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Nicholas King

Happier People Healthier Planet

Teresa Belton

How putting wellbeing first would help sustain life on Earth

Happier People Healthier Planet

£13.95

ISBN 9781781322604

Published Sep 2014

Paperback
229 x 152mm (372 pages)

The core argument of this book is that proactively constructing our day-to-day lives, both individually and as a society, around those factors which generate real wellbeing will have two prized effects, indeed the most valuable outcomes possible. Shaping individual and collective life in this way will simultaneously make us happier and reduce our environmental toll.

Happier People Healthier Planet addresses the diametrically opposed issues of personal wellbeing and ecological destruction as inseparable concerns. It shows how carefully attending to what really matters for personal thriving will also protect the environment.

Most human beings are strongly attracted to material possessions, novelty and ever greater comfort and convenience, yet paradoxically, for those with a decent basic standard of living, growing affluence has not resulted in increased subjective wellbeing: overconsumption does not make us happy. Worse, our unchecked appetites for ‘stuff’ are fast undermining the delicately balanced life-support system provided by the natural world. It is perfectly possible to live a rewarding life without consuming more than we need, and we must all find out how to do so if we are to preserve the hospitality of the Earth.

This book, unusual in the diversity of its perspectives, investigates the factors that are likely to encourage a positive preference for lifestyles that are sustainable. Informed and illustrated by insights from a wealth of sources, both academic and popular, it includes contributions from many individuals living in Britain who actively pursue lives of modest material consumption which they find fulfilling. These ‘modest consumers’ offer challenge, inspiration and reassurance in the search for better ways of living.

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