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Panel Discussion on Eco-Anxiety [Webinar]

On March 10th, Connecting Environmental Professionals Toronto hosted an informative panel event to discuss the topic of eco-anxiety and actionable ways to cultivate hope. Our speakers shared success stories from the environmental community, ways to reduce eco-anxiety, and empowered us to advocate for climate action and sustainable practices.

Eco-anxiety may lead people to believe that making lifestyle changes or advocacy is futile, slowing down the momentum that that climate action movement has gained so far. While blind optimism is not advisable either, our speakers explain the importance of keeping people motivated and engaged with climate action. It was incredibly valuable and timely to learn from our panel consisting of 4 well-respected sustainability leaders with diverse experience and expertise in methods of reducing anxiety in a meaningful way while strengthening one's resolve to advocate for climate action and sustainable practices.

Our three brilliant panelists were (bios below):

The webinar was moderated by Robert Gifford, Professor of Psychology and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria.

We're proud to be donating to One Tree Planted, a non-profit organization focused on global reforestation. One tree will be planted in Ontario for every registered attendee, making a total of 177 trees!

For those who missed the live event, we're happy to be able to share the recording of the webinar with you below:

Our speakers and attendees shared some helpful links and resources in the chat, and we are sharing those here if you didn't catch them at the event:

This event was supported by:


Amy Castator, President and co-founder of Carbon Conversations TO

Amy is the President and co-founder of Carbon Conversations TO, a volunteer-led group that was created to help people find hope in the climate crisis. Amy also leads the strategy and execution of the award-winning Living Planet @ Work employee engagement program at World Wildlife Fund Canada. Amy has more than 8 years of experience in engaging workplaces and individuals to understand and take action toward addressing some of the world's most challenging crises like climate change and biodiversity loss. She is passionate about connecting with others in her community and is always open to sharing knowledge and ideas!

Todd Barsanti, Professor of Design at Sheridan College

Designer, environmentalist, educator, husband, and dad (not necessarily in that order), Todd Barsanti is a Professor of Design at Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada. Teaching since 2002, his primary focus in academics is in design foundations and in the integration of sustainability issues into design curricula. An award-winning designer with two decades of professional and academic experience, Todd operated his own studio, Elemeno Inc. in Toronto from 1998 to 2011.

Todd has a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies as well as a diploma in Environmental & Sustainability Education from York University.

Trained by former US Vice President Al Gore in 2013, Todd has dedicated much of his free time to spreading the reality of our climate crisis through voluntary speaking engagements and acts as mentor to 500+ climate leaders in Southern Ontario. Todd has also created graphic communications for the Canadian branch of Climate Reality, including posters promoting messages about sustainability and logos for various programs.

Todd is also head coach of his daughter’s (8) and son’s (10) house league hockey teams.

Tovah joined Earth Rangers in 2009 and took on the role of President in 2019. During her tenure at Earth Rangers, she has played an integral role in Earth Rangers’ strategic planning and growth into the largest youth conservation group in the world. In 2017, Tovah was recognized by the Province of Ontario on International Women’s Day as a “trailblazing woman who is transforming our province” and was named a Clean50 Emerging Leader in 2021. Tovah is also a member of the Ontario Parks Board of Directors.


Robert Gifford, Professor of Psychology and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria

Robert Gifford is an environmental psychologist who is Professor of Psychology and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Canadian Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the International Association of Applied Psychology, is the recipient of a Career Award from the Environmental Design Research Association, and was recently elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Professor Gifford is the author of 140 refereed publications and book chapters and five editions of Environmental psychology: Principles and practice. His 2016 book (as editor) is Research methods for environmental psychology. He was the Chief Editor of the Journal of Environmental Psychology for 14 years, and has served as President of the Environmental Psychology division of the International Association of Applied Psychology, APA’s Population and Environment Division, and CPA’s environmental section. He also tries to grow roses and vegetables at his rocky hillside home, but the deer and raccoons think he is growing them for their benefit.

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