Have you ever wondered how you can make living sustainably more efficient? It’s often the harder way of doing things, let’s be honest. By focusing on the Zero Waste movement alongside Minimalist ideals, I’m going to explore the ways both of these lifestyles support each other, as well as some of the aspects of each that are a little harder to reconcile. So the objective here, in a nutshell, is to explore the idea of a more responsible Minimalism, and merge that with a rewarding sustainable lifestyle, but one which doesn’t compromise the sense of wellbeing that the simplicity of Minimalism promotes. There’s a sweet spot that when the two are combined, provide an achievable balance that will essentially alter the way you perceive and interact with the world. Intrigued? Listen on…
I’m Nash, and this is How To Be A Minimalist (The Sustainable Way).
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Music: Charangos / LATASHÁ
Episode Five: Outcomes
This episode brings together what we’ve learned about combining sustainability and minimalism; despite the occasional disparity between them, they're a pretty great model for modern living. What I hope I've demonstrated is that this particular combination has the potential to provide an accessible and flexible set of positive outcomes for everyone, if approached with an enthusiastic mindset and realistic goals.
This, I hope, has been a journey of self-discovery. Finding out who you are, what your core values are are the most surprising and rewarding parts of taking a project like this on. By getting to the bottom of what motivates you, you can put them front and centre of everything you do.
Episode Four: What's Coming In?
Today, I’ll be sharing ways you can stem the flow of anything superfluous coming into your home. After all, once you’ve felt the benefits of downsizing your possessions you’ll want to keep things that way. This episode represents an important juncture in your journey. It’s the point at which you start to feel like you have control over things. Once the blinkers have come off and the burden of stuff has been lifted, it becomes easier to continue down this road. You’ll soon find after the initial sense of calm this brings, there are external factors that need to be addressed. How should you approach anything you purchase from now on? How do you deal with thoughtful and well-meaning gifts? What about junk mail, spam, official documents?
Episode Three: What's Going Out?
The question I'm answering today is, "What’s Going Out?" What’s leaving our homes?
This question can be broadly divided into two parts for our purposes, the first relating to responsible decluttering, and the mindfulness required to rehome things rather than discard, and doing so without creating a burden of stuff for someone else.
The second relates to the fairly unavoidable waste we create, which relates to items of regular consumption, such a food, toiletries, household goods.
By being mindful about what we discard now, we are ideally placed to ensure that what we bring into our homes from now on is done with an item’s lifecycle in mind, the longevity, the quality, its recyclability or resale value, how it degrades and so on. Thinking about this now with what you already have, will ensure a better more environmentally aware decision-making process in the future.
Episode Two: Stocktaking
Today's topic is stocktaking. It’s about evaluating, and goes a little deeper than decluttering, as it’s a moment that requires you to stop and take stock of your life more widely; we can never extricate external factors from our personal lives and our homes. I believe a big part of the desire to overhaul our homes to be more functional stems from a longing to live more intentionally. Modern life is busy and it’s stressful and I think many of us don't feel anchored at times and get swept away in it. We want our homes to be—in a best-case scenario—a kind of haven from everything else that's going on, it's about making space in our homes and our lives for the good stuff, but at the very least we don't want it to be something that adds to our woes. Decluttering is a great tool for that, as it gives you a clearer space to work from, but it also reveals a lot about you! And that’s the fascinating thing about it. By considering what our core values are, and the lives we envision for ourselves we can then consider how we can ensure that that process is as sustainable as possible, and how we can apply that to not only decluttering, but to our waste more generally, as well as looking forward into the post-decluttering phase.
Episode One: The Problem
Today, we’re addressing what I call The Problem. On the face of it, Minimalism and sustainability are quite compatible. After all, I found things like the Zero Waste movement through Minimalism, and it’s not uncommon for people to combine the two. But we can't ignore the part privilege and perfectionism play in these lifestyles. This episode explores these issues, and provide the foundation of the ideas throughout this series.