With all the debate that minimalism sparks as being the trend of the privileged, it deals a severe blow to the modern era consumerism. Movements such as minimalistic fashion, the tiny-house movement, and zero waste inspire people to live more simply and mindfully and to question the relationship they have with their possessions.
Such minimalistic trends have a steady impact on the spending habits of their followers, making them consider the real value and purpose of each item they intend to use, thus bringing them a step closer to the ideas of sustainable living.
A story that we already spent all this years’ natural resources our Earth has to offer, such as clean air, water, and soil, and are now living on credit, made news on July 29, 2019. With the level of consumption we are accustomed to, it takes 1.75 planets to produce resources enough to meet the needs of humanity.
Still, there are some small steps everyone can take to live more mindfully and make a move towards a minimalistic lifestyle, and conscious sustainability.
Minimalism and sustainability are a state of mind. These two concepts make you take care of the Earth and its resources by not harming its natural and cultural diversity. Traveling, if not planned thoughtfully, can do a lot of damage to the environment. First of all, think of the carbon footprint we leave just by taking a flight to our destination, and all the pollution we make with packaging and plastic used during our journeys.
Still, if approached mindfully, traveling can be sustainable, and benefit the environment you are visiting. Here are a few ideas to begin with:
- Choose destinations which value sustainability and want to preserve their nature and culture.
- Consider your transportation; and if you have to fly, opt for companies which use biofuel.
- Look for eco-friendly accommodation.
- Shop at green markets and support local economies.
- Commit to not making any plastic waste.
Try to keep all these in mind when packing things you will need, as the less you bring, the more the environment benefits. Go minimalistic when choosing the clothes you will carry, learn how to travel light and follow the cardinal rule - never carry more than you’ll need for a week.
Avoid Fast Fashion
Humankind now consumes 400% more clothes than it did just two decades ago, while the amount of discarded textile has been doubled. With cotton production being responsible for 18% of worldwide pesticide and 25% of insecticide use, the textile industry is becoming one of the greatest polluters. We’re obsessed with fast fashion, and why wouldn’t we be? It’s attractive, affordable, and always trendy. No wonder this industry is blooming. But it’s bad for the environment, not to mention that we actually don’t need all those clothes crammed in our wardrobe. The only solution we have is to go minimalistic when it comes to our clothes too and learn to shop less but better.
This doesn’t mean you have to give up on your personal style and forget all about dressing up for occasions. To have your first ever minimalistic clothing experience, think about joining the Project 333 challenge, and see if you can dress with less than 33 clothing items in three months. It will make you look at your wardrobe in a completely different manner, and make you think about your clothes from the aspect of their true purpose, their usability, and durability. Donating your redundant clothing items will not be a hard task after such a challenge, and you will learn a valuable lesson on how to shop for clothes only when you need something, and not impulsively.
Good Habits Begin at Home
Living a minimalistic and eco-friendly lifestyle brings several things into your consciousness. You are starting to be more aware of and mindful about usability and reusability of the things you use, as well as shocked by all the waste you’ve created unintentionally, just by living the lifestyle you were born into. Your home is the first place to start making changes and acquiring new habits, so here are a few ideas you can consider:
- Don’t waste food. Approximately one-third of all the food produced around the globe gets wasted or lost, increasing the CO2 emission problem and leading to a great loss in terms of money and resources. You can make a habit of eating the leftovers, donating the food or repurposing it into fertilizer.
- Cut on your meat portions. Just by decreasing the number of your red meat meals you can reduce your carbon footprint.
- Shop wisely. When buying your furniture, think about its durability and functionality, and think twice before purchasing the latest devices and gadgets. Do you really need them?
- Recycle or repurpose. Maybe a zero-waste idea may seem dramatic, but the environment will benefit from every step you make towards recycling or repurposing things you plan to thrash, so mindfully throw things away.
- Avoid plastic. Get your own reusable bag for groceries, buy fresh food in bulks, and look for more sustainable packaging.
Still, try not to make a burden out of going minimalistic, green and sustainable, but move gradually, one step at a time. By focusing on every step you make and becoming aware of all the benefits it brings to you and your environment, you’re making sure that those changes are profound and permanent.
Written by Angelina Popovic
About the Author
Angelina Popovic is a writer, editor at TheGearHunt and an Instagram addict. She loves eating out, learning new languages, and spending time in nature with animals. Yoga and cycling help her relax when there are a lot of deadlines.
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