The No Impact experiment in environmental living means that, as part of trying not to harm the planet, we eat better (local food), exercise more (biking everywhere) and waste less time on screen addiction (using no mains electricity). A list of the benefits we've noticed, abridged to only the health-related, includes:
- Twenty pounds off my gut, and eight off Michelle's
- No dandruff on my collar or dermatitis on my face
- Better nights' sleep and less tired days
- No more raccoon-like dark circles around my eyes
- We pout less and smile more--we feel happier
- Michelle no longer counts sheep--her insomnia is gone
- No more monthly tummy cramps for Michelle
It turns out, you see, that eco-living, in our experience, is not so much about sacrifice as it is about increased health and happiness. The same would be true of big, societal eco-changes.
Think, for example, of the long lists of benefits that might come with public transportation replacing our cities’ traffic jams, power plants billowing less pollution and cars getting decent gas mileage. But lately, we hear less about the benefits of taking these actions than about the catastrophic risks of not.
My point is that a big boost to the environmental cause might come with spending a little less time making people scared of a worse life and a little more time inspiring them towards a better one.
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.