Good News: Week 10

This week, we applauded British Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to create a national happiness index, and also found the happiest man in America. Need a reinvigorating weekend getaway? We found 14 easy options. Planning a longer vacation? Visit one of the world’s leading ethical travel destinations. Stuck at home? Travel virtually, hike the Appalachian Trail in five minutes. We also pondered the ethics of wool, which turns out to be more complex than we had thought.

HEALTH & HAPPINESS: Happynomics— In Britian, Measuring Emotional vs Finanical Prosperity
The Brits don’t go in much for happiness. Stiff upper lip is more the thing, and a good laugh if warranted. Trying to be happy just seems like piffle to a practical people. Undeterred, Prime Minister David Cameron has decided to create a national happiness index providing quarterly measures of how folks feel. His foray into “happynomics” has prompted a deluge of criticism — “woolly-headed distraction” was a mild commentary — at a time when Brits face a year of cuts in everything from public-sector jobs to child benefits. The consensus seems to be that Cameron is going touchy-feely because in reality he’s wielding an ax.
The Happynomics of Life, by Roger Cohen, The New York Times

THE GOOD LIFE: The Happiest Man in America
For the last three years, Gallup has called 1,000 randomly selected American adults each day and asked them about their emotional status, work satisfaction, eating habits, illnesses, stress levels and other indicators of their quality of life. It’s part of an effort to measure the components of “the good life.” The responses are plugged into a formula, called the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, and then sorted by geographic area and other demographic criteria. The accompanying maps show where well-being is highest and lowest around the country.
Discovered: The Happiest Man in America, by Catherine Rampell, The New York Times

EXPLORATION: Hiking the Appalachian Trail in Five Minutes
Richmond, Virginia, resident Kevin Gallagher spent half of 2005, his first year out of college, traversing all 2,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail, beginning in Georgia and ending in Mount Katahdin, Maine. As if that weren’t impressive enough, Gallagher, a former film student, then condensed that six-month journey by using 4,000 photo slides he’d made along the hike to create a stop-motion film.
Incredible Video: A 6-Month, 2,200-Mile Appalachian Trail Hike Shortened to Five Minutes, by Cord Jefferson, GOOD

EXPLORATION: The World’s Best Ethical Destinations
Planning or dreaming up a vacation this year? Aim ethically. Combine your consideration of cute, eco-friendly accommodations, local eats and low-impact transportation with big picture attention to a destination’s political stability, social standards and environmental ratings.
2011’s 10 Most Ethical Destination Countries, by Jessica Root, Planet Green

EXPLORATION: 14 Easy Weekend Getaways
Forgot to plan for a spring break? Haven’t gone skiing yet this year? It’s March, people! Which means two things: You’re overdue for a break, and it’s not too late to plan one. Even if you just slip away for a weekend.
14 Easy Weekend Getaways, by Michelle Higgins, New York Times

SUSTAINABLE STYLE: Cruelty & Environmental Issues with Wool Production and Use
My mother is a knitter and my closet is full of her chain link necklaces, soft cloche hats and chunky cowls. I love wool, but since reading an article recently sent to me, I’m reminded again of the environmental and ethical complexities of this natural fiber we so adore.
Walking Away From Wool
, by Amy DuFault, EcoSalon

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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What constitutes the good life? It’s a question we’ve asked ourselves since the dawn of time and something we all strive for. To us, the good life is not a destination but a journey. We want to see more positivity in the world. Thinking happy thoughts makes for happy people, and happy people are more productive, innovative and at peace with the world. We believe in the transformative power of good news.

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