Being concerned about our planet, and wanting to live a greener lifestyle in order to save resources is certainly a responsible decision, but it won't make you any happier, according to this recent study. The study explains how the pressure to buy 'green,' combined with materialism, even 'green' materialism, affects one's pro-environmental behaviour.
The pressure to buy green
According to Sabrina Helm, the principal investigator of this new study, over-consumption of our resources is a major climate change accelerator. Although we are led to believe that buying green will improve the fate of our planet, we should, in fact, be less materialistic if we want to save the Earth.
Researchers focused on two categories of 'green' actions. The first is reducing one's consumption, which consists of repairing things instead of replacing them, and avoiding impulse purchases. The second method is 'green purchasing,' which consists of buying products designed to help the planet (reusable beeswax packaging, reusable cotton and linen bags).
In a press release, Sabrina Helm said:
You're acquiring new things, and that fits into our mainstream consumption pattern in our consumer culture, whereas reduced consumption is more novel, and probably more important from a sustainability perspective.
Buying less in order to be happier
Researchers came to this conclusion during their study: only one strategy actually works when it comes to reducing consumption, and increasing one's well-being. The answer is not buying green, but buying less! The study showed that 'reduced consumption has effects on increased well-being and decreased psychological distress, but we don't see that with green consumption,' said Sabrina Helm.
In conclusion, to truly save our planet and be happier, just buy less!