My last post focused on why the arts should have to prove their worth in monetary terms, which provides a great little segway into an inspirational talk I discovered on TED.com today. Wellbeing statistician Nic Marks takes the issue further to question why we’re so hell bent on measuring a nation’s success by its productivity, rather than the happiness of its people. And he does it with a great deal more eloquence and statistical finesse than I ever could.
His Happy Planet Index measures national wellbeing against resource use, showing up western countries like the USA as devouring the most energy to keep the population satisfied. Yes, I realise this may come as a colossal shock to most of you.
In keeping with the ‘a happy life doesn’t have to cost the earth’ mantra, here are a few ways I save money and get happy at the same time. How’s that for efficiency?
- Eating veggie – choosing vegetables over meat more often isn’t just easier on the wallet; all those vitamins will leave you feeling fresh, fit and ready to take on the world. Or at least the London underground…
- Cancelling gym membership – not only have I been able to save loads of money by braving the cold and running in the park rather than on the treadmill, I was also able to give the finger to the money gobbling, corporate institute that is Fitness First. Priceless.
- Cutting fuel costs –dressing warmer at home in the winter, rather than cranking up the heating to tropical temperatures, saves a lot of money. Plus wearing 13 jumpers at once makes you look really cool. I promise.
- Sell your crap on Ebay – as hard as it was to say goodbye to my old Take That CDs, I earned a bit of cash and now my music collection looks infinitely less tragic. Adios boys, you will be missed.