I live in Chicago and ride the CTA to work everyday. I take a bus, train, and then a short walk to get to the office. All in all it’s about an hour commute each way, maybe an hour 10 if I stop at the coffee bar. Most mornings I read the Red Eye, a free local paper published by the Chicago Tribune. It gives me a decent dose of local, national, and international news and all that celeb gossip that I don’t really care about but some how end up reading first.

A feature article a few weeks ago was about eco-overload. An idea that today, we (consumers in the United States) may be overloaded by messages to be environmentally friendly, to recycle more or to reduce our carbon footprint. The article goes on to say that this eco-overload can cause “eco-anxiety” and there are even “eco-therapists” popping up to help folks deal with the stress of being “green”.

I was shocked! The entire idea seemed so absurd to me and I felt like it was really being used as a way to justify excessive lifestyles and an excuse to not be good stewards of the planet. The article went on to say that this surge in “green” messages could cause “green-fatigue”, thus loosing the message altogether.

Interesting I thought? What other important messages might get lost in the din of all the other messages we receive daily and could cause fatigue? The fight to end hunger, the quest for peace, clean drinking water for all, what else? I suspect that there are not many people who would say these things and the preservation of the planet are not worthy goals to achieve, but the question is what are we each doing about it?

I think we should be more curious and learn about the root causes and solutions to these matters. Then act. Start with some small changes in our lives. Small things really do add up. Be generous and make regular financial gifts to organizations that do good work. Tell others what you have learned, are doing, and encourage them to join you.

The world and those most in need can not afford for us to be overloaded and fatigued. For me doing something, even something small, helps me to know that I am making a difference and by making a difference I am combating fatigue and changing the world.
What about you?