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Is minimalism much more than a trend? Can a more simple way of living help your efforts towards sustainability? Here 6 easy ways how a minimalist lifestyle can help you go green!
Minimalism became popular within the last decade as an interior design and fashion trend, but it’s so much more than that. Now people have learned to apply minimalism to every aspect of their lives to help them achieve their goals. It’s become especially popular in the eco-friendly world.
Sometimes it’s confusing to picture sustainability and minimalism. The application will look different for everyone, depending on your lifestyle. The good news is that it’s a super flexible way to live and adjust as needed, without compromising your eco-friendly beliefs.
Check out how a minimalist lifestyle can help you go green and start changing your life. With just a few easy steps, you can help the earth and reach your goals simultaneously.
1. Focus on Experiences
One of the concepts of minimalism is about focusing on what you experience, not what you buy. Instead of going shopping on the weekend, you might relax outside with your friends instead. You’ll bond with loved ones instead of buying more products that require resources that pollute the environment.
2. Banish Household Clutter
The typical American household has 300,000 items, from DVDs to dishware. Do you need every single thing? Probably not. Cut the clutter by getting rid of stuff you don’t use often. When was the last time you read every book on your shelves or wore every coat in your hallway closet? Rely on less to embrace minimalism and get rid of what you don’t need in eco-friendly ways. Recycle what you can and give away things like furniture or clothes that would otherwise add to the waste in your local landfill.
3. Think About Quality
Because you’ll buy things less often, you’ll want to focus on the quality of what you get. Research companies so that you know their products are worth the price. You can also find out if the organizations you buy from have green initiatives. They may pledge to reduce their production energy usage or participate in carbon offsetting — assisting projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions — to minimize pollution. You’ll feel confident when you spend your money because you’ll know it funds sustainable efforts.
4. Change Your Activities
The activities you do for fun may have a negative environmental impact, so reflect on them and change them to minimalist experiences. Instead of driving to the movie theater or the mall, go for a walk with your friends and family. You can use the time to appreciate nature without using non-renewable resources that rely on fossil fuels, like natural gas and electricity.
5. Buy Local Food
Anyone wanting to live a more eco-friendly life can buy local food. Buying local funds small businesses that have less of an environmental impact because they don’t need to use gas for international shipping or mass-produce plastic packaging.
Studies show that the shipping industry accounts for 3.1% of all CO2 emitted worldwide, with that number rising every year. Instead of funding an industry that capitalizes on fossil fuels, buy from small businesses or family-owned stores in your town. Every purchase re-invests that money into your local economy, so everyone benefits.
6. Consider Your Diet
Americans like to think big with their diet and portion sizes, but minimalists only eat until they feel satisfied. If you need to downsize your plates, you’re not alone. Even if you eat healthy at home, 92% of restaurants serve oversized portions of food to maximize profits.
As you decrease your meals from double-stacked burgers to salads or other healthy options, you’ll also reduce how much you eat. When you focus on meat specifically, your minimalist diet can help the environment. Meat production on factory farms contributes to nitrous oxide pollution, which is a harmful greenhouse gas fueling climate change.
Reducing the food you eat to normal portion sizes will make your lifestyle more minimalist and stop your money from funding the harmful meat production industry.
Start With Something Small
The key to successfully changing your lifestyle is starting with something small. As you adopt a minimalist lifestyle to go green, get used to the change with steps like decluttering your home or eating less meat. As you research companies and stick with those that have green initiatives, you’ll find the balance between minimalism and sustainability.