As the urgency to take action against climate change becomes more apparent in our day-to-day lives, an increasing number of people — especially younger generations — are experiencing feelings of eco-anxiety. These overwhelming feelings are only exacerbated by recurrent news headlines about climate disasters.
A browser extension to help
To help attenuate these anxieties, startup Remark recently developed a browser extension, called UnF*** the Future that irreverently suggests a way to take concrete action every time you read a news article about climate change.
For example, if you’re reading an article about how the UN secretary-general deemed the latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report a “code red for humanity,” a message might pop up on your screen saying: “Congress is a toddler and you have to repeat basic things often, so tell Congress to support investments to protect nature and clean energy.”
“Over this last summer, our team really found ourselves distraught by all the terrible climate headlines,” says Jessica Lybeck, co-founder and CEO of Remark. “It was a summer full of wildfires, droughts, flooding, the IPCC report. And so we decided that we wanted to start to explore a tech platform that could address our climate anxiety and encourage folks like us to take action.”
What kind of suggestions are there?
There are more than 150 actions integrated within the tool, ranging from contacting the White House to switching to a greener bank. Each suggestion comes with a link that redirects the user to a simple step that they can easily take.
“When you’re getting really overwhelmed by the headlines and the enormity of the problems we face, the snark and the profanity and the humor makes taking action a little bit more digestible,” says Lybeck. “And frankly, it’s just a lot more fun.”
The best thing about the tool is that it is actually working. According to the company, the average user engages with three suggested actions per week. Some users have even suggested that they would like to see more suggestions popping up throughout the day, which is why the startup is now working on a daily version that can pop up regardless of the headlines.