sourcing images and arranging them onto your "board," make sure you display it somewhere you'll see it all of the time—like your refrigerator, office, or your desktop wallpaper. This is the most important step because seeing it every day will remind you of the greener future you're working towards.
Vision boarding is a great activity to do by yourself or with your loved ones. It's another amazing tool to have on our belt as we face the challenges of climate change and wonder what we should be doing to help.
Are you going to make a vision board? If so, we would LOVE to see it! Email a photo of it to firstname.lastname@example.org