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Tackling eco-anxiety and climate change one small act at a time

The Random Acts of Green crew will be coming to Sackville Sept. 11 as part of a national tour, providing tips and advice to residents on how small, daily actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – such as recycling – can make a big impact.
The Random Acts of Green crew will be coming to Sackville Sept. 11 as part of a national tour, providing tips and advice to residents on how small, daily actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – such as recycling – can make a big impact. - contributed

Random Acts of Green’s national tour will make stop in Sackville Sept. 11

SACKVILLE, N.B. —

“I’m just one person. There’s nothing I can do.”

It’s an excuse Jessica Correa hears often. But it’s a mindset she hopes to change as she travels across the country this fall to offer hope in a world sometimes filled with despair.

Correa, founder of Random Acts of Green, says she understands the anxiety, frustration and helplessness Canadians are feeling as they witness the devastating impact climate change is having on the planet every day. And the weight of that burden can often times feel overwhelming.

But there are lots of ways individuals can make a difference, she says, even if they are feeling they are not doing enough.

“All of those small things can have a large impact,” says Correa.

Random Acts of Green (RAOG), a Canadian social enterprise dedicated to encouraging participation in “green acts” that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, helps connect the dots between one person doing something to the other hundreds of thousands of people taking action – showing them that there is a critical mass of individuals that are all working toward collective change.

“We aren’t asking a handful of people to be completely perfect, rather we are asking the 37 million people living in Canada to incorporate small changes in their lives, which add up to a big collective impact,” says Correa.

Having launched RAOG three-and-a-half years ago, Correa says she felt there were too many excuses and too much negativity about what was going on in the world and she wanted to try to change that – to inspire Canadians to make small, daily choices to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to “create a sense of hope.”

“We are all Canadians and we all have a part to play . . . we all need to just continue to work together.”

Sackville is one of Correa’s first stops on her cross-Canada tour this September, where she will discuss with community residents and Mount Allison students how to start combating their eco-anxiety and start taking actions that will make an impact.

Rather than focusing on problems, Correa explains, Random Acts of Green focuses on solutions.

The Sept. 11 event at the Crabtree building at Mount Allison University at 5:30 p.m. will begin with an interactive and informative overview of climate change in Canada, followed up by creative and out-of-the-box ideas about what individuals can do to reduce their emissions.

Correa says one of the ways in which people can get started on this journey is through RAOG’s mobile app. The app, launched this past fall, is a tool that provides users with tips, solutions, advice and, most of all, a feeling that they’re not alone.

App users can log and track their Green Acts – actions such as carpooling, composting, washing their laundry in cold water, and refusing single-use plastic items. Those acts can earn users green points that can be redeemed for real-world discounts with participating business partners, like restaurants.

“This way, people can really see what others are doing and where we’re really making progress,” says Correa.

She says each person needs to find the actions and approach that best suit their preference and lifestyle; that way, their actions will be ones that are more sustainable. She says the impacts of climate change simply can’t be ignored and people need to take ownership in making changes. 

“This is a priority and this is something that needs to be on people’s minds every day.”

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