Minimalism - A Susty Living Concept

As I work towards switching houses this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about what will go with me into my next home. I’m thinking plain walls and very little furniture and utensils. Stripped down would define my vision aptly. Many share my vision – it’s apparently this thing called ‘minimalism’.

Minimalism is a concept that has grown out of frustration from the gross consumerism and materialism that is now characteristic of modern times. An average person really has way more than they need – be it clothes they don’t wear, too many dishes that they don’t use, and just general stuff that gets thrown into corners and forgotten. But living with the minimalism concept is actually a good way to start being more sustainable because they have a similar underlying principle – being able to do more with less.

Living with less means little waste. And that’s so important. Globally, we produce about 1.3 billion tonnes of waste every year! That’s a lot of waste. OECD countries alone generate 44% of this. This actually fits the trend that the richer we are, the more waste we generate simply because we buy more…even what we don’t need.

So minimalism is a conscious effort to hold back even if you have the purchasing power to buy more. It means having timeless and high quality pieces of clothing which you don’t have to change with the seasons and which will last long; it means buying only what you know you can eat so that your food waste is next to zero; it means not having clutter which you are unattached to and will likely end up in landfills.

What about you? What examples of minimalism have you come across, or are you practicing?