The Benefits of Minimalism
A sustainable way of life for the environment and your happiness
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The Benefits of Minimalism: A Sustainable Way of Life for the Environment and Your Happiness
Did you know we would need four planets if everyone lived and consumed as much as an average US citizen? But what if we did not consume so much? What if we decided today that we only consumed as much as we needed and did not further negatively impact the environment?
This "less consumption" idea, popularly known as 'minimalism' has been popular for a while now. When you think of minimalism, you may think of Kim Kardashian's infamous monochromatic minimal home with (almost) no furniture. However, this extremism might not be your only choice.
Japanese tidying expert and minimalist-stan Marie Kondo explains that living minimally is living meaningfully. This means living mindfully by decluttering your life and owning fewer personal belongings. By cutting a chunk of belongings you don't need, you will start to appreciate the ones you own. This will add a sense of calm and reduce stress in your life. Eventually, you can make more space for your relationships and make time for the things you enjoy doing and the activities that improve your life. In this way, Kondo says, minimalism enriches your happiness.
The Death of Consumerism
The rise of minimalism is the death of consumerism, which is no surprise. The demand for 'fast fashion' increased rapidly in the past two decades, taking the pieces of clothing consumed yearly to a whopping 80 billion - over 3/4th of them end up in the trash.
By practicing minimalism, you consume fewer products - you have less furniture and a capsule closet, buy fewer unnecessary groceries, and lead a comfortable life. By doing all this, you also produce less waste since you choose quality over quantity and recycle the products you already own to make them last longer. Thus, minimalism encourages you to live a more environmentally-friendly life.
The growing trend of minimalism also paved interest in 'tiny living' and 'tiny homes', which use about 45% less energy than the average home. Fewer materials are required to build a tiny house, less lighting and heat are needed, and the smaller space requires you to own less stuff - thus encouraging you to reduce your carbon footprint.
While minimalism is a choice and devoiding yourself of possessions might seem far-fetched, minimalism is a moral, environmentally-friendly choice. Minimalism is a sustainable way of life that is good for the mind and the environment. And if you aren’t ready to change your consumer habits, you can still make a difference by making small changes in other parts of your life, like taking the bus to work twice a week, reducing your shower time, etc. Give it a try!
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