It’s been a while, I know. But we have been through this a couple of times already, so let’s skip straight to the post shall we? 😀
Some of you might look at the title and go: oh dear, not another one of those minimalists. Others might go: What?! So if you feel like it, please continue reading.
You might have gathered, if you have read around here before, that I am a big fan of my lotions and potions. So much that when I moved to the States, at least 2.5 of the 12 boxes of all my worldly possessions were skincare related, and it kept growing. I bought stuff, I was gifted stuff by friends and family, and it kind of became a running joke with my family that I had enough to set up my own shop (probably true!).
At the same time, I absolutely loved travelling light. Each trip was a game about how little I could get away with packing, mostly because of the freedom that came with it. Being a short person and not one for lifting weights, packing a small bag meant that I could carry my own stuff around without having to have someone put my bag in the overhead compartment for me. So when reading an article about travelling hand luggage only, I came across the concept of minimalism via a blog called The Everyday Minimalist (the author now blogs over at SaveSpendSplurge)
In a nutshell, the concept of minimalism (to me at least) is this: Having only the stuff that you really need/makes you happy and ignoring the rest. And quality over quantity. Minimalism looks different to everyone, and that’s OK. Some people live with 100 items or less. Others don’t. Some minimalists have a family and multiple kids and so their definition looks different to a single guy/gal living out of a backpack. It’s all cool. Last year, since the Konmari craze hit, some of the more traditional, hardcore minimalists have felt that minimalism has become a trend. But hey, if more people are starting to value experiences over mindless hoarding of stuff, that can only be a good thing right?
So when I came across the concept a couple of years ago, I decided to give it a go, because I liked the idea of not having to worry about excess stuff and clearing up clutter all day everyday. I liked the idea of being able to save up money for other stuff like travelling. I wasn’t really a hoarder by any means (apart from the aforementioned skincare), so over the course of many months I slowly decluttered my clothes, shoes, random knick knacks and so on. To show my dedication to minimising, in the May of 2015 I announced to the boy that I wasn’t going to buy any new skincare until November. And miraculously I stuck to it! December 2015 I stocked up on a few things and was gifted more stuff, so in 2016 I went on another no buying skincare challenge where I wouldn’t buy anything, except for replacements of things I had totally run out of (toners, shampoo etc.) With about 2 or 3 exceptions, that is still going on. Turns out, I had totally underestimated the time that products last me, yikes!
Through all this you might be thinking, “So why haven’t you mentioned any of this until now?”. And honestly, it’s because I didn’t really think that anyone cared about how I was using up my face wash and had donated a few bags of clothes. So what changed? I came across the concept of zero waste.
Until this point, minimalism had been mostly something that just benefitted me. It made my life easier, so I went for it. Then it was obvious that it’s also good for the environment in general because the less stuff I buy, the fewer of the planet’s resources are being used. Excellent, now I was being eco-friendly as well. But the amazing algorithms of Pinterest sent me to a blog about a lady who produces about a mason jars worth of landfill waste a year, and down I went into the rabbit hole of zero waste lifestyles.
Broadly, millions of tonnes of plastic waste gets sent to landfills, leaks into our oceans, endangering vital eco systems. There are videos of sea turtles entangled in plastic rings from 6 packs of drinks. Plastic micro beads end up in the oceans and are eaten by fish that are captured and eaten by people. Plus how many times have you gone to amazing beaches, only for your views to be spoilt by stray plastic bags and other rubbish? The madness needs to stop.
While I’m nowhere near to reducing my landfill waste to the levels of Bea Johnson or Lauren Singer, I am making changes: slowly but surely. And I want to put the word out there to as many people as possible. I might be the most accomplished zero waster out there, but if I don’t share what I do, it would have less impact that me and everyone around me making a small change. So, I am going to start writing about my efforts to reduce waste. Maybe I’ll inspire someone, just the amazing (and growing!) zerowaste community on Instagram has inspired me 🙂
If you’re curious and want to know more, here are some great resources to get you started:
Until next time, Love, Me 🙂