Can minimalism help save the environment?

On the rising trend of minimalism from clothing to the tech designs, you can really see the appeal of people in having clutter-free space. Aside from the physical aspect, you will see more people cutting back the number of things they own (Hello, Marie Kondo). As for me, this is a pretty good trend that we should all jump in – having less is more.

But, can this trend help save the environment?

When I started going zero waste in 2017, I tried to find a plastic-free stuff for everything that I own. Toothpaste in glass jars, bamboo toothbrush, solid shampoo, etc. There is nothing wrong with those but, if you still have existing items at home, it is very important to consume them first before trying out new items. That is the concept of minimalism – living with less.

Here are the reasons why minimalism can help save the environment:

1. Low purchase = Low Impact

Living with less stuff definitely reduced my impact to the environment by just being careful of what I purchase. When I consciously monitor the things that I buy, I noticed that I also produced less waste. For example, when you buy clothes, there are a lot of waste produced before your purchase like transportation, plastic packaging, chemical dying, etc. I try to think of this while holding a piece of clothing that I think will match my shoes and ended up will not buying it. It is not deprivation. It is mindfulness. They may seem small but these factors create a big impact.

2. Less but the best.

If we buy consciously, we also buy fewer things. When we decide to buy fewer ones, we buy the best ones that will last for a long time. By doing this, we’re able to get get rid of stains and holes that immediately appear to cheaply made clothes. Less stuff but the best stuff.

3. Economics 101 (Supply & Demand )

60% of global greenhouse gases are generated from human consumerism. Our demands from getting more stuff to get inside our homes and lives require transportation. More transportation means more emission, and more of these means a hotter planet. It’s a ripple effect that we shouldn’t ignore.

Minimalism is a great way to save the environment — and yourself. With the growing hype of social media showing us to acquire things that we don’t have, it’s easy to set aside the consciousness of responsible purchase. But, even if you slowly do small steps into a more minimalist life, it will still create an impact to this world. The more minimalists humans that we have, the better our planet will be.

Published by Angel Mata

Angel is a teacher based in Laguna, Philippines. She is advocating for reducing one's environmental impact through waste reduction, vegetarianism, and second hand purchase.

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