Review: Finding happiness by becoming an earth-friendly human
There are going to be some changes around here. Nothing huge just a few simple swaps here and there. I imagine it will be some time before the cumulative effect of these small changes has any significant impact, but I will make them consciously each day nonetheless. After all, becoming an earth-friendly human is not an easy task, especially in today’s society.
What does it mean to be an eco-friendly human? I can tell you what it’s not about. Contrary to stereo-typical imagery, it’s not about protesting at the gates of Parliament House; quitting your job to join a cult of hippies; or boycotting regular showers. Being an eco-friendly human, at its core, is all about respect. It’s about showing more appreciation for our environment and its people and in turn being happier in life.
I attended a workshop by FindingEco this week called ‘Becoming an earth-friendly human’. I had no idea what to expect. According to its website, FindingEco ‘will help shift your mind from the lie of quick and easy to the truth of simple and healthy’. Its founder and eco-consultant, Amanda Parish, is not forceful, demanding or unrealistic, but rather she is friendly and approachable, knowledgeable, and above all passionate.
FindingEco runs several workshops and one-on-one consultations to help others discover ways they can improve their health, wellbeing and happiness by making better choices in the home, in the kitchen, and at the shops; sustainable choices that are also beneficial to the environment. Amanda refers to this video to illustrate that even a single act by one person can make a difference:
The ‘Becoming an earth-friendly human’ workshop opened my eyes not only to the human impact on the environment, but to the effect of consumerism on society. Research suggests human happiness peaked in the 1950s and has since been on a steady but obvious decline. Today, we have more stuff than ever before (in fact we’re consuming more than double that of 50 years ago) and through technology we have improved time efficiencies and greater accessibility. Yet we’re working more, we have less time, and we have poorer connections with other people. Is both the decline in the environment and human happiness simply a coincidence?
Amanda’s favourite saying is ‘It’s not about having more, but being more’. These are powerful words. Equally powerful is the antonym of her most despised saying – ‘ignorance is bliss’ – and that is that ‘knowledge is power’. It was evident in the 1.5 hour workshop that there are literally thousands of ways we can all make better choices to improve our lives, the lives of others and the state of our environment. With my very new knowledge, I have decided there are a few easy things I can do to become more earth-friendly.
5 ways to become a more earth-friendly human
- Do something nice for another person at least once every day – it will make you feel good about yourself and the other person will appreciate it (and maybe do something nice for someone else too)
- Stop buying cling-wrap (Amanda shared with me a great alternative and I’ll post about it soon!)
- Swap your plastic toothbrush for an environmentally-friendly toothbrush (they are biodegradable so you can bury them in your backyard!)
- Before buying anything, stop and ask yourself ‘do I really need that?’ (Think of the product’s grave site on a global scale and the money you could potentially save!)
- When grocery shopping take your ‘green bags’; avoid using the plastic bags in the fresh produce section; be more aware of the packaging of what you’re buying; and never buy disposable (one-time use) plastic items such as straws!