Day 21: Practice minimalism

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What is minimalism ?

Minimalism is the practice of living with less. Everyone can have a different interpretation of what “less” means to them. The aim of minimalism is to downsize and declutter your space and your life to help you better focus on your real priorities. It’s up to you to decide what minimalism means in your life.

Why is minimalism good for the environment ?

In a 2015 study, researchers found that consumerism plays a huge role in climate change, that consumerism was much higher in rich countries than in poor countries, and that those with the highest rates of consumerism had up to 5.5 times the environmental impact as the world average. And according to a report by Christian Aid, “20% of the world’s population account for around 80% of consumption of global resources, and the world is consuming 50% more than is environmentally sustainable.” If everybody, at their own level, started practicing minimalism as a more sustainable way of living, it could have a huge positive impact on the planet. Minimalism doesn’t only pertain to buying clothes or stuff - it can be applied to any kind of consumption, such as food and media as well.

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Where do we start ?

  • Learn to say no. It can feel unnatural at first, especially if you are not used to turning people down. But do you really need these goodies, free giveaways, samples? It is important to think about the production and distribution process behind it, and the harm it’s causing to the environment and you shouldn’t feel guilty for saying no to new unwanted or unnecessary stuff.

  • Simplify your home. Donate or sell what you don’t need or use or enjoy anymore. Check with your city council which charities accept donations.

  • Waste less. Contemplate before buying. Do you really need it? You should consider all major - even minor - purchases before buying. Making wise purchasing decisions is key. When you absolutely need something new, make sure to find the right product: study the quality, value for the price, etc. Invest in better quality items that will last longer. Opt for slow fashion instead of fast fashion. Take the Minimalist Fashion Challenge - Project 333.

  • Consume less. We eat way more meat than we need. Introduce some plant-based alternatives into your diet and eat less meat.

  • Cut back on social media and spend more time reading, playing board games, going outdoors or doing any activity that doesn’t require energy consumption.

  • Opt for tiny living. Living in a smaller space significantly reduces your eco footprint.

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