Cultivating Community: Climate Cafés are Starting Conversations and Brewing Climate Action

May 7th, 2024
Reading time: 4 minutes

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Emerging around the late 2010s, Climate Cafés are created in response to growing anxiety and helplessness surrounding the climate crisis. They offer a much-needed space for open and honest conversations, allowing individuals to express fears, frustrations, and uncertainties in a supportive environment.

The purpose of Climate Cafés is twofold—fostering connection and inspiring action. They help break down feelings of isolation by creating a community and showing people they’re not alone in their concern for the planet. All are encouraged to participate regardless of background, knowledge level, or personal beliefs regarding climate change. The focus is an open dialogue, respectful exchanges of ideas, and finding common ground. These safe spaces often feature guest speakers, workshops, or discussions focused on actionable solutions, helping attendees translate concern into positive change.

Climate Cafés are designed to be informal and welcoming, promoting psychological safety and an environment where speaking up with questions, concerns, or ideas is okay. They typically occur in cozy cafés, libraries, or community centers, fostering a relaxed atmosphere. Often, trained facilitators may guide the conversation, using prompts or discussion topics to keep the dialogue flowing. However, there’s no pressure to participate in every discussion. Through group support, Climate Cafés empower individuals to find healthy ways to manage their eco-anxieties and encourage hope for the future of the climate. 

Beyond promoting mental well-being and community connection, Climate Cafés offer a unique space for learning and collaboration. Here, attendees can exchange knowledge, discover local sustainability initiatives, and explore ways to get involved in climate action.

Climate Cafés are rising in popularity. There’s a good chance there’s one brewing nearby. Websites like Climate and Mind offer a directory of registered cafés worldwide. Social media and local environmental organizations are also excellent resources for finding upcoming events at cafés.


If you’re looking for more ways to cope with your eco-anxieties, here are a few helpful tips:

Try a grounding exercise. This technique helps to ease eco-anxieties and “ground” yourself in the present. 

Breathe. It sounds simple, but sometimes, a soothing breath can help. Follow a breathing guide, or go outside and take in the fresh air.  

Get involved when you feel ready. There’s no pressure to save the environment alone or all at once. Remember, combating climate change is not a solo mission—it takes collective action. 

This Mental Health Awareness Month, remember to take a mindfulness moment. The climate crisis can be overwhelming, but with new policies, innovations, and global initiatives, there is hope for a more sustainable and healthy future for everyone.

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Iyon Baker

Iyon is a curious, creative NC native and Chapel Hill alum who is always eager to embark on new adventures that provide more skills. With a background in advertising, public relations, digital marketing, and fine arts, she uses her skills for copywriting and brand storytelling. Her professional journey has led her to diverse projects that taught her to embrace challenges and adapt to any situation. In her leisure time, Iyon enjoys gardening, knitting, and traveling.

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