How is your quality of life?
January is often a time for reflection and a chance to sit back and ask if your lifestyle is really giving you what you want from life. Happiness is usually enhanced by a good quality of life, which includes things like
- Work-life balance
- Being in nature
It can be fun to take a moment and rate each area from 1-5. How do you score? And how do you feel about the result?
What’s good for you is good for the planet too
Some good news is that choices that improve our quality of life often end up being good for our community and nature too. Here are a couple of examples:
Cycling in lockdown
After deciding to walk and cycle more because we need the physical exercise, we also start to feel benefits on a psychological level. Then we use the opportunity to run some errands that we might otherwise have done with the car, thereby reducing our driving, an immediate benefit to the environment. And when we are not in a car we are much more likely to go to local, independent shops rather than big supermarkets, supporting the local economy and community.
In 2020 there was a big demand for bicycles. Cycling more was good for people’s health.
Independent bicycle shops flourished which was good for the local economy. Car usage went down, which reduces CO2 emissions. So cycling to raise people’s quality of life and ended up being good for their communities and environment too.
The simple desire to take exercise rather than drive can have many knock on effects, and during the COVID lockdowns we have been able to see the impact of less driving on a bigger scale; the increased quietness on the roads, and more sightings of wild animals.
Another example is food choices. January is often a time for losing weight after the excesses of Christmas, and one way to lighten your diet is to try a programme like ‘Veganuary’. Adding an extra plant-rich meal to your week can be delicious, good for your health and feel great. If you already eat a lot of plant-rich food, you could go one step further and make it seasonal, local and organic, all of which add to the flavour.
What is the connection between a healthy diet and a low carbon footprint? While intensive livestock farming has huge CO2 emissions, plant based diets usually have much lower carbon footprints and require less land and water. So as you find yourself eating more healthily, your carbon footprint is also reducing.
For meat lovers it doesn’t mean giving up meat altogether, but eating higher quality meat on a less frequent basis, and having meat alternatives on some days. There are some great vegetarian sausages and burgers based on Quorn or soya meat, which might not be as tasty as the best choice chop, but may be tastier than lower quality meat.
We can make choices for our health and happiness that also benefit the wider community, and the plants and animals around us. And when we can feel that our choices are having positive impacts, we get an extra glow of satisfaction.
What are your hopes for 2021?
If you were to name three easy actions that would improve your quality of life, what would they be? For example choose three actions, one for tomorrow, one for the next week and one for the next year? Chatting about this for 2 minutes with someone you know can help you decide your three choices, and it’s important to make them small, achievable actions that might only take a few minutes.
See you in North Devon “Lifestyle Spring Clean” Week in March 2021 for the launch of our new Quality of Life self-assessment app, and more fun and easy ways to increase your happiness and well-being and save CO2. This will be part of a LIFESTYLE SPRING CLEAN WEEK which is all about raising our quality of life and doing our bit for our area and the planet too. You’re invited to join the week and there will be a competition to win an electric Bicycle!
Carbon Savvy Easy Courses
Do you want to learn more about how to raise your quality of life at the same time as reducing your carbon footprint? Here are three easy, quick courses to choose from:
Easy Carbon Ambassador course (7sessions) Feb 3rd – March 17th
Eco Lifestyle Satisfaction course. (3 sessions) Feb 12th – Feb 26th
Easy Carbon Cutting course (3 sessions) Feb 11th – Feb 25th
To explore the connection between a high quality of life and a low carbon footprint, join us on Carbon Savvy’s Eco Lifestyle Satisfaction course: 12th – 26th Feb via zoom.