I’ve been thinking about the environment, and waste, and minimalism.
With Woolworths getting rid of thin plastic bags, the environment is on a lot of people’s minds. I’ve never been particularly unaware of environmental issues, but lately I’ve been more proactive in researching and trying to understand what the problem is and what the average person can do to help.
I’ve unfollowed a lot of Instagram accounts; mostly fashion bloggers, because I’m tired of being told to buy products to make me happy. Instead, I’m following some new accounts that promote non-plastic packaging, minimalism, and plants. (It feels good to scroll through and be attacked by plant photos.) I’m seeing information about bees and upcycling and clothes made in the right conditions – Instagram for me now isn’t brainless but intentional and inspiring.
I’m sure a lot of people have heard of ‘The Minimalists’. They’re two men who quit their successful jobs and got rid of most of their stuff. They asked themselves why they weren’t happy when they had everything that ‘should’ have.
There is a part of me that already likes things neat and decluttered, but I’ve never gone to the extreme lengths that others have. I have plenty of stuff. But I like most of it now instead of keeping items for the sake of it.
With minimalism, it’s kind of a pursuit for happiness. As a Christian, God is my joy, so I suppose I don’t declutter for specific happiness, but rather so God can be magnified. Less material, more Jesus. Less greed, less temporary comfort, less ‘my money is mine’.
The more I think about caring for the environment the more excited I get about sewing, or cooking, because I want to do more myself without buying pre-made things in lots of packaging. The more I want to sew something that lasts rather than buy something cheap that I’ll have to keep re-buying.
God created this world. He made it beautiful, and filled it with nature when He didn’t have to. Instead of being eco-friendly to be a ‘good person’, I want to do it because this is God’s creation.
Here are some small steps I’m taking:
// Sewing reusable cotton circles as a replacement to cotton wool buds. (To use for removing makeup or nail polish.)
// Washing my hair less. This sounds pretty vague, but at some point I want to stop washing my hair with normal shampoo and conditioner and go the bicarb route. (Baking soda? Bicarb? Same difference.)
// Only buying something if it’s replacing something else. And if it needs replacing – there are some products that I’ve used up and deciding not to buy again, like hairspray.
// Carrying a cloth bag in my handbag so if I do buy something I don’t need to take a plastic bag.
Where I’m at right now is taking what I can from minimalism and zero-waste. You can’t be either over night, and I think if you tried it wouldn’t last very long because you have to get used to a lifestyle. I couldn’t just throw out half of my belongings right away, but slowly go through them without replacing them.
Please note: I aint becoming a vegan. A lot of people I follow on YouTube who are environmentally friendly are also vegan, but that’s not happening here.