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People may think the happiest parts must be those well-developed countries. Contrary to popular belief, countries ranking high are those suffering from poverty, yet, they are scoring higher in life expectancy and environmental impact. Most of them are located in South America, such as Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela. It might indicate happiness does not depend on materials. Instead, reduce our carbon footprint to improve our happiness.

What is Happy Planet index?

According to the organization of Happy Planet Index, Happy Planet Index is a universal measurement that combines wellbeing, life expectancy, inequality of outcomes and ecological footprints of each nation in order to demonstrate the efficiency of residents in different countries to lead a long and happy life. The equation is shown below;

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Source: Happy Planet Index

1. Eat smarter

When you living to a place where highly depends on food import from other countries, you may not realize that you are actually increasing the “food miles”. The first thing you can do is to consume food grown locally, it can reduce carbon footprint up to 7%. Besides, avoid eating meat and processed food as much as you can, it can greatly lessen CO2 emissions. Indeed, it leads you a healthier life!

Fresh organic homegrown herbs and leaf vegetables background. Arugula, romaine lettuce,dill, parsley,  cilantro, green onion,basil, cucumber and spinach bunches on wooden background viewed from above

2. Utilize public transportation

As we all know, transportation is the largest part of the carbon footprint, it takes up to 28% of total. The most efficient way to reduce CO2 emission is to utilize public transportation to replace driving yourself, you can also try to replace it by walking or riding bike. It is inevitable to drive when you are living in a large city; yet, choosing a fuel-efficient vehicle will bring a positive impact to our environment too!

Multi ethnic hipster couple cycling along city street, Shanghai French Concession, Shanghai, China

3. Avoid to make unnecessary purchase

Living in a decade of social media marketing, you are easier than ever to access the latest shopping information, such as fashion, gadgets, travel and makeup products. You are tempted to buy something unnecessary just because it makes you look cool or under the peer pressures. At the end of the day, the production of consumer goods makes up to 26% of the CO2 emission. Want to lead a happier life? Think twice before you pay online!

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