How we can contribute to helping our planet


Dear reader:

This article is not a guide on why being a minimalist is going to make you happier. Rather, it has been written to promote the principle of minimalism and provide ideas towards helping our planet. 

Some weeks ago, I went shopping with a friend with the intention of just purchasing specifically what I needed the most. However, I ended up outside the store realizing that I had done it again. I had succumbed to the sales without having been conscious about my money or the quality of the items I bought. My friend asked me what was wrong. I explained that I have been trying to become more minimalist in order to help the environment. She on the other hand claimed it was just a popular trend. 

Misconceptions around minimalism

Captured by Daria Shevtsova

Since the mid 20th- century, the concept of minimalism has maintained a popular trajectory in our mainstream society. It started as a post-war movement, then passed through the 60s and 70s as an artistic trend, leaving a mark on geometric shapes and lines. Today, it primarily shapes the fashion industry as well as home aeshetics. Inevitably, minimalism has evoked some misconceptions in our society, such as:

🙁 Minimalism is stark and barren.

🙁 Minimalism is for prosperous people.

🙁 Minimalists are vegan/vegetarian.

🙁 Minimalists don’t wear makeup.

🙁 Everything about minimalism is reduced to a white aesthetic.

🙁 Minimalists don’t own nice things.

🙁 Minimalists count their possessions.

🙁 Being minimalistic means limiting ourselves and sacrificing things that we could potentially need in the future.

However, minimalism is not about getting rid of all your possessions, but prioritizing them. It is a concept which brings attention to the value of quality over quantity with not just material things, but every aspect of your life.

How to contribute to making this planet better by inviting minimalism into our lives?

1.Reducing fast fashion

8,1% of climate change is due to the fast fashion industry: increasing pollution, water consumption, soil degradation, and the increment of greenhouse gases in our environment. Although the manufacturing of clothes is not in our hands, we can adapt by minimizing our purchases. That doesn’t mean however, that we should declutter our whole wardrobe or invest in expensive brands. It is more about the idea ‘quality over quantity’.

Being conscious about fabric types, buying from sustainable brands and second-hand stores, or even adopting a capsule wardrobe are all efficient ways of reducing fast fashion, money, time and, ultimately, stress.

2. Declutter

Science professor Cal Newport wrote a book titled “Choosing a focused life in a noisy world”. It is about how we can become digital minimalists and what the benefits of simple activities like reading more books, focusing on new hobbies, or developing new skills are.

The overuse of technology is not only impacting our beings but also our planet. Technological innovation is affecting resources such as carbon and energy, causing environmental and air pollution. Still, that doesn’t mean that we cannot reduce our carbon footprint as tech users. Climate Reporter John Schwartz suggested several efficient ways to reduce the negative impact of our high-tech world: for example buying second-hand items, recycling, reselling, and being more conscious about the lifespan of our technical equipment, so they don’t show up in landfills too soon.

3.Digital minimalism

Science professor Cal Newport wrote a book titled“ choosing a focused life in a noisy world”. It is about how we can become digital minimalists and what the benefits of simple activities like reading more books, focusing on new hobbies, or developing new skills are.

The overuse of technology is not only impacting our beings but also our planet. Technological innovation is affecting resources such as carbon and energy, causing environmental and air pollution. Still, that doesn’t mean that we cannot reduce our carbon footprint as tech users. Climate Reporter John Schwartz suggested several efficient ways to reduce the negative impact of our high-tech world: for example, buying second-hand items, recycling, reselling and being more conscious about the lifespan of our technical equipment, so they don’t show up in landfills too soon.

Being part of the change 

Decluttering and being aware of where we invest our money are certainly not the only ways to acquire a better lifestyle, but it is fundamental to practicing minimalism. Additionally, it is important to prioritize, and keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity. This simple switch in our mindset is going to help our planet and increase our appreciation for it. 

Being a minimalist doesn’t mean we have to be boring, vegan, or even vegetarian. It is about reducing unnecessary purchases and adopting the “less is more” philosophy in our life.

There are many more efficient ways to help our planet by practicing minimalism. At the end of the day, we are the ones who make the change. By educating ourselves about our planet, and by becoming aware of our actions, we are already making a positive impact toward a more sustainable world.

Join us in the global movement countdown launched by TED, to take action and reduce the greenhouse gases on our planet.

 

 

Header image credits: Percheck Industrie via Pexels

 

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