Costa Rica Tops the Happy Planet Index

Costa Rica is named the happiest and most sustainable country on Earth.

When we heard the news about Costa Rica outranking other nations in the Happy Planet Index, we were thrilled – but not surprised.

The Nicoya Peninsula here on the west coast of Costa Rica is one of a handful of known Blue Zones around the world, places where people live measurably longer lives.  In Santa Teresa, our day-to-day existence is marked by our connection to nature and to our community.  Our work is purposeful, our food is local and healthy, and our pace is unhurried.

The Happy Planet Index measures characteristics like these and more, including ecological footprint and inequality.  It is a measure of “that which makes life worthwhile.”

“… the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.” ~ Robert F. Kennedy, 1968

Hiking Adventure Costa Rica

Happiness, well-being, love, and health are among the most important goals of people all around the globe. These are the goals that drive this index.  Sustainability and the health of our planet are key factors, as well. The Happy Planet Index promotes a vision of a bright future full of happy people.

Surf, Sand, Beach, Costa Rica

For the purposes of this study, Costa Rica scores highly on the both the personal wellbeing and the environmental scales. Here are some of the reasons the Happy Planet Index attributes to these high scores:

  • Costa Rica abolished its army in 1949, and has since reallocated army funds to be spent on education, health and pensions
  • We have a culture that emphasizes social networks of friends, families and neighborhoods
  • We are a world leader in environmental protection, using taxes collected on the sale of fossil fuels to pay for forest protection
  • Costa Rica was able to produce 99% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2015

Howler Monkey at Florblanca

At Florblanca, we nurture our family of workers as well as our guests and our greater community.  We embrace all that makes life worthwhile.  Our ranking in the Happy Planet Index is encouraging and exciting, particularly for our efforts in sustainability which we have been growing continually.

The Happy Planet Index recommends 5 positive actions we can do everyday to live happier, longer, and more fulfilled lives.  These are values that we strive to achieve here at Florblanca and support for anyone looking to find happiness.

  1. Connect – your social relationships are the most important cornerstones of your life
  2. Be Active – being active works wonders for creating a positive mood
  3. Take Notice – be aware of what’s going on around you and around the world
  4. Keep Learning – stay curious, continue to learn new and simple things throughout your life
  5. Give – our generosity and compassion are hard wired to the reward mechanism in our brain. Giving makes you happy.

Thank you to the Happy Planet Index for bringing awareness to how our overall wellbeing can have a positive impact on the future of our planet, and for encouraging all of us to find happiness everyday.  Change starts now.

Here is an inspiring TED Talk from Nic Marks, creator of the Happy Planet Index.

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