From eco-anxiety to student action: My journey to making a difference for the environment

Posted in: Student action, Student blog

Are you concerned about the future of our planet? Rest assured, you are not alone. Many of us share this worry about the unknown future. However, there are several ways to transform these negative emotions into constructive actions. You can read this blog post by climate activist Anushka Gupta, where she describes how she converted her climate anxiety into inspiring actions and shares useful insights!

Introduction to Climate Anxiety

The Handbook of Climate Psychology defines climate anxiety as a ‘heightened emotional, mental or somatic distress in response to dangerous changes in the climate system.’ It is a completely rational emotion to feel in the face of climate breakdown, but you have the ability to transform these negative feelings into positive actions!

I’m training to be an architect, a profession I chose to reduce the carbon footprint of construction projects. As someone who is consciously aspiring to create a meaningful difference for the environment, I felt climate anxiety due to a lack of knowledge, connection and agency.

Building capacity for climate action through organising

To address this, I joined the Bath Climate Action Group (BCAG), part of the wider Architect’s Climate Action Network (ACAN), an architecture-focused student group whose mission is to connect like-minded people and supplement a climate-aware education. The ways in which students use BCAG - be it to create graphics, organise lectures or host discussions - are all great ways of taking action. However small it may be, taking action allows you to determine how it feels for you, the impact you’re having, and find something else you may want to specialise in as you move forward. For me, BCAG gave me a platform to address the lack of knowledge, connection and agency I felt.

Students at the Retrofit Reimagined festival
Members from the Bath Climate Action Group at the Retrofit Reimagined festival at the Centre of Alternative Technology, doing a hands-on workshop on rammed earth, to learn a natural material construction technique.

a) Knowledge

By being part of ACAN, I found out about the Retrofit Reimagined festival, which helped me understand the scale of the challenge and adapt my worldview. Check out Indy Johar’s lectures and Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics framework for both of these topics respectively. Improving my climate literacy means that I am better equipped to make high-impact decisions.

b) Connection

By treating my peers as collaborators, I started sharing knowledge and demonstrator projects openly, thus improving our collective climate literacy. As my peers gained knowledge alongside me, it gave me hope to know that there are people I can rely on, and it further motivates me to be ambitious in my goals.

c) Agency

Through shared responsibility and an improvement in our collective climate literacy, our efforts towards climate action have expanded significantly. An excellent illustration of this is the stuCAN festival, which was organised by the Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN) and hosted at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Wales.

Anushka presenting at the stuCAN festival
A photo of me presenting at the stuCAN festival

The festival was the first of its kind and a massive success, bringing together 60 students representing 28 universities across the UK and Ireland. (As seen above) I am presenting the stuCAN competition I organised with 6 other university student climate action groups to demonstrate the power of inter-university student-led organising, and the importance of humanitarian architecture to empathise with the people most vulnerable to the devastating impact of climate breakdown.

I went from being a participant to an organiser at climate festivals hosted at the Centre of Alternative Technology. As part of the Architect’s Climate Action Network, I helped to expand our network from 7 universities to 28 universities, and our reach is still increasing. It has been encouraging to see the progress we’re making through collective action!

This experience increased my confidence in my agency and allowed me to facilitate change at a large scale.

Together, we can build a connected and climate-literate society that reduces our carbon footprint. Our collective action will pave the way for a sustainable future, one that we can be proud to leave behind for generations to come.

Conclusion: Future Action

We all have a part to play to transition into a more just, caring future and leave no one behind. Organising with groups like BCAG is one way to build capacity to face the large-scale challenges around us; it isn’t a cure for climate anxiety but a catalyst for action. No matter where you are on your journey; we all have the potential to become changemakers.

Look into how you can make change through your profession for the future and get involved with organising and community groups in the present. Check out:

  • Transition Bath: See work done by locals in Bath to give you hope for all the amazing, long-term work happening around us.
  • The Resilience Project: They offer workshops specifically to help young people deal with climate anxiety and build resilience.

Get involved with climate action at the University:

  • Societies/University groups:
    • People & Planet
    • Engineers Without Borders
    • Sustainable Fashion Society
    • Vegetarian Society
    • Bath University Model United Nations (BUMUN)
    • Green Party
    • Amnesty International
    • Bath University Left Union (BULU)
    • One Young World
    • (and of course) Bath Climate Action Group; if you’re an Architecture and Civil Engineering student - contact us on Instagram at bath.cag as we aren’t an SU group.

If you particularly anxious about the climate, please don't hesitate to seek support. Reach out to the following student well being services:

  • Contact Student Support: or 01225 383838
  • The SU Advice Centre can be reached via
  • Externally to the University, you can call Samaritans they are available 24/7 and can help, whatever you’re going through, phone 116 12


Anushka Gupta

3rd Year BSc Architecture Student, currently on placement 

Posted in: Student action, Student blog

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