Sustainability and Minimalism are complementary ideas that can and should be explored in tandem. The goal of minimalism is to reduce clutter in one’s life, which means reducing waste and consumption of unnecessary goods. Sustainability seeks to reduce the consumption of all resources as a whole to decrease impact on the environment. Both ideas result in reducing waste and the consumption of goods, which will help reduce your carbon footprint.
The main goal of minimalism is to prioritize only the products that add value to your life and to cherish intangibles in your life like relationships, health, growth, etc. This results in having greater mental clarity, fewer possessions, and more free time. Practicing minimalism is already eco-friendly, however, we can be more intentional by practicing sustainable minimalism.
Sustainable minimalism (or eco-minimalism) can help you improve your financial stability and live more purposefully while reducing waste. In this article, we will explore the benefits of sustainable minimalism and provide a few tips to get you started.
- You appreciate the small things more and more. You’ll become more aware and grateful for the things that surround you every day because you’ll be putting more focus on them. Living sustainably prioritizes your values and material possessions.
- You spend less money and focus on the things that bring purpose and happiness into your home. Saving money can help you achieve your goals faster, like putting a down payment for a home. Sustainable minimalism can help you achieve these goals and help you comfortably support yourself.
- You are helping the environment. By reducing your waste, you’re also reducing your carbon footprint. Excessive consumerism can come at a huge cost for our environment, and by actively avoiding to take part in it, you’re making the world a better place.
- You have more room! If you live in a smaller place, you know how important it can be to try to make the most of all your spaces. Instead of living in a sea of clothes, forgotten products, and unnecessary consumer goods, imagine living surrounded by objects that provide function, joy, value, efficiency, and meaning.
- You have more time. When you eliminate wasteful and unnecessary goods from your home, these also become things you no longer have to worry about. You’ll get to focus your time and energy on the things that matter the most.
Tips to Get You Started
Start small by decluttering a room in your home that you’re the least attached to. Evaluate the space and take note of your priorities, wants, and needs. Consider starting a possessions spreadsheet to document everything you own and sort them by room. This will help you be fully aware of everything you own, it will determine what products are necessary and what needs to be decluttered. If you can’t justify the possession of an item on your list then you know it’s time to get rid of it. You can start small by choosing a small space in your home like a bathroom or closet.
- Sustainable Swaps
Try to replace single-use products with reusable products instead. For example, instead of purchasing plastic razors multiple times a year, consider investing in a safe stainless steel razor. This will save you money and reduce waste. Here we have a comprehensive list of at-home sustainable swaps, but remember to only purchase what you think you’ll truly need. Avoid single-use plastic goods like disposable cups, plates, wrappers, straws, bags, and bottles. When going grocery shopping choose cardboard or glass over plastic bottles and bags. It’s easier to recycle and repurpose these products over plastic.
- Plan Ahead
Starting with a plan can be a game-changer. Plan your grocery list and meals ahead of time before going to the store. Plan home purchases and do your research before committing to a new product. All of these practices will help with being more aware of what you’re buying, and will help you avoid overspending on unnecessary products.
- Invest in Yourself!
Minimalism is about helping you focus on the most important things, and with fewer distractions and frugal items, you can now invest in high-quality products and experiences that bring you happiness. Self-care is doing anything enjoyable that promotes your mental and physical health. Practice it by finding meaningful activities or products like a Kindle, a mindfulness service app, digital courses, a gym membership, therapy, a massage, an art class, etc. Make time for yourself to be happy and healthy.
Remember that sustainable minimalism works differently for everyone. Take the tips that resonate with you and make them your own. Be intentional about the habits that you add to your lifestyle and the products that you purchase. Ultimately, sustainable minimalism can help lead us toward positive mental, economic, and environmental change.
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