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  • So, every morning I wake up, have a coffeeand get to work, all while my groceries are delivered, camera equipment arrives, and the parade of unnecessary packages continues.  

  • After a while, I get in my gas-guzzling car, go for a run in a place that's nicer than where I live, and get another coffee in a single-use cup.

  • Then as I start to feel terrible, I wonder, 'am I just single-handedly ruining the planet?'

  • Living sustainably can be hard, but what's good for the planet is actually good for you too.   

  • That's right, research suggests that living sustainably can have surprising psychological benefits.

  • This video is sponsored by Merck KGAA Darmstadt Germany and their initiative, The Sustainables.

  • Sustainable behaviour is not easy.

  • it's more convenient to get things delivered and drive everywhere rather than biking or taking public transport, but a bunch of research has found that acting sustainably is associated with greater well-being.  

  • For starters, a 2011 study found that pro-environmental actions like recyclingbuying seasonal produce, and conserving petrol were positively associated with self-reported happiness.  

  • Another study found that sustainable consumption like purchasing environmentally-friendly products was associated with greater lifesatisfaction.

  • Similarly, another study found that using sharing services like bike-sharing services or traditional libraries was also linked to greater life  satisfaction.

  • So, you might assume that if you start recycling, using a reusable water bottle, or using the library that you'll be happier, but sadly it's not that easy.

  • So, it's important to note that these findings are correlational.

  • They're associations or links.

  • So, sustainable actions might predict well-being, but they don't necessarily cause it, and maybe people with greater well-being are just more likely to care about the environment.   

  • But there is something going on here, and psychologists suggest that acting sustainably might contribute to something called eudemonic well-being.  

  • This is achieved by accomplishing things that you feel are worthwhile and having a sense of meaning in your life.   

  • This is compared to hedonistic well-being where you focus on immediate pleasures and the avoidance of discomfort.

  • So, even though these behaviors might seem difficult in the momentthey can contribute to our long-term well-being

  • In fact, a 2018 study found that environmental behaviors that cost time, money, or effort, like growing your own food, were actually more strongly associated with well-being than easier behaviorslike turning off the lights when you're not using them

  • All these actions at a personal level are important and can have benefits, but acting more sustainably is a big issue for companies as well

  • And this is such a big problem that we have to approach it with creativity and curiosity.   

  • Sowhat if there wasn't as much waste to begin with or as many cars on the road?

  • Now, it's easy to be critical of the emissions from the automotive industry, to say we need to find alternative transport options materials or fuels, but what about other industries that we desperately needlike pharmaceutical companies

  • What can we do?  

  • Consider this: pollution in something like a drug development process isn't just from manufacturing the drug, it's from packaging it and shipping it

  • So, what if we smashed packaging?

  • The science and technology company Merck KGAA Darmstadt Germany recently identified that just by reducing the packaging of their antibodies, they'll reduce their climate impact by 75 000 kilos of carbon dioxide by 2025, which is the equivalent of taking 16 cars off the road for a full year.

  • And that's just one company reducing the packaging of one thing.

  • So, while engaging in sustainable behaviors might not be the easiest choice for you or for a larger corporation, it is the best choice both for your own well-being and for  the well-being of planet earth.

  • And different types of sustainable behaviors might lead to you connecting with other people, experiencing natureor even getting more exercise all which have major mental health benefits.

  • Please head over to the Sustainables website to smash packaging yourself in this game.

  • It's honestly very satisfying!

  • And to see how being curious can lead to creative solutions to tough problems.

  • Thank you to Merck KGAA Darmstadt Germany for sponsoring this video and for making me feel better about building a sustainable future.

  • Hopefully, soon I won't create as much waste buying so much stuff online.

So, every morning I wake up, have a coffeeand get to work, all while my groceries are delivered, camera equipment arrives, and the parade of unnecessary packages continues.  

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The Surprising Psychological Benefits of Living Sustainably

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    nao posted on 2021/06/23
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