Living La Vida LOHAS
Living in a world where our next purchase can be as mindless as washing dishes, it’s hard to consider the impacts each purchase we make has on ourselves and the planet.
In society we are overcome by a need quick gratification without considering the consequences. Whether it’s buying the chocolate bar from the vending machine at work made by a large-scale corporation to make up for a missed lunch or choosing to drive the three blocks to a meeting down the street, we decide to make the least informed decision. This decision is made because otherwise it would be necessary to think about any detrimental personal and/or environmental impacts it has on our life. Choosing to think about our decisions and the way they influence our bodies and our world can be a harder short-term lifestyle. However, by deciding to make more informed and better choices today we are able to change the future. This lifestyle is known as “LOHAS”, the Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability.
LOHAS began from the research of US sociologist Paul H. Ray, alongside psychologist Sherry Ruth Anderson. What they learned was that although society tends to separate the brain and the heart when making lifestyle decisions, there are a group of people who choose to use both their brains and their hearts. This combines short-term desires and personal values. These values may include personal health and well-being, social values, and/or environmental values.
The LOHAS lifestyle reflects interconnectedness between society, self and sustainability. Originally calling this group of people “Cultural Creatives”, Ray and Anderson released their book “The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People are Changing the World”.
The Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability has continued to grow as generations become more informed of social justice and environmental issues, and personal growth and accountability. Our societal ethics continue to grow and with it, people follow. No longer can society sweep slavery under a mat for years in hopes that it doesn’t slip out, nor can it pretend that our climate isn’t changing at an unprecedented rate. Across generations people are choosing to be healthier physically and mentally and choosing how they impact the world. Some may choose to move into a LOHAS community, such as LOHAS Park in Hong Kong, or perhaps simply deciding to drink fair-trade coffee out of a reusable mug. Some may take up yoga or meditation, while others decide to join a group such as Amnesty International. People are making choices to not be lazy and consumeristic, but rather to focus on long-term positive impacts.