zen habits : breathe

5 Ways Save the World, While Getting Fitter, Saving Money, Simplifying, and Becoming Happier

Photo by angela7dreams

Editor’s note: This post is part of the Blog Action Day movement: thousands of blogs talking about the environment on October 15. If you have a blog, join in with the rest of us today and let your voice be heard regarding the environment.

When I sat down to write my Blog Action Day post, I tried to figure out what the “environment” has to do with some of the main themes of Zen Habits: simplicity, frugality, health and fitness, happiness. In what way are these ideas related to the environment?

And then I realized: in every way.

When I tried to come up with some of the best ways that people could help the environment, I started to realize that every single one of these things will not only help the environment, but help our lives in so many other ways.

Helping the environment not only saves the planet, but makes us more frugal … makes our lives simpler … helps us get fitter … and helps us to be happier.

Let’s take a look at how. Here are some of my favorite ways to help the environment, and how it relates to the main topics of Zen Habits.

1. Get outdoors more. Go outside, take a walk through nature, hike through a forest or park or up a mountain, take a swim in a lake or river or ocean, explore, observe wildlife.

2. Commute by bike or by walking. I’m not saying you have to do it every single day (although some people do it), but even once a week can add up to saving a lot of fossil fuels and global warming over time. For tips on commuting to work by bike, read this article.

3. Do a clean-up. Every now and then, you’ll see some community organization doing a clean-up — a park, a beach, a road. Join in if you can. Or just do one with family and friends. Or organize your own, getting together a bunch of community groups.

4. Use less energy at home. There are a ton of ways to do this: use compact florescent lightbulbs, set your thermostat lower (for heating) or higher (for cooling), insulate, use less hot water, dry clothes using a clothesline, turn things off when they’re not in use, get energy efficient appliances, etc.

5. Buy less, or buy used. Start reducing the amount of stuff you buy, and when you do buy stuff, look to buy it used if possible. Or get it used, for free, through others in your area who don’t want the item anymore. Yard sales, thrift shops, Craigslist.org, Freecycle.org and friends and family are good ways to do this.

Read more about Blog Action Day.

Become a breath-taking reader: rss | email | twitter