Did you ever wonder what it would be like to maintain a minimalist lifestyle? Would having less mean living more? While it is uncertain whether such thoughts have come to your mind or not, it can be said that almost all of us want to make a difference in this world – after all, the main reason we exist is the world itself. So, whereas, some lifestyles may provide us with happiness and luxury, minimal living provides us with meaning and depth – all the while reducing our ecological footprint on this precious earth. It is all about living life on a smaller scale so you can maximize your impact; having less but accomplishing more. So, if you are in search of a more fulfilling way of life, you only need to follow the habits below and you too can achieve a minimalist lifestyle.
The dream of owning a home is shared by all, and society views this as a symbol of success. That is why, if possible, many of us choose to buy a home that is larger and grander than necessary. While many would attribute it toward “future-proofing”, the reality is different. The prevailing perception is one of grandeur. But if you are looking to achieve a minimalist lifestyle, you should discard this fallacy and instead opt for a home that is sufficient for your needs. Even functionality-wise, there is much more that can be done with smaller spaces than one realizes simply by optimizing the place to ensure full efficiency. As added benefits, smaller homes are also easier to manage and use less energy to run.
Here is another great method of reducing emissions – if we went through our day and noted down the things we required, the number of items in the list would probably be less than twenty. We humans have a lot of possessions because we feel like we might need them. However, most of the time, this ‘might’ only leads to spaces being clogged with more possessions than required. Finding out the items that are absolutely essential or have sentimental significance would enable us to understand what we truly value, and stop us from opting to buy things that are not important so we can achieve a minimalist lifestyle. Here, the rule of minimalism is repeated again: the less one has, the less the eco-footprint.
Some foods leave more environmental footprints than others. For example, a kilogram of beef requires almost nine times more water to make than a kilogram of lettuce. The point is not about eliminating beef from our life. It is to minimize consumption to the extent that the enjoyment is still there, but the impact is reduced. It isn’t important to have meat every single day, and having it twice a week would keep you sated and appreciative of it as well. Reducing the demand for food that requires excessive amounts of water would help save planet Earth.
Do you or I need all the clothes we currently have in our wardrobe? With the right selection, 13 pieces of clothing can lead to over 50 different outfits used in different combinations. The textile industry not only uses resources that are straining the environment, but it also produces by-products and chemicals that harm the environment as well. Furthermore, the entire supply chain system built to accommodate the need for more clothes is not made to comfort our world. The energy used is not only inefficiently distributed, it is also a system where clothes lead to clogged-up drains and build-up in oceans. Reducing the number of clothes we own and extending their usage will help us achieve a minimalist lifestyle as well as make life easier for us as there is less to manage and it is for a greater cause.
While it is harder to do so in developing countries, it is not impossible. The three steps of recycling include – reduce, reuse and recycle. While the last one is probably the hardest one to maintain in Bangladesh, the other two aren’t. People often throw away things such as glass bottles or cardboard that can be reused or recycled into something else. Making better purchasing decisions can also help the environment. For example, buying a single glass or acrylic water bottle to refill and use instead of purchasing one plastic water bottle every single time is much more environmentally feasible. Not only will it be better for the environment, it will also be better on wallets. Replacement is more burdensome financially than reuse.
It is easier to believe as average humans that one person alone cannot make a difference. However, change starts with one action. Moreover, there are countless instances where one person began a change that caused a revolution. Taking the first step, even if alone, can spark a change that can sweep over everyone. So regardless of how difficult it may seem, take that step toward your belief and others will soon follow.
While it might seem difficult to achieve a minimalist lifestyle, it can also be liberating. It can be adopted with small changes, such as reducing purchases, and then slowly moving onto getting rid of things that are unimportant, or changing one’s eating habits gradually over time.
In the long run, a person can legitimately make a change that can save a portion of the earth that would otherwise be ruined. Multiply that by ten or more, and the impact becomes worth all the hard work.