I’m excited to share a guest post with you by Emily, a blogger over at Conservation Folks. On her blog, Emily writes about environmental topics and is passionate about helping our planet. Today, she is going to help us understand how minimalism and a sustainable lifestyle go hand-in-hand.
Minimalism has been a mindset and lifestyle for me for some time, and I’ve found that it does cause me to intentionally (and unintentionally) live in more eco-friendly ways. The minimalist lifestyle led me to pare down my things to only the essentials, and I’m more intentional with what I buy, put in my body, and do with my time.
This is the fourth post in our summer series on how minimalism has changed so many people’s lives for the better. Each week we will be hearing from a different person who has adopted some aspect of the minimalist lifestyle.
Make sure to check out the other posts in the series:
I’m sure that you will enjoy finding out how minimalism can help you live a sustainable lifestyle. Emily’s post is so helpful with practical tips for that we can apply to our lives today.
Be sure to leave a comment to let Emily and me know what you think of her post!
How Minimalism Can Help You Live a Sustainable Lifestyle
One of the more popular things to talk about now is going green. It’s on everyone’s mind because the media is flooded with messages about the dangers of climate change and how humans impact that change. There are so many ways people can go green that the tips can be made to fit anyone’s schedule or routine. Even something as little as turning off the water while you brush your teeth helps the earth.
But for some people, little efforts aren’t enough. They recognize the environmental issues and want to change their whole life to focus entirely on helping the earth. These people often go off the grid entirely, relying on only themselves and the planet to help them get through life. They grow their own farms and make their own materials. It’s a big leap to leave a consumer-driven society, so that option isn’t for everyone.
There is a lifestyle change you can make if you find yourself wanting to reach a happy medium point. In time, you’ll be able to feel out if it’s right for you and what changes you need to make, if any.
Try living a minimalist life to give you that extra boost you need to reach sustainability. Read up on some tips for how you can do that without having to buy a farm. Given time, you’ll know if you’re on the right path for yourself or not, and you can adjust accordingly.
You Won’t Have to Buy Things
Sustainability is all about using only what you need and not going overboard with your actions or possessions. Minimalism meets that expectation perfectly, and you can get started today by simply buying less. An example would be finding how much food you need to get through the week and stick to that list, without buying more meals out.
As a minimalist, you’ll also find yourself cleaning out what you have and narrowing your possessions down to only what you need. After this, you’ll buy less because you’ll get used to not needing as much. This meets both the expectations of a minimalist and sustainable lifestyle, without causing too much shock to your lifestyle as you adjust.
You Can Eat All-Natural
People focused on living a totally sustainable lifestyle might grow and harvest all their own food, but minimalism makes eating easier. You can still go to your local grocery store, as long as you’re choosing all-natural products. You can quickly learn ways to eat clean and once you know what to look for, making your typical grocery list will get easier with time.
By not buying products made or treated with chemicals, you’re helping the earth by causing less of those harsh products to be used.
You’ll Save Money for What Matters
Minimalism is a great lifestyle choice for your wallet, because you save so much more money. By not constantly buying things like paper towels or fast food, you’re able to put your money both back into savings and into eco-friendly choices. You’ll be able to save it for what matters, like donating to programs that give back to the earth.
What you’re not actively choosing to put aside for future use will still end up being more money in your pocket. As a minimalist, you’ll be choosing to turn off lights when you’re not in rooms or use less water while you shower. Eventually, your bills will show that you’re paying less than before. The earth will be better off because you’re using fewer resources and you’ll feel like it’s giving that happiness right back to you.
Your Schedule Will Slow Down
Minimalism isn’t just about what you buy or eat. It’s also about what you practice in your daily life. It’s learning to say no when your schedule gets full. You’ll get more time to focus on you mental and spiritual wellbeing.
Instead of driving to another exhausting event, you can go on a bike ride or host a yoga class and save CO2 from being emitted. A sustainable lifestyle also has a focus on keeping emissions low to nonexistent, which is another place where it meets the pathways of minimalism.
You’ll Wear More Eco-Friendly Options
While you’re cleaning out your living space at the beginning of your minimalism journey, you might find yourself throwing out clothes you don’t need. If you end up needing to replace them, intersect sustainability and minimalism by choosing eco-friendly clothes instead.
You can research companies who make clothes that are kind to the earth, or you can minimize the harm of factory production by getting used clothes at a thrift store.
Minimalism and a Sustainable Lifestyle Go Hand-in-Hand
Minimalism on its own is a trend that won’t be going away any time soon. The picture-perfect clean living spaces that are plastered all over the internet are just too attractive to ignore, especially if you have a busy life that prevents you from being able to keep up with all the mess in your home during the week.
One of the benefits of minimalism is that it’s so close to living a sustainable lifestyle. People who focus on becoming minimalists are going green as well and often don’t even realize it.
Channeling a minimalist lifestyle could be what you need to fulfill your desire to go green without needing to make any radical changes. Sometimes turning off the lights or not using your car as long just isn’t enough to help you feel like you’re creating any positive change. Embracing the practice of minimalism is what you might be looking for, so try it out for yourself and see how it feels.
The simple concept of buying less means that you’re keeping massive production factories from emitting so much harm into the earth. Focusing on yourself and your wellbeing could minimize your carbon footprint, as well as your time and peace of mind!
Try adopting as much of a minimalist lifestyle as possible to see if it clicks with you. You’ll probably find that it’s easier than you thought it would be and better for you in the long run.
Emily is a nature lover and passionate about sustainability. She used to be a hoarder of old t-shirts, hoodies and keepsakes until she realized living in clutter was dramatically increasing her daily stress levels. She blogs about environmental topics on her blog, Conservation Folks. You can also connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Theresa Bedford is a syndicated freelance home and travel writer with regular contributions to the Associated Press wire and MSN. She helps everyday people love the life they have through simplicity, organization, and prioritization.