From Slow Food to Slow Living: The New Green Lifestyle Trend

09/10/2009 06:06 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Meaghan O'Neill, the editor-in-chief of and I were recently discussing similar philosophies on what makes our personal lifestyles green, and came up with the term "Slow Living," a cannibalization...if we can play with words...of Carlo Petrini's vision with the Slow Food Movement.

Slow living is about living purposefully, consciously, thoughtfully. Just here, instead of enjoying the al dente fresh pasta pomodoro (and at the risque of sounding cliche), you are just plain enjoying life. And it's not an original idea: If you do a quick Web search it comes up on the site, which defines it in slightly broken English as:

Many of us, professionals and regular people, alike are feeling their lives are overly hectic or emotionally out of kilter, and are looking for ways to restore the balance. We are looking to leading a mindful life.

(There's even a Slow Sex movement, but that's another story.)

So what makes this green? When you are valuing quality over quantity, enjoying what you have, you are cutting down on the mega climate and landfill offender: consumption.

It's when we get in a hurry that we become wasteful: Say, for example, ordering take-out instead of cooking a fresh healthy meal at home (did you know a non-green lifestyle can actually make you fat?); not allowing enough time for public transportation, forcing the need for a cab; shopping without purpose or preparation (buying a sweater that really shouldn't be allowed in public or household furniture without measuring or taking into account your need); or rushing into decisions that force us to redo, remake, or reorder.

While it's great to have fashionable eco-geared brands in your closet (which fashionista friends will comment on, at a loss when it comes to guessing the label), it's just as great -- and sustainable -- to make a well-thought out decision to invest in quality, built-to-last style that you can wear for decades.

When it comes down to it, taking extra time to make each decision we encounter in life is not just good for the earth, it will also make us all a tad bit saner.