Your serious pursuit of happiness is key to protecting the planet – econotimes

Michelle McGagh is a bold woman. Yoga workout for beginners A personal finance journalist, she has just completed a year in which she vowed to spend no money at all except on essential bills, simple food, and charitable donations. Yoga chicago free It was a tall order and a tough experience but her perseverance rewarded her with new confidence, skills and insights.

McGagh’s experiment is telling in a society in which each household owes an average of about £2,400 on credit cards. Yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy Consumer debt causes great distress to many people, and is closely associated with mental ill health, so any advice on how to reduce spending is welcome.

But debt is not the only serious consequence of consumerism. Yoga wimbledon bikram Our collective demand for energy, water, land, meat, palm oil, timber, and much else besides is rapidly and irreversibly depleting and polluting the resources and eco-systems on which everyone depends. Dahn yoga nyc Leonardo DiCaprio’s new film Before the Flood brings this vividly into focus.

Spending per se, though, does not necessarily result in material consumption. Yoga workshop berlin 2015 One could spend a fortune on the environmentally benign business of buying antiques, planting trees, or commissioning music. Yoga therapy wikipedia In fact, spending money can positively benefit the environment just less impact isn’t it not a positive benefit per se? if used to buy a train ticket rather than a cheap flight ?, better quality, longer-lasting goods, or solar panels.

But generally speaking, spending does translate directly into material consumption. Yoga tree bangalore reviews Clothes exemplify prevailing attitudes and behaviours. Yoga yoga jubilee song The average UK household spends about £1,700 a year on clothes. Girl yoga poses About 30% of these garments remains in wardrobes unworn and an estimated £140m worth are sent to landfill every year.

Such casual consumption and waste creation is highly problematic, given the research that suggests three of the nine planetary boundaries essential for avoiding unacceptable environmental change have already been crossed. Divya yog medicines It’s time to recognise that every manufactured item or service we buy is at several environmental costs. Yoga tree sf As well as asking ourselves whether we can afford a particular purchase or experience, we also need to ask whether the Earth can really afford to provide it?

Climate change is the greatest threat we face. Bikram yoga montreal laurier It’s reckoned that the world can absorb 2.5 tonnes of CO2 symbol per person each year, but the average Briton currently emits around 15 tonnes (compared with 20 tonnes for the average American and 1.5 in India). Yoga centre toronto The affluent of the world urgently need to curb personal consumption if the global temperature is to be kept to a liveable limit.

The prospect of changing our buying habits and expectations may be uninviting, but it helps to remember that personal well-being is not about material wealth (once basic needs are met). Dahn yoga center escondido Powerful evidence can be found in the New Economics Foundation’s Happy Planet Index. Fertility yoga exercises The HPI logs measures of life-expectancy, well-being and ecological footprint for 89 nations, and produces an overall score for each country.

Costa Rica comes out top. Karma yoga newbury street Although its GDP per capita is less than a quarter of the size of many Western European countries and North America, and its per capita ecological footprint is just one third of the size of the USA’s, people living in Costa Rica enjoy higher well-being than the residents of many rich nations, and live longer than people in the US. Yoga moves for beginners with pictures American research suggests that there is no increase in well-being with an income above US$75,000.

We may know deep down that you can’t buy happiness but this intuition often gets lost under the many pressures to consume. Yoga studio app A much happier future can be ours, though, if we concentrate on cultivating non-material assets such as good relationships, appreciating what we’ve got, a sense of meaning, and new skills, instead of on making and spending money.

Standard of living has much less bearing on happiness than the attitudes, values and expectations we bring to the way we live. Yoga london fields I learnt this repeatedly from the participants in a study I undertook of people who actively choose material modesty, while writing my book Happier People Healthier Planet. Dru yoga online studio They were a diverse collection of 94 individuals aged 18 to 83. Yoga pranayama benefits There were three whose finances were at subsistence level, two who could be described as “well-heeled”, and everything else in-between. Female yoga poses Critically, they viewed time as more valuable than money. Bikram yoga dubai business bay This often shaped their working lives and level of income. Yoga for knee pain exercises It was important to them to be independent, useful and responsible.

But these people did not consider their choices as self-denial. Yoga centre oak park Their non-essential expenditure went on cultural events, books and CDs, alcohol and eating out with friends or inviting them round for home-cooked meals. Office yoga exercises They spent their time on being creative, community, volunteering, meditation, gardening, contact with nature – just the kinds of enrichment which research finds generates well-being. Yoga for swimmers Indeed, the “modest consumers’” satisfaction with their lives was unusually high. Yoga cds india Their stories raise pertinent questions.

Essential for well-being are a warm dry home, decent food and reasonable income. Yoga teacher training uk 2015 It’s shameful that the UK, the world’s sixth largest economy, sees increasing numbers going without, and that national wealth depends partly on worker exploitation. Yoga poses for beginners youtube The global economic system, fixated on growth and profit, and resulting in environmental destruction, is deeply flawed.

Radically different frameworks exist, based on real human needs and environmental limits. Yoga exercises for flat stomach video One is set out by economist Tim Jackson in his just republished book Prosperity without Growth, and the new Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity is developing such thinking.

It’s time to get real. Yoga exercises for weight loss youtube The Earth’s environmental limits are the ultimate bottom line. Yoga practice center Slowing the rapid trend towards disastrous higher temperatures demands economic transformation. Yoga shakti mission This will be complex to achieve, but the guiding principle is simple: life offers rich possibilities far more satisfying than constant consumption. Shilpa shetty yoga in hindi free download All of us who have more than enough, need to learn to become happily modest consumers.

Teresa Belton does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

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