Before we end up in the never-ending maze of material goods in IKEA, with the intention to buy all the “necessary” stuff for the house, apartment or room..perhaps we should ask ourselves the question: Will this make me happy? But perhaps also we should ask another important question: Will this make the planet happy?
The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is a measure of human well-being and environmental impact and aims to produce happy and healthy lives for everyone, by reducing poverty and deprivation. The index is measured by using global data on life expectancy, well-being and a nation’s ecological footprint. Higher scores are given to the countries with lower ecological footprints.
Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica and El Salvador are among the top 10 highest scoring and happiest countries in the world. They are the most sustainable countries despite high levels of poverty. According to HPI, the people of Costa Rica have higher wellbeing than the residents of many rich nations, including the USA and the UK.
So perhaps we should learn from these countries about how to find the true meaning of prosperity and how we can live more meaningful and sustainable lives in less materialistic ways, which is something that Tim Jackson explores in his book Prosperity without growth.