Unsustainable Consumption and a Minimalist Life
A majority of us do not realize the environmental impact caused when we consume products or services. Any product or service that is consumed affects the environment in one way or the other as contributing to climate change, depletion of meagre resources of the earth, loss of biodiversity, pollution, or water and grain shortages, etc. The effects of unsustainable consumption are costing us the earth, the place that all of us spend our lives in. More importantly, it is scary when we already know that the future generations also have to inhabit the same planet.
Sustainable consumption is all about providing a better quality of life for every individual inhabiting the planet. It is about reducing the use of resources, reduce economic and social costs, reduce degradation and pollution that happens during the life-cycle of the product and strengthen economic competitiveness.
Whilst this is an overall picture, it is difficult to tackle this problem on an individual basis. However, my efforts have been towards doing whatever little I can. Minimalism was the answer I got after my research of those individuals that started with de-cluttering their homes and further followed it up with bringing down consumption to a bare minimum. One can start with living in very small spaces, streamline finances to just spend on what they need, to reducing spending time with electronic media. A minimalist style of life saw me saving money time, and of course, the environment.
In my quest for a minimalist lifestyle, I started first by going through whatever I had at home. I then sorted the things I had, kept what was required and gave away everything else that was not being used. I dare to write below some useful tips that would work for anybody wanting to lead a minimalist life.
- Benefits first
Think of a minimalist life that would leave you with more money, more time, fewer hassles and more peace. You do not have to tidy as much and can spend the extra time enjoying with your family. It pays to spend less time cleaning the stuff that you can actually do without! This benefit is especially sweet because of the struggles that I had to undergo in the initial stages of going minimalist.
- How to De-clutter
Some experts that have already done it say the best way is to box it all up and do it in one go. However, you can do it in any way you want. You can just take out whatever you need whenever you need it. The easiest way would be to go through all the stuff in your house and find out whatever you need. This is perhaps the most difficult part of all. You cannot keep away anything that you love so easily. Sometimes you are overridden with guilt for having spent on things that did not use at all. There are clothes that will not fit you, but you are keeping them because you like them. You are sad at the items that belonged to a loved one. Emotions rule strong here and if you beat them you have won the first step.
- Do the easy ones first
Start by de-cluttering stuff that you are not emotionally attached to. Old paperwork is a good area to start with. Clean off stuff in the bathroom or start off with old and torn clothing. By the time you get to more emotional stuff like the bag of love letters you would have already gotten used to living without the things you loved most and it is easier to make a decision.
- Think of how to do away with the stuff, it is important
In these days of abundance, no stuff is worth anything. It may happen that it is not easy to find buyers for your stuff. Then it is important to decide how to dispose of your old things. It is best to donate or recycle as much as you can. Charity organizations are places where you can donate your boo, clothes, kitchenware, and furniture too.
As today’s environmental devastation is linked to our consumption habits, it is our duty to change what we consume and how we consume. Only this would help to save the world from the negative effects of unsustainable consumption.
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