Simply put, minimalism means living a more simplistic lifestyle. Learning to live with fewer material possessions and valuing more of what you have and use is a great way to sum it up. Becoming a minimalist can help you declutter your life, but is it always a sustainable practice?
Studies have shown that being a minimalist has its advantages. You are likely to feel less cluttered emotionally when you declutter your physical space. Thus, minimalism helps with depression and promotes positive mental health. There are four behavioral representations of a minimalist lifestyle — cautious shopping, clutter removal, self-sufficiency and longevity.
The first step to becoming a minimalist is to assess your surroundings. How much stuff is in your space that you don’t need or use regularly? Take inventory of your belongings and begin pulling things out and making piles of stuff you don’t necessarily need.
Pay attention to the resources you use every day. Ensure you’re turning lights off when you leave rooms. Unplug items that you aren’t using. Turn your faucet off while shaving and brushing your teeth. Avoid running your washer and dryer during the hottest parts of the day to conserve energy.
Minimalism means to cut down on things. Sustainability refers to utilizing processes that are renewable and won’t damage the environment. Their objective is very similar — to preserve goods and resources. They just have different reasoning.
Minimalism focuses primarily on goals and family by cutting down on material possessions so you only keep what is necessary. Sustainability focuses on society as a whole and aims to eliminate waste. Minimalism and sustainability overlap beautifully and will provide significant change and positive growth for the community the more we collectively contribute.
However, being minimalistic doesn’t mean throwing everything you don’t want in the trash. Nearly 150 million pounds of waste ended up in landfills in 2018, creating pollution and harming the ocean. It’s crucial to find sustainable ways to recycle or dispose of the things you want to get rid of so they don’t end up damaging the environment.
There are various ways to incorporate minimalism and sustainability into your life. You can use these methods to reduce your waste as long as you keep at them.
If your closet is overflowing with clothes, get rid of them. If you haven’t worn an item in three months, donate or sell it. While going through your things frequently can help you cut them down, throwing them away will only produce more waste.
By going through what you wear, you can narrow things down to the essentials and provide someone else with new clothing. Make sure you’re giving away or selling what you no longer need to ensure it doesn’t end up in a landfill.
We all know that cloth cleans up messes better than napkins and paper towels. However, did you know that cloth is cheaper than napkins and paper towels?
If you were a family of four and you bought cloth napkins for five years, you would spend anywhere from $20 to $108. In the same situation with paper towels or napkins, you would spend at least $322 and upwards of $2,000 depending on circumstances like what brand you bought and the size in which you purchased them.
Additionally, using that much single-use paper isn’t good for the environment. Cloth napkins are a much more sustainable alternative since you only need to throw them in the washing machine to reuse them.
Glass tupperware is an excellent choice for leftovers. Besides the fact that 80 percent of glass is recyclable and better for the environment, plastic is unsafe.
Chemicals can travel from containers made of plastic into the food you store in them. If you heat a plastic container in the dishwasher or microwave, it is more likely to transfer chemicals. Glass tupperware is more eco-friendly, so ditch the plastic and find efficient ways to stack glass containers to maximize your space.
You don’t have to become a minimalist overnight to incorporate it into your lifestyle. You can start with these easy tips to reduce how much waste is in your home and the environment. Minimalism and sustainability can go hand-in-hand when it comes to saving the planet.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Newspapers, magazines, websites & blogs: run EarthTalk, an environmental Q&A column, for free in your publication...