How Margaret Atwood Can Inspire You to Save the Planet

Ashton College
3 min readFeb 28, 2022


Photo by Arden Wray / The New York Times

How can you nurture an interest in environmental studies and a passion for protecting the environment? What should you be reading or listening to and what steps should you take? It helps to have environmental advocates and icons who you can look up to and take inspiration from. Consider environmental powerhouses such as David Suzuki, Autumn Peltier or Greta Thunberg. These movers and shakers work tirelessly to increase global consciousness and encourage the public and government organizations to take action. They inspired countless individuals to take up the fight for our planet. But literature can also be a powerful vehicle for radical change. Sometimes a good story can make all the difference. Enter Margaret Atwood.

Get Inspired to Make Change

What is her legacy and why is it that we can learn so much about sustainability from Margaret Atwood? Atwood is a famous Canadian literary figure and postmodern writer with a profound connection to environmentalism activism and consciousness. Her poetry touches on preserved green spaces and she often explores physical space as it relates to the search for cultural and literary identity. Her novels teach us about dystopian worlds and potential futures, with ominous undertones of environmental collapse and ecological danger. Standout examples include her dystopic trilogy featuring Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam. These three novels are set in a compelling but eerie world defined by environmental collapse. There are also clear hints of environmental disaster as the cause for a global infertility crisis in Atwood’s most famous novel and hit television series, The Handmaid’s Tale. Whichever story happens to be your favourite, her creativity certainly encourages a sense of urgency and intrigue around the global warming and climate change conversation.

In addition to her creative literary works, Atwood has written a number of compelling analytical works and personal essays. In 2017, she wrote a compelling essay called about the urgent and drastic effects of climate change on various aspects of society. Toward the conclusion of her essay, Atwood asks the probing question, “what do we need to change to keep our world stable?” She outlines a challenging equation that we all must face. How do we balance the societal need for energy with “the finite nature of the earth’s atmosphere” and “our understandable wish to live full and happy lives on a healthy planet?” She offers no easy answers but instead encourages society to think critically about the survival and health of our environment through diverse literary and analytical avenues.

Get Educated and Take Action

The literary works of Margaret Atwood offer concrete inspiration and motivation for environmental activism. But it can be hard to take action without building a foundation of knowledge. How will you navigate challenging conversations or convince resistant folks? Putting time and energy into continuing education courses will empower you to take action. Curious minds can learn about environmental impacts and how to protect our natural biodiversity through an online sustainability course or environmental studies course.

Beyond individual sustainable practices and efforts, responsibility falls onto the shoulders of larger corporations, organizations and businesses. The practical integration of sustainable thinking into workplace culture and organizational structure is paramount. You can be part of the solution and guide organizations toward more ethical and green decisions with the help of ISO 9001 2015 certification training. Education in quality management systems will also give you the tools to measure and improve the environmental impact of an organization or corporation.

Sustain Your Momentum

Your fight to save the planet will be ongoing and you will surely encounter hurdles along the way. That said, you will also be engaging in meaningful work and making a difference for generations to come. Commit to your education and arm yourself with the necessary tools to sustain your efforts. Whenever you feel frustrated or lost, remember the creative forces that originally inspired you and keep fighting the good fight.

Written by CJ McGillivray