What is LOHAS?
LOHAS is an abbreviation for ‘lifestyles of health and sustainability’. People who subscribe to LOHAS values are focused on their personal development, health and fitness, on the environment and sustainable living, and on social justice. Research indicates that 25% of adults in the USA endorse these lifestyle choices – an encouraging percentage but one that certainly has room to grow.
Family guide to sustainable living
Not just individuals but whole families can aspire to LOHAS. By taking everyday decisions they can make a difference to the bigger picture.
For example, personal health means looking after mind and body, and also looking after our physical environment – we all want to enjoy clean air and non-toxic materials in our homes, schools and places of work. We should all be aware of where the materials in buildings come from, and whether our energy is from renewable sources.
When we travel we should aim to do so in a way that minimises the impact on the planet. Whether it is how we get to work or school, or how we travel on holiday, families need to give more thought to the best, most sustainable ways of getting about.
Start living self sufficiently
So what can the modern family do to make its lifestyle healthier and more sustainable? There are a surprising number of options. To improve personal health, we should pay more attention to what we eat and drink, and how we take exercise. Are family members getting all the nutrients they need from their diet, and are individuals getting sufficient exercise in line with their age and condition of health?
The average family can tackle environmental issues by making sure products, including cleaning materials in the home, are organic or naturally derived, wherever possible, and that energy supplies are linked into renewable sources, as far as is possible. Families should pay close attention to fuel consumption and ‘unnecessary journeys’, and consider carefully what this means for day-to-day travel, and for holiday trips.
Inspire sustainable living
Take the family shopping and get the kids to check the labels on drinks and foodstuffs to learn about the adverse effects of some substances. Replace unacceptable products with more nutritious alternatives, and check if any individuals ought to take supplements because of their age or health requirements.
Exercise needs can differ radically within families, and whilst older people might enjoy digging the garden, the youngsters might prefer an interactive game that encourages them to move about. By ensuring the family is taking the right kind of exercise, individual family members will feel better and get fitter. Once a week, take everybody out for a walk ¬– this is a good form of exercise that normally works for all ages.
When tackling household do-it-yourself jobs, buy things like timber from sustainable sources and replace all the light bulbs in the house with the low-energy variety.
Buy car or rent car?
Finally, consider whether the family could make better use of bicycles and public transport, or if a vehicle is absolutely essential for some occasions, such as eco-holidays, is it necessary to own it – would a short-term car rental be better for the environment and the family pocket?