A few months ago, I attended my first ever climate conversation. Climate conversation  is a local non-profit organization that aims to build support for climate action, one conversation at a time! It was an informal session where a group of us (strangers, acquaintances and friends), with varying views on climate change, came together to have a conversation about climate change.
A concept that I took away from my first ever climate conversation was the idea of personal enjoyment versus environmental responsibility. When we were sharing our struggles with environmental action, a friend brought up this idea and my eyes immediately lit up. She just put the issue that I have been contemplating about into five words.
When one thinks of conservation behaviour, frugality comes into mind.  This is no surprise, considering how our climate crisis can be attributed to human’s excessive consumerist lifestyle. However, frugality is often seen as arduous. This brings us back to the perception of how embarking on an environmental lifestyle involves sacrifices to our well-being or personal enjoyment. 
If so, then why do environmentalists choose to live the way they do? Well, this might be due to the different concepts of well-being.
Hedonic well-being: the pursuit of pleasure
Eudaimonic well-being: the pursuit of meaning
Our connection to our natural environment is likely linked significantly to eudaimonic well-being.  For people who derive happiness from fighting for a cause that is greater than themselves, the “sacrifices” of a pro-environment lifestyle may be a form of eudaimonic personal enjoyment as well. The positive relationship between environmentally responsible actions and well-being has been reinforced by various studies. 
When people find out that I am vegetarian for environmental reasons, many will ask me: why would you “restrain” yourself from eating meat? When I found out that I could no longer eat my favourite snack (gummy bears) as it contained gelatin, I questioned myself: why do I “restrain” myself from these simple pleasures? These “restraints” can be hard at times despite the scientific evidence on how pro-environment behavior can lead to improvements in our well-being. Why am I still vegetarian? Well, I know that my environmental journey will not be an easy one and I am fighting for a cause larger than myself.
To answer the question of personal enjoyment or environmental responsibility, perhaps we should ask ourselves: Are we in the pursuit of pleasure or meaning?