Study shows that buying less is better for your health – and the planet – than buying “green”
Perhaps this is of little surprise. If you’ve ever visited a second or third world country, you’ve likely noticed that people have less, in terms of material goods, but often seem happier. And if you’re aware of today’s pressing environmental issues, you know that material consumption is pretty well the source of our problems. Whether you’re attempting to purchase environmentally friendly products or not, the mere act of buying stuff creates waste that likely won’t break down for many years, if ever (i.e. plastics). Now a new study out of the University of Arizona shows that buying less stuff is positively correlated with well-being and reduced stress. However “green” buying – something often accused of falsely leading consumers to feel better about their consumption habits – was not found to be correlated with well-being. And since we know that stress is one of the leading causes of premature death, it could be inferred that reduced consumption may actually extend your life. Some of you may have heard of “The Blue Zones.” The Blue Zones are places around the world where higher numbers of people live to over 100 years of age. These people have many things in common, but one of the key elements they share is living simply, and happily.
So the message we can draw from this study and The Blue Zones? Live simply, and you’ll be happier and healthier for it.