Here are 4 simple ways to increase your happiness while saving your money and our planet
Living a simpler lifestyle is a concept that has been gaining traction over the past few years. Whether you opt for minimalism in your everyday life, move into a tiny house, or strive to put our planet first with your actions, there is a certain freedom tied to simplicity that can increase your happiness.
If you’re looking for ways to enhance your life, consider embracing these green lifestyle habits:
1. Decrease Screen Time
Conservation is a huge part of the environmentalist movement. A great way to achieve energy conservation is by spending less time in front of a screen. Whether this means simply watching less Netflix, or reducing the time you spend on your phone, each minute away from your electronic devices will add up quicker than you think.
While it might not seem as though spending time on social media is harmful to our planet, it actually should be of some concern to you. The more time you spend refreshing your Instagram feed or posting a simple tweet, the harder online computer servers have to work. A Fast Company article outlines that online engagement, especially through mobile apps, keeps ICT servers and data centers running constantly, which increases planet-harming CO2 emission. As the use of smart phones steadily increases with no sign of subsiding, now is the time to consider putting our planet first by decreasing your screen time.
How will this increase your happiness?
Research has shown that young adults who have quit social media have found themselves to be less anxious and more positive.
Those off social media platforms also feel more freedom and less pressure to please others. Whether you decide to be on your phone less or opt to read as opposed to watching tv, be sure to block out some time to engage with nature as well. The less time you spend online, the more time you’ll have to spend outside.
2. Increase Your Sense of Purpose
Standing up for the things you believe in by spending time volunteering for meaningful causes is a rewarding practice, especially when they’re things you’re passionate about. Studies have shown that those who participate in altruistic activities have a stronger sense of purpose in life.
If you’re looking for a cause to get behind, look no further than taking action to help our planet. The next time you find yourself with a Saturday to yourself, dedicate the day to some eco-friendly activities. Whether you get creative with some upcycling projects, or you make use of your green thumb by spending the day mapping out a backyard garden, conserving water and energy at home, or spending a day picking up litter around local highways, find an environmental task that makes you feel both motivated and excited.
3. A Fuller Wallet
Though it might be hard to believe, there are ways to make going green even more affordable than your current lifestyle. A perfect place to start is with reuse.
There are many items you discard daily that actually can be reused and transformed into something new:
- Dryer Sheets: Give dryer sheets new life by using them for dusting, or as hair wipes to combat frizziness on a hot day.
- Plastic bags: Keep track of your old plastic bags to use the next time you take your dog on a walk, or to cover your house plants and trap in moisture when you go away on vacation.
- Books: Before you go to donate older books you’re not sure anyone would want, get creative by using the pages to create envelopes or gift tags around the holidays.
- Thrifting: Another great way to support a green cause while also saving is by thrift shopping for the perfect old couch to move into a college dorm, to snagging your new favorite vintage pair of sneakers. The more you shop used, the less clothing ends up landfills. Even if you’re someone who prefers to have a more modern look, you can find known brands like Madewell at online consignment shops such as thredUP.
4. Stronger Community Connection
Taking care of our planet also means taking care of the community you live in as well. Whether this means you pick up trash at your local beaches or you help plant a public garden, it’s no secret that going green helps foster a stronger community connection. The more involved you feel in helping your town environment thrive, the more likely you are to feel a connection to the place you call home.
Take your eco-friendly lifestyle changes to a new level by organizing public forum meetings to engage and encourage others to take action as well. Try organizing a neighborhood carpool to reduce your community’s carbon footprint, or gather up some volunteers to help plot out a space to place fresh produce at a local nursing home/school. Though happiness can be a very relative feeling, developing deep roots within your community through the connections you make with others will most definitely leave you with a smile on your face.
You may also enjoy reading Mother Nature’s Hourglass: A Biologist Reminds Us That Time Is Running Out by Dave Cannon