Sunday, October 25, 2009

Reflecting on No Impact Week: Economic Growth, Sustainability and Happiness

At some point recently, maybe due to the birth of my first child, I started plugging in a little less -- cutting down my time on Twitter, FaceBook and texting and increasing my time focusing on my immediate surroundings.

I know I'm far from the only one starting to move in this direction.  The Triple Pundit reports on "No Impact Week" -- an educational effort to reduce our environmental impacts, save money, and, it turns out, be happier.

Says the 3P post:

No Impact Week is targeting the grassroots level of individual consumer behavior, methodically guiding more than 4,000 volunteers through daily experiments on reducing their impact.  The themes of buying locally, boosting local economies, eating seasonally, not driving as much, and eliminating waste run throughout the topics.  What the founder of the No Impact Project, Colin Beavan, discovered when he and his family went off the grid and bought nothing new for a year was that they weren’t suffering as a result of reducing their impact.  In fact, they were actually happier.

Maybe the real solution to creating sustainable economy is understanding what really makes us happy.

I know I'm happiest and feel the best when camping alongside a rushing river in a remote National Forest wilderness -- when I unplug and reconnect with the earth.  For too many people, this level of happiness is achieved for stuff, which is a dangerous -- and unsustainable -- behavioral phenomenon.

I really admire efforts like that of the folks at the No Impact Project to help move people beyond their material addictions. We'll keep you posted on their progress...

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