Could the trendy concept of minimalism advance our efforts to save the planet? You may have heard of American authors and speakers “The Minimalists”; Marie Kondo, the author of “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”; and David’s Bruno’s Project 333, which introduces minimalist fashion. Minimalism is the idea that we should own fewer things and only own things that add value to our lives.
Most of the products we buy have been made using synthetic materials using copious amounts of energy during their rather short life cycle. Consumerism has hit an all-time high. Sarah Ripper at Uplift states, “People are buying 400% more clothes than they did 20 years ago, and the environmental impact is staggering”. Furthermore, it is evident that western countries consume far more than poorer countries.
Consuming less seems like it might be a reasonable solution; however, some argue that minimalism may only be for the affluent. Kyle Chaka from the New York Times says that refugees who have had past experiences where things were taken from them might put a different value on keeping things. Or even our grandparents who have had objects passed down from generation to generation will not so willingly get rid of things.
I personally follow a more minimalist lifestyle. I think buying less has many positive benefits, some which include saving money; purchasing more durable, high-quality products; and having less clutter in your home. In my case, it has also made moving across the world significantly easier.
Our society often places extremes on trends such as minimalism, which make it less appealing or more controversial. Society has portrayed “minimalism” as this extreme of living in an empty room with very few things. Minimalism, much like any other lifestyle choice, is whatever you make it to be.
Minimalism aside, I think a bigger question we must ask during this time of environmental crisis is: How are our products are being made? And how can we vote with our dollars? Buying less could be a step in the right direction, but we must also make sure that we are buying things that are environmentally friendly, durable, and sustainable.
Do you think minimalism is a potential solution for environmental change?
If you are interested in minimalism, feel free to check out these links:
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