Well-being posts

A list of well-being posts from the Econation Blog.

Too much!

The following list of data* highlights the fact that people in modern economies, like America, have too much stuff. Not only is it more stuff than is needed for a life of well-being, it is weighing us down, it is a burden in the true sense of the word.

1. There are 300,000 items in the average American home (LA Times).

2. The average […]

The benefits of honeybees

Honeybees are of huge economic importance, vital for the pollination of many fruit, vegetable and seed crops. Also a wide variety of important products are made from the honey, beeswax, pollen, royal jelly and propolis that bees produce.
Pollination
Honeybees are one of the most important pollinators for both wild and domestic plants. They visit more flowering plant species, including many native […]

Creative consumption is sustainable

A study done by the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi showed that there was a negative relationship between energy con­sumed and happiness. The reason for this may suggest a new way of thinking about consuming, one that maximises the quality of experience while minimising the amount of energy used as a result.

The reason activities with low external physical energy requirements result in […]

The LAW of good health

LAW stands for Light Air Water. These three things are essential for life. They are probably the most crucial ‘nutrients’ and yet too many people take them for granted and don’t factor them into their health plans.
Light
People need adequate exposure to daylight to provide optimum health. Spending time in the sunshine lifts peoples’ moods and the opposite tends to depress people. SAD (seasonal affect disorder) is […]

The Humble Onion

There is nothing more humble than an onion. They are cheap, plentiful and easy to grow yourself.

Onions are a staple ingredient in the cuisine of many cultures worldwide. These savoury root bulbs are one of the most versatile vegetables and can be consumed raw or cooked, imparting a delicious flavour to many different styles of meals.

Discoveries over the years have […]

These dirty words are good

It is strange, and quite disturbing, that a number of notions, and the words that signify them, have become dirty. In other words they are disdained, even reviled, amongst a certain, large section of society. Whilst these notions are frowned upon by those who irrationally feel entitled to not be limited in any way, the reality is that these notions are rational, […]

Contraception, Human Nature, and Sustainability

The evolutionist Richard Dawkins has explained that humans’ are innately selfish, greedy and interested in short-term gains over long-term benefits. He points out that because of its short-term, opportunistic characteristic Darwinism is not friendly to the values of sustainability. As Dawkins points out humans, like all animals, innately take advantage of present opportunities without thought for future repercussions. Whilst humans […]

Nature Deficit Disorder

Most people spend about 95 percent of their time inside: in houses, cars, shops, cafes and offices. We are becoming an indoor species increasingly shut off from sky, land, waterways, plants and animals. Nature is becoming more and more abstract to us. We are disconnected from it and yet we are still very much part of it because everything we […]

Eating wisely

It was the author of The Omnivores Dilemma, Michael Pollan, who summed up the wisest diet with the epigram: Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.

He expanded on this pithy advice in an article for Time Magazine called “Six Rules for Eating Wisely”. Having done research for his book Pollan found that the way food is processed and produced is […]

Christmas on the run

For many people Christmas is the most stressful time of the year. It shouldn’t be.

Yes, Christmas is a traditional time of giving, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. But what are we giving? Ourselves a heart attack, it seems.

Christmas advertising seems to start earlier each year. This may not be the case but there were definitely Christmas ads being […]

Soft landing or brutal crash?

Energy will never be as cheap as it is now. The question is do we act now and transition to a low-energy society while energy is still cheap, or do we paint ourselves into a corner?

Global trade will only work until cheap fossil fuels run out. This is definitely going to happen (read more about Peak Oil) although no-one knows when. […]

8 good reasons to take your kids camping

There are many good reasons why you should get your kids out camping. It might be easier to stay at home where everything is convenient, where there are wall-sockets, appliances and gadgets, but then you and your children miss out on the joy and many benefits of camping.
1.     Camping is a treat for all the family
It is a great way to get away from […]

Microadventures

As Art Buchwald said, “The best things in life are not things”. The best things in life are intangibles like relationships, life events and experiences. Good experiences last a lifetime, at least as memories, and they can give us joy and build confidence, skills and vitality. Significantly, consuming experiences, and not material goods, is better for your well-being and for the planet. […]

In praise of the bicycle

Do you remember riding your bike as a youngster? The exhilaration, freedom and sheer joy of propelling yourself wherever you wanted go? Your bike was literally your ticket to ride!

In a sense cycling has always been a freeing, sometimes even rebellious activity and it led H.G. Wells to say “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not […]

Why cash is best

There are a number of good reasons why cash is best when buying things: For a start it’s real. Paying in cash forces you to consider the real purchase price. You have no choice but to consider how much money you’re paying overall, and not just what you’ll have to pay as a deposit or on a periodic basis.

Making Do

In any situation or circumstance people have to make do with what they have. In modern western market societies give us more goods and services than we need for well-being. People work hours longer than they need to and often go into debt so that they don't have to make do. Subsequently the art of making do has been lost. We New Zealanders have a long proud tradition of making do.

Have your meat and eat it too

The following tips will help you enjoy meat on a regular basis but still allow you to reduce your ecological footprint.
People in affluent countries eat too much meat. Too much meat is not good for your health or for the health of the planet. Meat has a high ecological footprint, calorie for calorie, relative to other forms of food. Also, […]

The benefits of adult education

Adult education is a very good way to help sustain and improve society; it is relatively low cost and can easily be justified by it’s many benefits.

However, in recent years government funding for adult education courses has plummeted. In 2009 the Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce said that although adult education courses benefited students, it was a question of whether taxpayers should foot the bill. […]

The Vital Few

The 80:20 principle is an extremely useful way of thinking about the vital few things that matter the most.

It is not a mathematical formula and there is no hard and fast way to define it. The Principle predicts that, in many types of situations, a large majority of effects are due to a small proportion of causes. The actual figure varies […]

No regrets

A nurse reveals the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed.
This is one of the most potent life lessons I’ve ever read.

Bronnie Ware, a palliative care nurse has listed the five most common regrets her dying patients had about their lives. Ware points out that her patients eventually all came to a point of acceptance of their death but when questioned […]