Happy by nature


Is there a connection between happiness and the environment?

A Belgian newspaper had a nice article last week about the fact that environmentally friendly countries have a happy population.

According to the comparison of the World Happiness Survey (WHS) of the United Nations and the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), a ranking that the Yale University prepares every two years, countries with a high happiness score have also a better environmental performance.

The WHS measures how happy residents of a country are on a scale of 0 to 10.  The EPI ranks countries based on different environmental parameters, such as air pollution, water quality, biodiversity and afforestation.

But does a healthy living environment make people happy or do happy people make sure that their living environment is healthy?  If you take a closer look at this graph you can see that there is clearly a link between happiness (Geluksscore) and care for the environment (Milieuscore), but that does not mean that one “causes” the other to move up.  Maybe it is the level of prosperity that makes people happier in countries that can afford to make efforts for the environment?  That is possibly the reason that Burundi is dangling at the bottom and Finland is at the top of this graph.

Two weeks ago, from 18 to 24 March, the Netherlands was dominated by the national campaign “Nederland Schoon”.  During this “Clean the Netherlands” week, the municipalities, companies, schools, volunteers and neighborhoods went out into the streets, armed with waste grabbers, garbage bags and trash cans to clean up their neighborhoods.

The Netherlands Clean Foundation is committed to preventing and controlling litter on the Dutch streets and in Dutch nature reserves.  The foundation asks municipalities, institutions and residents to help clean up the Netherlands.

I Live in a small village in the south of the Netherlands.  My village supports their residents during this campaign, but also during the whole year.  Every morning when I bring my son to school, people are busy with their waste grabbers and garbage bags (provided by our township).  That makes me happy!  But also, sad…

I’m happy because luckily there are still people who really care and are willing to help make our planet a better place to live in.  But at the same time, I’m sad because their help is needed and that there are still too many ignorant individuals who think it is necessary to throw their packaging waste on the ground…

So, if you are one of these “bad persons” inconsiderately throwing your waste out the car window or have difficulty in aiming into the garbage can… I can assume that you are not a very happy person and you are taking your anger out on mother nature.  This littering behavior is clearly not helping you get rid of your negative feelings, so try something new… if you want to be happier… do something positive for nature and the world around you!  It has been officially proven that there is a real connection between happiness and the environment… so start today and experience for yourself that it works!!

And thank you for making me happy as well 🙂

Lorenza De Spirt

Lorenza De Spirt

Communications Manager

The art of communication: changing walls into doors

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