How a Minimalist Lifestyle Helps Us Save the Planet Too
Climate change is scary. Sometimes, it feels too overwhelming to stay engaged with. And yet, with another round of Extinction Rebellion protests underway, it’s obvious that those in the know believe that attention is needed! So, where does that leave us? And, would adopting a minimalist lifestyle help?
First up, let’s go over the basic definition of minimalism…‘Minimalism is a lifestyle focused on living simply to achieve happiness.’
Sounds simple enough. But, what does a minimalist lifestyle have to do with saving the planet? In this article, we will run through the reasons why minimalism is a force for good, and not just for our own well-being. Stick around till the end to find out about Project Nord’s efforts towards minimalism. Here you go!
Minimalist lifestyles are the future!
What does having a minimalist lifestyle mean?
Let’s begin by talking about what a minimalist lifestyle looks like. As we mentioned, minimalism is all about living simply. And, that doesn’t just mean decluttering. This concept can soak through to every aspect of your life if you let it. Here are some of the ideas behind having a minimalist lifestyle;
Cutting down on the number of belongings you own so that you really appreciate the things you decide to keep.
Clearing your living spaces of clutter so you can truly relax, destress, and focus on the things that are important to you.
Making time for the things that matter, whether that be your relationships, the activities you enjoy doing, or generally enriching your everyday.
Stopping yourself from living absently so you feel you have more control over what you do with your life.
How does minimalism help the environment?
It’s easy to see how minimalism makes a difference to the planet, especially when it comes to consumerism. In a way, it feels as though the rise of simple living marks a return to how people used to live. Over the past hundred years, the number of belongings people hold onto has sky-rocketed. During that same period of time, we have seen the most catastrophic changes to our environment known to man. It’s hard to say these things aren’t linked.
Minimalism encourages you to think again and consider what you really need in your life to make you happy. It will be less than you think. For example, 8.1% of global climate change is created by the fashion industry alone. If we had more of a minimalist approach to our wardrobes, it could make a huge, global difference.
The same goes for the other items we collect which perhaps we don’t need. Are there any bits of plastic you have hanging around that just clutter up your spaces? It’s a good idea to think before you pick them up in the first place. When giants like Burger King commit to ditching plastic toys they put in their children’s meals, you know that something global is happening.
If you want to get an idea of your eco-footprint, then you can use this footprint calculator. It’ll tell you how many planet Earths you would need to sustain your lifestyle if everyone had it. Many of the questions are to do with the amount your consume. So, it helps put our lifestyles into perspective for us.
But, does minimalism help me save the planet in a deeper way too?
It certainly does; minimalism helps us live with purpose! As well as cutting consumption, it also makes us rethink what we spend our time doing. If we’re less stressed about material things, for example, we have more time and mental clarity for the big stuff. Saving the planet is surely the best use of our time, right?
Also, minimalist lifestyles encourage us to become more compassionate people. They help us think about the greater good, rather than quick fixes. It would be amazing if this could extend to the planet too.
It’s brilliant to feel like we have agency over our lives, that we do have some control! So, living with purpose, as minimalism encourages, makes us feel like we can make a difference. If we can harness that feeling, that motivation, we have a lot of power to make a change. It couldn’t be more important to realise that we can make a difference.
We can change The world if we change our lifestyles!
What minimalist exercises could I do today which save the planet too?
So, would you like some quick ideas to get you on the minimalist track? Here is a list we put together to prove that you can make a difference!
Research the companies you buy from
It’s important to check the Corporate Social Responsibility pledges companies commit to before buying from them. At Project Nord, we have a whole page on our website dedicated to our pledges. We plant a tree for every poster you buy from us, compensating for CO2 emissions as well as replenishing the trees cut down to make our paper. We also print with the most environmentally-friendly techniques in the poster making industry. As we all have to buy some things to get by, let’s make sure that those things are ethical, sustainable, and minimal.
Take a look at your wardrobe and work out if you own anything which could go to a better home
Having a decluttered wardrobe is so important if we’re to cut the amount of clothes we buy. It’s impossible to keep track of what we actually need if we don’t know what we own in the first place. So, have a clear out and fall back in love with clothes you forgot you had. Donate pieces you don’t think you’ll wear. And remember, buying second-hand clothes is so much more sustainable than buying new ones as you’re giving garments a second (or third) lease of life! So, think vintage before you hit the highstreet. There’s also a brilliant app called Good On You which lists how sustainable each fashion brand is. Check it out!
Practice taking better care of your belongings
Sometimes it's easy to mistreat the things we own. We get so used to replacing items rather than taking good care of them in the first place. So, spend a bit of extra time making your bed in the morning or putting your crockery away. Your belongings will appreciate it and they’ll end up lasting longer! Plus, it’s lovely to feel appreciation rather than taking our things for granted.
We really can make a change to the environment, especially if we make changes to our lifestyles. All that’s necessary is to believe that we have the agency to change the planet, and to act on that feeling. Adopting a minimalist lifestyle would seriously help you towards this goal.
Let us know how you get on with our minimalist exercises. We’re excited for change too!
Written by Jessica Slater
Images sourced from Pinterest and Upsplash.