ONEPLANET Sustainability Review

Sustainability Research, Reviews and Signposting

Wanting makes us happier than having!

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What happens when we stop wanting? Contentment becomes possible, from a Buddhist perspective. It’s the wanting that causes suffering. The having also causes suffering when it’s an overprotective grasping that expects the having to last, and forgetting that everything changes and nothing is permanent. If we all stopped wanting stuff then we might start having only the things that are really necessary, and start becoming happier, or at least more content. Then we can focus on having the experiences and relationships that are really the generator of a real, meaningful kind of happiness.

There are other studies and at least one talk on TED that suggest happiness lies elsewhere than stuff.

Incidentally, how many shopping malls are there in Missouri?

SIMON WILD

Great news for the environment bad, news for retail.

Interesting study from the University of Missouri that has studied the happiness effect from stuff and it has not surprisingly found that it is the anticipation from the possibility of ownership that makes us happy not ownership itself!

Treehugger posed that this could be why website such as pinterest are so popular. But more interestingly what would it mean for retail stores and shopping centres? How would a Westfield change if “shoppers” only ever come to do window shopping? And with the double impact of online retail what would the shopping centre or high street look like if we only come to pin our interest on a product and not buy it?

But great news for the environment. Rather than an accumulation of stuff we bought that we no longer want every product could be shared amongst many people’s wants.

Perhaps…

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Part of the Problem? or Part of the Solution?

Rampant consumerism.
Widespread unsustainable lifestyles.
Unsustainable business practices.
Damaging and unsustainable travel and transport.
Extensive environmental degradation and biodiversity loss.
...
These are some of the problems we face.
...
Energy crisis.
Financial crisis.
Uneducated and un-empowered.
Environmental damage.
Food and water shortage.
Climate change.
...
Are you part of the problem,
Or are you part of the solution?

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