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Help the Environment to Boost Your Well-Being

by Beth on March 21st, 2019

Some of the things I’ve been doing for my “year of less” have not only been making me happier, but they are also giving me a greater sense of meaning. That’s because they are good for my well-being and also for the environment.

Owning fewer things means less clutter, which has been associated with less stress. It also means you have more time (since you have fewer things to clean, organize, and maintain) and more money to spend in ways that positively impact your well-being, like sharing experiences with friends and family.

Owning less means buying less, which benefits the environment. Consumerism increases pollution, depletes natural resources, and adds more waste to landfills. So instead of dropping by TJ Maxx when I’m out and have some spare time, I head home and use that time to read or meditate or walk the dog. Any of these options is better for my well-being and I consume less because I likely would have bought something that I didn’t need.

What I eat impacts my well-being and the planet. Eating less meat is healthier. It has been associated with lower weight and lower risks of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.

It is also good for the environment. According to Colin Beavan, author of How to be Alive, “One day of eating only plants saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of forested land, and 20 pounds of CO2 equivalent.” I try to eat a plant-based meal most days for lunch and for dinner I cook mainly fish, vegetables, legumes, and sometimes chicken. Doing this makes me feel good and gives me the satisfaction of knowing that I am also doing good.

Our lives are meaningful when we feel that we are making a positive difference. Helping others is one of the most powerful ways to experience meaning. And what better way to help others than to adopt behaviors that will positively impact future generations!

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