Living sustainability is not only good for the planet but can also help you feel happier. In a recent study, researchers set out to understand how people who care about environmentalism stack up emotionally and psychologically against those who don’t. Overall, the scientists were looking to see who was happier and felt more connected to their life satisfaction — sounds good, right? Their study included 39 “pro-environmental behaviors” (like reducing food waste and using less energy) to see how they impacted individuals’ lives.
What the scientists found was quite surprising. When people care about the environment, they tend to reach out to their community and find ways to make a difference — and it led to a higher feeling of satisfaction about their lives. Of the 39 behaviors studied, only two, carpooling and waiting to wash your clothes until you have a full load, didn’t bring about a bump in happiness levels. Hey, sometimes we like our alone time and smelling fresh.
Jokes aside, it’s becoming clearer that when we care about the world around us, it creates a sense of meaning and satisfaction that translates into our emotional lives. So, here’s to those of us trying to live cleaner and greener! It goes to show that when we put in the extra effort, it has an impact not only on our planet, but on ourselves, too — and that’s the kind of meaningful change we like to see.
For those looking to become more involved, we have the resources to help get you started, from aspiring toward zero waste or signing up for 100% clean energy. And tell us more about how you’re keeping things sustainable on social at @greenmtnenergy.