England has devised a formula based on all aspects of sustainability, including how people evaluate their own happiness: the Happy Planet Index. Living better, using less =
Long, healthy lives X Satisfied lives Resources consumed
Which countries do you think are happiest? Top of the most recent ‘Happy Planet’ league table is Costa Rica, with an overall score of 76. Belarus comes at 104th place, with a score of 36 – much lower, but still ahead of the USA. Some more examples of scores: Costa Rica, highest at 76 Guatemala 68
Colombia and Vietnam 66 India 53 Syria 51 Sweden 48 Saudi Arabia 46 Belarus 36 Russia 35 USA 31 United Arab Emirates 28 The lowest score is 17. You can see that there is not much connection between how many resources we use and how happy we are! So there is no reason to wait – let’s save as much as we can.
4.5 Small things are important (too) The good news is that it is not so difficult. At first it may seem that the things each one of us can do are really tiny, compared with the need. But actually, even the small things are important. There are millions of us. Millions of better light bulbs or recycled metal cans begin to make a real difference in the world. In Global Action Plan programs alone we have engaged more than 2 million people, and these are just some of their results:
Electricity savings 10–25 % Water savings 20–25 % Reductions in solid waste 30–50 % And there are many more organizations working to support a more sustainable lifestyle. You are not alone – WE are not alone! You can take action to live more sustainably: this is a kind of modern ‘hero’s journey’, a quest. And, you can document the journey and tell other people about it. For instance, by drawing comics…
A guide for leaders of workshops for comics for sustainable development