Today is Blog Action Day, and bloggers across blogland are posting about the environment.
So, in honor of Blog Action Day, here are seven tips on how simultaneously to boost your happiness and safeguard the environment (in your own small way).
1. Walk a mile instead of driving. Walking means you’re not adding gas fumes and rubber particles to the air, and at the same time, studies show, even a ten-minute walk lifts your mood and gives you a burst of energy.
2. Skip the bottled water. Fact is, there is no evidence that you need to drink eight glasses of water a day—this is a myth, folks! And you CERTAINLY don’t need a fresh plastic bottle each time you want some water!
3. Pause before you buy anything. Do you really need that gadget or gizmo? One study suggests that the average household could cut back on 40% of housework by cutting back on clutter, which almost certainly would boost your happiness considerably. And by not buying, you save resources that would be spend in production, transportation, and disposal.
4. Buy a gas-efficient car. Because of the hedonic treadmill, you quickly adapt to changed circumstances. Although you may fall in love with a gas-hog in the showroom, once you’ve had the car for a while, you’ll take it for granted—but stopping for gas is annoying every time.
5. Carpool. Unfortunately, a bad commute is something to which people never adjust; it’s a pain every single day. Studies show that we enjoy activities more when we do them with other people, so carpooling is better for your happiness as well as for the environment.
6. Pick up other people’s litter. Do good, feel good is a happiness truism that really is true. Act like a considerate citizen of the world, and you’ll boost your self-esteem.
7. Work in your garden. Research suggests that working with soil may boost mood by strengthening your immune system and flooding your brain with serotonin.
Sarah Lindner, of the Austin American-Statesman, wrote a very nice article — Want to Be Happier? Read This — about the Happiness Project. It’s a great piece; also, it showed me that I need to make a new resolution: to stop saying “sort of” and “kind of” so often!
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If you’re starting your own happiness project, please join the Happiness Project Group on Facebook to swap ideas. It’s easy; it’s free.