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February 17, 2011

Green Living Principles: The Benefits of a Sustainable Lifestyle (aka Why Bother?)

The advantages to living a more sustainable lifestyle far outweigh any fear or discomfort of change you may have. Although we can be comfortable with the habits we’ve developed, that doesn’t mean they are the best thing for us or our world.

In my previous post, I shared how my elected separation from massive doses of modern media helped me lose weight, regain my sanity, and reduce my debt. That was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. A more eco-conscious lifestyle can bring a whole host of benefits:

+ Cost-effectiveness
+ More quality time with friends and family
+ Greater appreciation for what you already have (people, places, and things)
+ Increased confidence due to newly acquired skills of self-reliance
+ Possible weight loss and increased fitness
+ Improved life balance (no work e-mails after 6 p.m.—yay!)
+ Reconnection with your local community
+ A healthier, more stable planet for future generations
+ The joyous feeling of being a part of something worthwhile

. . . and this is just my list. I’d wager that after mere weeks of making minor eco-positive changes, you’d have a number of other perks to add to our sustainable lifestyle benefits collection.

Such benefits are achieved through the many different methods of living an eco-lifestyle. For most people, living without a car isn’t an option. While that is unfortunate, it is a reality of some communities, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t many other ways you can have a positive impact. Even the kind of car you choose to drive can reduce waste and pollution. Add in your food choices, hobbies, electronics, and vacations, and you’ve got countless opportunities for worthwhile sustainable change.

No one is perfect, and no one’s lifestyle is likely to be 100 percent planet-friendly. Often, one conscious choice leads to another and another and another. Before you know it, your life is transformed with a feeling of purpose, thanks to a sense of community and the worthwhile accomplishment of being a part of something bigger than yourself.

Although it would be great if everyone rode a bicycle, grew their own food, and lived off solar power, that isn’t likely to happen for many decades. Until then, every change counts, every purchase (or lack thereof) counts, every action counts. With a list of benefits like ours, living a sustainable lifestyle is the only thing worth counting.

Adapted with permission from 48 Things to Know About Sustainable Living by Victoria Klein ©2010 by Victoria Klein.

[Photo Credit: rkramer62]

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