Brooklyn Staab | Opinion Editor & Publicity Manager
April 28, 2022
As more and more people begin to suffer from eco-anxiety (the anxiety caused by a feeling of hopelessness about protecting the environment), sustainability has become increasingly prevalent in conversations. With a lack of wins with corporate and large-scale environmental causes, people are turning to individual approaches to sustainability.
Bonnie Wright, most commonly known as Ginny Weasley from Harry Potter, talks about these fears and hopes for solutions in her new book, Go Gently. That’s right – Wright is not only an actress, but a filmmaker, a newly published author, a social activist, and–her favorite title–an “earthling.”
“Celebrities should take advantage of their platform and get the word out about social issues,” junior Hendrick Ostercamp said.
When it comes to environmental justice, the conversation is often centered around corporations and consumerism. However, focusing on these larger-scale goals alone can blind people to the other end of consumerism: the impact of the individual consumer.
“It is harder to get big companies to change their ways than it is to take individual action, so it is important for people to act in any way they can,” senior Kaitlyn Northrup said.
From water bottles and Starbucks cups to plastic food packaging, unsustainable products can be found all over our homes. Wright explores the idea of being more resourceful with what we buy and ways to feel abundance within sustainability.
She denies that sustainability has to to feel like making sacrifices or accepting minimalism. She expresses how abundant a sustainable lifestyle can be, and how it can help calm an her eco-anxious mind.
Throughout the book, she showcases different remedies and recipes that she uses daily to avoid unnecessary purchasing. Most of the food recipes include ingredients everyone has at home, showing how attainable a sustainable lifestyle is. She also offers step-by-step advice on how to fix items we already have in order to lengthen the lifespan of materials and increase preservation.
The book covers a wide range of examples of how to incorporate sustainability within our homes and the importance of doing so. Not only this, but it makes sustainability accessible for many, not just those who can afford to buy expensive sustainable products. By opening this conversation of resourcefulness within our homes, sustainability becomes a realistic goal for everyone. In the fight for climate justice, solutions that are broadly applicable are necessary, and Go Gently recognizes that.
Wright also opens up a discussion about how sustainability looks different for everyone. She focuses on the importance of discussions and doing our individual best rather than shaming others, which in the end will achieve far greater things.
One particularly impactful tip from the book was to start somewhere small, then work towards bigger goals for sustainability. She suggests that starting in one area, maybe even an area we particularly enjoy, will help us maintain these efforts. For her, starting by changing the ingredients used in her kitchen was her first task, as she enjoys cooking. By being gentle to ourselves, others, and our earth in starting our sustainability journey, we achieve longer-lasting results, hence the title, Go Gently.
The book provides useful–and more importantly, accessible– tools for encouraging a more sustainable lifestyle and is an absolute must-read for all who care for the planet or suffer from eco-anxiety.