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All I want is a slow and simple life . A life without unneeded stress and chaos . A life of joy and family . A life without the stress of materialism.
I’ve always known it wasn‘t “stuff“ that made me happy , in fact it’s always been the opposite.
It took my journey to zero waste for me to finally realize how little I actually NEED. Anything more than that causes me unnecessary anxiety and creates unnecessary waste.
Materialism is toxic for the mind and the planet . It’s a life I want no part of .
I have spent a lot of my summer minimizing my home and mind. Making sure everything has a purpose , donating items we don’t need , and learning what items are necessary in my life.
I’m happy in our small little home , with our cute little yard , and my happy little family .
I don’t want anything more.
Minimalism and the zero waste movement are very different in ways .
Zero Waste is about keeping what could potentially be used again to avoid waste , where minimalism is about getting rid of anything you aren’t regularly using to avoid clutter .
They might seem to contradict each other but in reality they both have the same end goal. A simple happy life.
1. Simplicity & Sustainability
One major similarity for Zero Wasters and Minimalists is that they strive for a simple, sustainable life. This means making lifestyle choices that reflect a life you love, and is easy to maintain without a ton of extra effort. The goal is to slow down and make room/time for what really matters to you and your family. That could mean simplifying your to do list or reducing the amount of “stuff” you keep in your home to clear your mind and save time cleaning. Whatever you choose, we all have the common goal of wanting life to be less complicated and easier to sustain.
“My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.”Francine Jay
2. Conscious Consumption
Consumerism focuses our attention on “stuff”. It requires us to want more, buy more, consume more, and replace more . (Things you already have ,that may be just fine the way they are!)
Both Minimalists and Zero wasters have no part in mainstream consumer culture. Instead, they place their focus on quality over quantity. This means being intentional about what enters your home/life.
Whether It’s to stop the demand for more (in order to save earths precious resources) or to just have a calm mind both lifestyles aim at being mindful of how they consume.
”The end of consumerism and accumulation is the beginning of the joy of living.”VANDANA SHIVA
We have been trained to think that happiness is found through our accomplishments and belongings . We are convinced we will finally be happy when we get the new car, house , or job.
Zero Wasters and minimalists are saying no to the pursuit for happiness and instead finding happiness in what they already have .
Thats not to say either group of people don’t work hard and strive to accomplish their goals . Of course they do . But they are happy and content while they do it .
Contentment simply means finding peace and gratitude in your current situation.
“Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.”Bilal Zahoor
4. No Rules
Both lifestyles have no rules . Everyone has their own unique opinion on what zero waste and minimalism are. That’s what makes them so special , they are a wide range of people living life how THEY want.
You can call yourself a minimalist and still have belongings. There’s no set number of items you are allowed to own to be one .
its a mind set . It’s about having items for a reason . Items that truly have meaning in your life .
Same goes with the zero waste lifestyle . It is a Journey. You don’t need to create NO waste to be apart of the movement . Instead you just need to do your best and be aware of the waste you create.
“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”Anne Marie
Though minimalism and Zero Waste are very different they attract people with the same core values. A life with less “stuff” but a life with more joy.
“Minimalism is not about having less , it’s about making room for what matters.”simplelionheartlife
If you want to start working towards being more intentional about what you consume be sure to take a look at:
5 Ways to Become a Conscious Consumer