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Going Green Media aim to help you take control of eco-anxiety

Reports estimate that 75% of young people are worried about the future of our planet, meaning eco-anxiety is at an all-time high. Educating ourselves, rather than ignoring the problem, might be the best way to settle our worries.

‘Some may say ignorance is bliss, and the more you know, the more anxious you will feel,’ says Ben Brown, co-founder of sustainable project platform Going Green Media. ‘We disagree.’

During his time as an architecture student at university, Brown suffered heavily from eco-anxiety. He constantly felt like the material he was producing and studying had nothing to do with helping the planet. So, in 2019, he launched a YouTube channel, bought a second-hand camera and started exploring sustainable architecture projects.

As one door into sustainability opened, Brown suddenly found many more doors opening up, including the one into veganism. He met his now-partner Ciara Doyle – who has been vegan for more than 10 years – and they launched Going Green together.

Their platform is dedicated to highlighting eco projects and individuals from across the world to help shape people’s understanding of the state of the planet and pinpoint the key components of living sustainably.

Brown says that because those who control the conversation are often a lot older, there is still a massive gap in the way we communicate positivity in the green space.

Using their voices, Brown and Doyle want to be able to connect with younger generations: ‘like friends sharing projects with one another’. David Attenborough is incredible to watch, but it’s time for a new voice, says Brown.

The couple also built Going Green off of the belief that through technology and a collective open-mindedness, everyone has the opportunity to educate themselves. From Barcelona to Singapore to Copenhagen – the world’s most sustainable city – Brown and Doyle have travelled the globe in hopes of showing individuals that it’s not all bleak and hopeless out there.

Brown recommends visiting Copenhagen – a city home to people who recycle ‘because they know it’s what they should be doing’, not something they do because they have to. The Danish capital is also home to an architectural mindset that is all about limiting reusable materials and a rich number of plant-based options.

‘Although nothing beats London’s vegan landscape’, Brown says, smiling.

In the UK, Brown’s all-time favourite project is a vertical farm in Liverpool. ‘Farm Urban is located in a run-down area in the Northern UK city, and you wouldn’t think anything is under there’, says Brown. ‘It’s like going to another planet or entering a UFO.’

Farm Urban is a project run by the University of Liverpool and aims to find the best way to grow farm food in an urban environment. Aquaponics – where nutrient-rich water is fed to hydroponically-grown plants – is at the centre of the project’s research, as it can feed a big community of people simultaneously. Farm Urban also works alongside schools, allotment owners and hospitals to regenerate communities by providing jobs, promoting health and lowering carbon emissions.

Of course, not all media exposure is positive. Education in the right sense can help eco anxiety.

‘But in the wrong sense, it won’t,’ says Brown. ‘It depends on what you are feeding your brain.’ And some recent reports and events haven’t fed the kind of positivity us young people need. The IPCC’s ‘code red for humanity’, for example, should be read – but has aggravated our concerns.

Brown believes that people will only take action once they can feel a sense of hope. So Going Green only focuses on that – the inspirational, positive, uplifting projects that will light a fire inside you and just make you want to go: ‘Climate change can be defeated!’

So far, Going Green has been met with an overwhelming wave of positivity. Brown says even celebrities have reshared his content, and it’s amazing to see just how willing people are to get onboard with green ambition.

Going forward, how should young people be addressing their worries?

‘Use eco anxiety as a fuel,’ says Brown. People can find themselves getting stuck down wormholes very easily, but that can be reversed by subscribing to the right news sources and keeping tabs on what they are soaking in.

‘We hope young people watch our content and go away with a refreshed sense of hope and optimism, the empowerment to pursue a greater understanding of sustainability, and the desire to take action,’ Brown says.

‘What we learn today can help us shape the future of the world tomorrow.’ Click here to visit the official Going Green Instagram page.