Minimalism – Less is More

Minimalism is trending: Give stuff away, buy it used, buy only what you really need. But the group of people who try to use resources responsibly is still small.

To many, it seems like a daunting task.

You know … we don’t always have to go to an extreme. Even if you feel you are not ready to live autonomic somewhere in the woods – every bit counts. Doing one thing wrong does not mean we have forsaken the right to do other things right.

Once you start making some simple changes, you will realize how much better you feel. This week’s task is not just good for the planet, it’s also good for you. (You will find a download link for the graphic at the bottom of this post.)

Sustainability Challenge Minimalist

Basis task

Part with five items and bring them to a charity shop. It doesn’t matter if it’s a toaster you hardly ever use or a skirt that does not fit anymore. Sort out some stuff you don’t like, don’t need or don’t use. Home gym items are a great example for when “don’t need” does not apply so that I added the category “don’t use”.

It’s important that you don’t just throw the stuff away or sell it at a yard sale. If possible, check out a local charity shop, or thrift store.

Donate the items. And look around: thrift stores are not just for people in need. Have a look around. Something you love? Buy one single item that you like. Only one.

Use your network

Lawn mower, snow removal – there are a lot of things you might be able to borrow from a friend or neighbor. We don’t need to own every single item in the world. I might set you up for a whole new world of “he did not give me back my blender” (kidding). 
It’s more likely that it will lead to improved relationships. 

Buy second-hand/repair

Electronic items are especially harsh on the environment. Most people throw them away when they are in good working condition. Your provider might give you a new phone each year. 
Often we shop to fill a hole. Shopping to fill empty space is not working and only gives us short-term satisfaction. 
Before you buy a new item, consider: what is it good for? Will you use it? Does it offer new functionality you need?
If something breaks – can you fix it? 

How does it help?

You will feel better when you declutter. Once you get rid of things that do no longer serve you, you will realize how much they weighed you down. Does that sound strange? You will know what I mean once you start. 
A basic rule for clothing could be: Anything (besides clothing for special occasions) you did not wear for a year is useless clutter.
As for the environment: The longer we use items, the fewer resources are needed. In addition to that, less toxic waste ends up in our environment. 

Minimalist Checklist

Click on the links to download the graphic and a minimalist checklist: 
Did you miss the first three challenges? You can catch up here: 
Week 1
Week 2
Sustainability Challenge Week 4

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