Ten Reasons Green People Are Happier
By fundamentally changing our cultural values we can create societies that collaborate for increased wellbeing rather than compete for increased wealth.
It is now well recognised that to preserve the global ecosystem we must move away from high consumption lifestyles and find new ways of valuing our world. An exciting outcome of recent research is that this will also make us happier and more fulfilled. Perhaps the most important finding is that by focussing on ‘sustainability double-dividends’ (lifestyle choices which improve both wellbeing and sustainability), we can find a popular route into the future ecological age
1. Living a more local life
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet
Our life triangle consists of the distance between home, work and where we shop. If that triangle also includes schools and centres for the arts and health we get thriving local communities. Localisation benefits the environment by reducing the amount of travel and transport required to sustain our lives, resulting in fewer resources used and less pollution.
By spending less time travelling on a day-to-day basis, people have more time for their families and leisure pursuits, which in turn, boosts happiness. Other benefits include a resurgence of active communities, greater closeness of people to the natural environment and improved safety. Local food alone can make a huge contribution to the wellbeing of our communities by rebuilding the lost links between people and producers. Fresher, more nutritious food is available and the local economy benefits with small shops, butchers, dairies and bakeries reopening to serve the community.