“I wish we could all approach situations with an open-mind. There’s a positive ripple effect to being open to learning or hearing someone else’s perspective."
Who are you and what is your mission?
Hello, I’m Sarah Christie! I’m going on year 10 in the Radio Industry where I work both on air and in the music department. Outside of radio, I focus my energy on learning about climate change, understanding sustainability and researching what I can do to help fight it.
I’m also the host of the interview series ‘Earth Care.’ Every Earth Care interview features a new expert and their insight and how we can protect our planet. The episodes are presented to be short, informative and digestible. Something I’ve learned in radio is that attention spans aren’t what they used to be - this is probably why new songs are all under 3 minutes - so it was important to me to not ask viewers for a lot of time.
We know that any climate change related topic can be overwhelming, so my mission with each interview is to offer a new idea or outlook that the viewer can try to incorporate in their day-to-day.
Although the interview series is for everyone, I constantly ask myself, “if the person watching this has never talked about climate change before, can they wrap their head around this concept.” I want to help people understand that climate change is everyone’s problem, and we all can do our part to protect our Earth!
How did you get started and what were the obstacles you had to overcome?
If you’ve ever spent time looking into climate change, you likely know how quick it can send you into a dark place. Climate change is an overwhelming topic and very easy to ignore depending on your privilege. Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson has a wonderful venn diagram that she has shared to help people navigate their role in the fight against climate change. One of the circles asks “what brings you joy.” For me, meeting new people, hearing new stories and continued learning brings me joy. Luckily, there are many people around the world playing a role in saving our climate, so creating an interview series dedicated to sharing their stories seemed like the answer!
In the beginning, the biggest obstacle was wholeheartedly mapping out what I wanted from this and why I’m doing it. One of the dangers of social media, is how easily influenced we are by what we see, especially when the content is “successful.” I wanted to avoid changing the tone of the interview series or straying from my true voice because I scrolled by something else that had seen more ‘success.’ The “why am I doing it” is a great check-in point that I refer back to often to make sure I’m still driving my original message, and am still enjoying it.
Currently, the biggest obstacle I face is time. Since this is a passion project, it’s done outside of work hours. In my excited dream world, I’d love to share new interviews every week! However, managing that with my full-time job is a recipe for a quick burnout. This is reason 100 I’m so grateful for the activists who share their own journey and remind others to pace themselves. This is a refreshing reminder for days when you forget to check in with yourself first.
What advice would you give to somebody who is just getting started on their own mission/journey?
If you’re passionate about something, why not at least try to do something with that passion. When I interviewed Joel Hayes, founder of Route Del Sol, he talked about how he kept thinking “someone should do that,” then realized “I’m that someone.” Whenever I share something and it doesn’t resonate like I had hoped, I joke that there are worse things I could be putting out into the universe and shrug it off. If you believe in your message and the cause you’re backing, then the voices in your head that remind you of that should be the loudest.
I’d also recommend connecting with some like-minded people about whatever it is you’re passionate about. It’s energizing to have conversations about shared interests and know you aren’t alone in this battle. At times, it can feel like you’re yelling into an empty room, so having people to bounce ideas off of, or simply chat about a recent article you read can do wonders.
What are the three most important lessons you've learned in life and on your journey so far?
Be ready to continue learning and adapting.
Be forgiving of people and of yourself.
What are you afraid of or insecure about?
Failure. Whenever I break down situations that cause me the most anxiety, it all comes back to being seen as a failure. However, I can’t allow myself to write that without also writing, “I know I shouldn’t let what other people think of me dictate my emotions. If a friend said that to me, I’d tell them to not care what other people think, that they’re amazing and are doing a great job!” But hey, sometimes taking your own advice isn’t as easy as it should be.
What do you do when you feel stuck, insecure, or overwhelmed?
