For the uninitiated, living an ecologically friendly lifestyle may seem like a hassle, another chore to be added to the list of things to do every day. Being careful with the types of products you buy and putting in the effort to recycle and reuse is not what many in our society are used to. But, like most things that require thoughtfulness and effort, making the switch towards “going green” can actually be fulfilling and add a dimension to our lives that we may not have expected.
Conserving energy with LED light bulbs, shopping for California avocados at your local organic store, and frying sustainable seafood is all good fun but who could have thought that all this living green can actually make us happier? When you think about it, it makes sense – when we choose to live a life that’s more in line with our values and the natural laws of nature, we automatically improve our own well being. Below, I offer a few small small changes that can further improve your connection to environment and make you proud of your daily activities and the overall direction of your life.
Find Your “Ecosophy”
Living a green lifestyle implies a concern that the things we’re doing to the world aren’t sustainable. That worldview—while probably true—can turn into fear. Some ‘eco-freaks’ make eco-friendly living a pedestal, an obsession, or a religion. In these extreme cases, it is no longer a happy middle path—it’s a time sink, a phobia, a soapbox.
Back in the 1980s, the Norwegian book Ecology, Community, and Happiness worked with the idea of living happily with the ever-present concern for the environment and the world. Original author Arne Naess and student David Rothenberg write that the key to a happy co-existence with eco-living is to find a system of belief—a world view or an “ecosophy” that helps us guide our actions and live in line with our values.
Each person can come to value green living (and different kinds of green living) through his or her own thought process. The more individual belief mixes with a widespread movement, the more (more…)