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Happiness and the Environment: a data story


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Happiness and the Environment is a data story that tells us what the data is, what it means and how to use it to make decisions in our life. It is based on the Happiness Alliance's Gross National Happiness Index and data gathered since 2010.

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Happiness and the Environment: a data story

  1. 1. Our Environment & Happiness happiness data stories you can use to make decisions in your life.
  2. 2. Let’s take a trip down data lane.
  3. 3. Sense of belonging in community 100 = very strong sense of community 0 = no sense of community Young people are hurting when it comes to feeling a sense of community, but none of us are doing very well.
  4. 4. Why does a sense of community matter? Research says that the stronger your sense of community, the more you feel good about your life. Cramm & Neiboer, 2014; Farrell, Aubry, & Coulombe, 2004; Sum, Mathews, Pourghasen, & Hughes, 2009
  5. 5. Satisfaction with air quality 100 = very satisfied with the air quality 0 = not at all satisfied with the air quality Young people are least satisfied with our air quality but no body is very satisfied with it.
  6. 6. How does air quality impact our happiness? Research tells us that you feel unhappy when your air quality is bad, and that you are willing to trade a higher income for a healthier environment. Levinson, 2009
  7. 7. How healthy I feel my environment is 100 = feel my environment is very healthy 0 = feel my environment is not at all healthy Young people feel the environment is not more than somewhat healthy. No one feels their environment is very healthy.
  8. 8. How does the health of our environment impact our happiness? Happiness data collected by the Mappiness project says that you are happiest when in nature. MacKerron & Mourato, 2013
  9. 9. Satisfaction with preservation of nature in one’s neighborhood 100 = very satisfied 0 = not at all satisfied Young people are least satisfied with the preservation of nature in their neighborhood but nobody is very satisfied with it.
  10. 10. How does the preservation of nature impact our happiness? Research indicates your happiness in inextricably linked to the integrity and health of nature’s ecosystems (natural resources). Summers et. al., 2012
  11. 11. How often I volunteer 100 = volunteer at least once a month 0 = never volunteer Young people volunteer less than once every six months, whereas as we age, we volunteer more frequently.
  12. 12. What does volunteering have to do with happiness? Science tells us that when you volunteer, you get a long lasting happiness effect. Post, 2005; Borgonovi, 2008
  13. 13. I feel positive about myself Young people feel marginally positive about themselves. Most of us don’t feel that positive or negative about ourselves. 100 = feel very positive 0 = do not feel at all positive
  14. 14. What are the connections between feeling positive about yourself and your happiness? Science tells us that when you feel positive about yourself, your work performance is better, your relationships are better, and you feel happier. Sedikids et al, in Frogas, 2006
  15. 15. I feel optimistic about my future Young people feel more optimistic about their future than older people, but no one completely agrees that they feel optimistic about their future. 100 = feel very optimistic 0 = do not feel at all optimistic
  16. 16. How much does your happiness depend on optimism? Science tells us that the more optimistic you are, the happier you are. Lyubomirshy, 2001
  17. 17. Life decisions, programs and policies the data suggests Next
  18. 18. Half Farmer – Half X Lifestyle Started in Japan by N. Shiomi, Half Farmer Half X means balancing your time between substance farming for you and your family with work you are passionate about. Some examples are Half-Farmer Half Writer, Half Farmer Half Singer, Half Farmer Half Childcare worker.
  19. 19. Join an Community Garden (or the like) Volunteer regularly at a community garden, urban farm collective, community supported agriculture farm or other garden. Some offer bartering opportunities for the time you spend. Search online or ask farmers your local farmers market to find the farm for you.
  20. 20. Start or join a rooftop garden If you live in a multi-unit dwelling, the city may have ordinances allowing for rooftop gardens and give your building owner incentives for a rooftop garden. Start small, and build community and beds as you grow. There are lots of resources for building rooftop gardens online. Most suggest starting with herbs in container pots.
  21. 21. Plant an Edible Forest In your front yard or parking strip. For the really adventurous, join with your neighbors and convert a parking strip or the garden area around a local government facility into an edible forest! Focus on native edibles that are water-wise. Put up signs to let your neighbors know that you want to share the bounty. for you, for your neighbors, for critters and for the six legged fellows.
  22. 22. And for the more adventurous… Convert a vacant lot into a pocket park. This requires lots of community development, working with your city, grant writing and project management and tolerance for uncertainty, but converting a vacant lot in your neighborhood can be incredibly rewarding for your community. Create a Pocket Park
  23. 23. You are the Happiness Movement