Social Hedonism: Save the planet by having fun

Whats better that sex?

Whats better than sex?

If you want the world to avert climate change, you have to have fun. In fact you have to have more fun than the people who don’t want to avert climate change.

Hayley’s day job is working as head of Sustainable business for Bioregional. Hayley works with major retailers to reduce their emissions. These companies do this because they know there is a moral imperative to do it.  Where they have the most success is when the sustainable thing to do, the thing that makes their business less resource intensive, is also the thing that makes the operation more profitable.

This comes in the form of reducing their costs. Using fewer resources means their costs go down and they become more profitable. That’s not to say that there isn’t a moral imperative to reduce the impacts when it does cost business money. It just means that a company has the most scope to change when the change has a positive effect on their bottom line.

The same is true for individuals. We have the most scope to change our behaviour in a positive way for the environment when we can see that the change will benefit us directly. That’s why I believe that if you think it is important that we conserve the environment, then you have to conspicuously engage in enjoyable activities that have little impact on the planet.

There isn’t any distinction between living sustainably and living efficiently. Products are bread and experiences are wine. Unlike wine most products get worse with age. Like bread time courses them to become stale. They get scratched, superseded by new models, or simply break. Experiences on the other hand, give you the pleasure of their anticipation, and over time the negative parts fade from your memory and you tend to recall only the best bits. Experiences are better for the planet. A true experience, like dancing with your partner has no embodied Carbon dioxide. It might cost you time and money to acquire the skill but once you have it you will gain pleasure from that skill for life.

Westerners produce more CO2 than people in developing nations because we have more money. As a result we are more wasteful. That doesn’t mean you have to be poor to be good, it just means that to be rich and have a limited impact on the planet you are going to have to do something profoundly different from most people in the west.

We are tricked onto a “treadmill”.  Persuaded to buy things we don’t need, that won’t make us happy. They say the best things in life are free. No doubt, one of the most enjoyable activities in life is clearly sex. The reason for this is simple. Sex is an activity that stimulates us on many levels, and it stimulates all our senses. It’s free and has a negligible impact on the environment. The only problem with sex is that it is Taboo to talk about it. For some reason, we can’t tell people we just had some great sex, and hope they decide to stay home and have some great sex rather than, buying a sports car.

One of the motivations behind, buying the sports car might be that customers think that tangentially this will get them more sex. Which is odd when you think about it: Whatever a sports car cost’s, surely a more effective way of getting what you want would be to spend that money, on things that will lead directly to the desired outcome. For instance, spend money on someone you want to have sex with.

Even if you really just like going fast, surely the best way to do that is to by something cheaper that will give you the same sensation of speed e.g. a bike.

What I do is look for activities that score high on the five senses test. Please forgive this little plug, but I would argue that a Wine Ride scores pretty well in all five categories. You have the touch of the pedal’s, and the sensation of flying as you bank round corners, the site of spectacular views, The smell and taste of sparkling wine, the sound of good company and conversation and unlike sex you can post the pictures on Facebook.

If you do want to save the planet don’t wait for others to do it before you. A beaver doesn’t wait around for the valley to flood, it builds a dam. If you make an explicit effort to have as much fun as possible and waist little on things that won’t bring you happy memories, others will follow you.

 

Tell us what you think at: @WineRides

 

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