Green Your Life contentment green living

Published on August 13th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan


Contentment’s Critical Place in a Green Life (+ Top Green Living Stories of the Day)

Living a green life isn’t just about going solar, bicycling or using other green transport, or eating vegetarian and local food. It’s not just about getting involved in politics and/or activism. It’s also about contentment.

Why? What do I mean?

So many of our environmental problems are caused by overconsumption, the root of which is really just a lack of contentment.
We go out buying things, thing after thing after thing, meant to “make us happy” – do they ever truly make us happy?

We are running from ourselves and trying to cover our lack of contentment with physical objects. We buy these things and then toss them out in no time at all. They have no lasting effect on our own enjoyment of life, but they do affect the ability of some to have access to even the basic necessities of life – clean air, clean water, and a livable climate.

Rather than chasing product after product, we and the world as a whole would be much better off if we could find some contentment. If we could say, “I have what I need and I’m happy with it.” Period.

Of course, I think that requires a little soul-search. Finding contentment can require a lot of effort. But it is internal effort. It does not require going out and buying anything.

If we are serious about wanting to help the world, we should search for this contentment.

And, beyond correcting our own lifestyle and product addiction, finding more contentment without things can have a great influence on those close to us or even on those we cross paths with for just a short time.

Give it some thought. Let it influence you. Let contentment become a habit of life.

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  3. Newsflash: Americans Unwilling to Give Up Comfort for the Environment
  4. What do orangutans have to do with your shampoo?
  5. Cycling in Fashion
  6. How to get children cycling to school
  7. Why Food Matters

Image via Piddleville

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

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