Whenever I feel stuck, I allow myself to feel that and not force myself to come up with solutions. Thanks to meditation, yoga and therapy, I’ve learned that it’s okay to sit in whatever you’re feeling - good or bad. If I feel stuck, rather than fighting it and trying to come up with a solution that I probably won’t love a day later, I do something else - watch TV, go for a walk, shower, and allow my brain time to reset. There are also a handful of breathing techniques that are taught in yoga that I’d recommend reading about! These are my go-to’s when I need to recenter.
I deal with insecurity in multiple ways. The biggest way I deal with it is by getting in front of it. I honestly don’t know if I’d recommend this technique because it could backfire, but my thought process has always been that my insecurity comes from fear, so what better way to face it than to get in front of it. For example, if something embarrassing happens to me, my first instinct is to try and create a funny video about it so I can own the situation rather than letting my emotions take over. With Earth Care, I was absolutely nervous about having recorded conversations about climate change. I don’t come from a science background, so I was worried about if I’d sound credible or believable. However, it’s all I want to talk and learn about. So instead of letting the insecurity stop me, I got in front of it and started Earth Care, which as a result has become and incredible learning tool for me (and hopefully for the people that check out the interviews).
Do you ever feel like you are not doing enough? If so, how do you deal with that feeling?
Constantly. There are two wormholes I’m constantly fighting my way out of and reminding myself to accept that I’m doing what I can in this moment in time. The first factor is social media. It’s way too easy to open an app and see that people are continually flooding your timeline with fresh content, then judge yourself for not keeping up. The second factor is the “what if…” - what if I took another hour to do more research, what if I spent my entire day off editing a video, what if I signed petitions while eating dinner - would this make an impact and possibly inspire someone else to take action?
Following the social media accounts of people who inspire you, and reading books that speak to what you’re passionate about are great resources for understanding you aren’t alone and these emotions will appear, then pass! I’ve read several books (most recently, a book called “All We Can Save”) and articles by brilliant activists who all find commonality in the importance of protecting your mental health and well-being. Although we might be able to function on the brink of a burnout, we shouldn’t...And to be honest, it definitely won’t be our best work! Working yourself to exhaustion can send you on a downward spiral because it risks you resenting the work you were previously energized by.
For me, step one of moving past the “I’m not doing enough” thought process, is powering through the “what if.” For example, instead of eating dinner while scrolling through the David Suzuki Foundation to sign petitions, I put on a show instead. The next day, I can reflect on the fact that life went on, everything is okay, I was okay and we’re all allowed to take breaks. In fact, we *should* all take breaks!
What are three values you live by?
Courage, Joy, Kindness
What is your definition of freedom? And what do you do to get there?
Tamara Toles O’Laughlin is an environmental activist and advocate for people and planet. When I interviewed Tamara, she said “climate justice is a leaf on the tree on a branch of social justice, which is all about equanimity across the human race.” I think a positive step towards freedom is understanding the connection between the injustices our world currently faces and then opening your mind to learning more about them. How can we help one another if we don’t even know that someone or something might need our help in the first place?
Who or what inspires you?
The volume of people making time in their day to try to make our world a better place inspires me. The beautiful thing about creating an interview series is that I’m tasked with constantly learning about new people and their inspiring stories. If you take time to read someone else’s journey and understand their passion, you’d be hard-pressed to not feel motivated to continue plugging away at your mission. We hear it and read it all the time, but there is so much power in numbers!
If you had one wish for the world, what would it be?
I wish we could all approach situations with an open-mind. There’s a positive ripple effect to being open to learning or hearing someone else’s perspective. Maybe you aren’t a vegan, but are open to trying a vegan meal and love it! After that, maybe you start incorporating plant-based options into your meal planning. Maybe you don’t think climate change is your problem, but you take time to listen to your neighbour with asthma and has to spend most summer days inside now because of the air quality - suddenly you have a new perspective! How boring would life be if we decided to simply stop learning?
A closing sentence.
You’re the only one who gets to decide what brings you joy and what is worth your time and energy.
Check out Sarah's podcast "Earth Care Show" and visit her on social media:
Youtube: Sarah Christie
Facebook: Sarah Christie Show