5 Hacks for Greener, Happier Living
● By John Gales
Whether you take shorter showers, reduce food waste or make eco-minded choices at the grocery store, adopting one simple habit can make a difference in protecting Earth’s natural resources. These simple, renewable lifestyle changes may even affect your personal mindset.
According to findings from a scientific study and survey commissioned by Tetra Pak, adopting simple renewable lifestyle habits can help people go from feeling glum to good. According to the survey, a majority of people (70 percent) feel happier when they make choices that help preserve natural resources. This study comes on the heels of the world’s first social experiment in renewability, conducted by three esteemed academic experts in habit and behavioral science, which uncovered how renewable lifestyle choices – habits that help preserve natural resources – influence levels of happiness.
“We believe that even simple lifestyle behaviors have the power to make a big impact, on both a personal and global scale,” said Elisabeth Comere, director of environment and government affairs for Tetra Pak. “The combined benefit of the small actions we take, from taking shorter showers to choosing products in renewable packaging – made of natural resources that can be replenished over time – can benefit the world around us while making us happier.”
Adopting one of these simple renewable habits can help preserve the planet's resources while fast-tracking levels of happiness:
- Conserve resources, including water. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that cutting your shower by just one minute will save two and a half gallons of water. Over time, that savings adds up: 75 gallons per month and nearly 1,000 gallons over the course of a year.
- Choose products in renewable packaging. Choosing food and beverage products in renewable packaging is a natural extension of environmentally friendly habits, such as recycling or composting. From milk and soup to water and juice, you can find food products packaged in cartons – primarily made from paper, a renewable resource from growing forests.
- Buy only what you can consume. At the grocery store, it’s easy to over-shop, especially if you’re hungry. Buy only what you need to reduce waste and seek groceries that are considered renewable, such as fruits and vegetables, and carton-packed food and beverages in packages made from renewable materials. Carton-packed foods last longer, are easy to store and have a relatively low environmental footprint.
- Use re-usable containers. These days, hectic lifestyles are the norm and that often means meals and beverages on the go. When possible, rely on re-usable drink and food containers instead of disposable ones.
- Whenever you can, bike or walk instead of driving. According to data compiled by National Geographic, it takes nearly 13 gallons of water to produce each gallon of gasoline. Using alternative modes of transportation and taking care to combine errands, car pool and use public transportation help cut water and energy demands.
To learn more about how making simple, renewable lifestyle changes can help boost happiness or to take the Habits of Happiness quiz to assess your personal happiness level, visit tetrapak.com/us/renewable-living.