The Psychological Benefits of an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

published Nov 21, 2017
2 min read

An eco-friendly lifestyle is, obviously, good for the earth. But letting green principles guide your decision-making process will have some surprising benefits for you, too: namely, you’ll experience some feel-good vibes knowing you did something beneficial for the world around you.

Of course, there’s more science behind these psychological benefits than just “feel-good vibes”. Read on to see what they are — and how you can experience them by simply preserving the earth as best you can:

  1. It’ll Help You Be More Mindful All Around

Those who have delved into an eco-friendly lifestyle before you have found themselves re-evaluating more than just their recycling habits, use of electricity and time spent in the shower. Caring about the earth requires you to be more mindful of what you’re doing, and that can transcend into the way you reflect on your own life as well.

Mindfulness often goes hand-in-hand with meditation, which is a self-reflective practice that helps you become better able to navigate the obstacles that come your way. It makes sense, then, that eco-friendliness and mindfulness are one in the same, since you have to be mindful of the earth to make green, eco-friendly choices.

  1. You’ll Feel Healthier (and You’ll Probably Be Healthier, Too)

For many who have become more eco-friendly, that has meant a complete overhaul of their normal lifestyles. They say goodbye to gas-guzzling cars in favor of mass transit, biking or simply walking where they need to go. They look into the foods they’re eating and find places to buy them from local, sustainable farmers so as to use less resources for shipping. They only buy what produce is in season, which means it’s more responsibly harvested and grown.

In becoming more aware of  — and changing — these habits that affect the earth, many people find that they are becoming healthier alongside the planet.

  1. Being Outside is Good For You

As much as you enjoy helping the earth, you’ll be bettered by spending time outside with Mother Nature. There are so many ways that time spent in nature makes you a better person. It fizzles tension and helps you refresh your mind; being outside can also boost your creativity to new heights.

The even better news is that, because you love the earth already, it’s probably not that hard to get you outside. If you’re struggling to find an activity, choose one that makes the world greener and gives you the chance to be outdoors: landscapting and gardening your property landscaping and gardening your property with a mind to local flora, for example, can be the best of both worlds. Even if you live in a small space, you can always try growing vertical vines or tomatoes and beans to still benefit your health and the planet’s.

  1. Doing Good Makes You Feel Good

Remember those feel-good vibes we mentioned at the start of this piece. It turns out, they’re very much real and very much palpable. A study published in 2007 revealed that people who did good felt happier for it. In their study, it applied to doing good for others, but their findings still apply to those who stick to an eco-friendly lifestyle.

That’s because the results of the study showed that participants who took part in “meaningful activities” — which could very well include doing right by the earth — felt happier and believed that their lives had a greater sense of purpose. Pleasure-seeking pastimes, on the other hand, did not provide the same level of satisfaction.

So, those feel-good vibes you may have gotten from growing your own vegetables, buying recycled cotton clothes or shortening your shower time to three minutes? That sentiment was very real and very well deserved. Following an eco-friendly routine will not only benefit you, but your loved ones who live in the very world you’re improving. There’s no better reason to pledge your allegiance than that.



Emily Folk is a conservation and sustainability freelance writer and blogger from Lancaster, PA. Check out her blog, Conservation Folks, or follow her on Twitter for the latest updates!