Can you guess the biggest hurdle for people who flirt with the idea of minimalism? The potential loss of social status and fear of what others might think when they give up their status symbols.

A minimalistic way of life is not for everyone. De-cluttering and simplifying our lives, on the other hand, is good for every person. As in the first 6 weeks, we will look at simple action steps that can easily be implemented in your daily life.

sustainability-challenge-week-7

Less is more

Basic exercise

New season, new cloth? The newest smartphone? A better TV? There are so many material things we would like to have.

Take a minute this week and write down which items you would like to purchase. Write down everything you want to buy in the coming weeks and months.

When you’re done, move to the next step: Consider which purchases are necessary and reasonable. And which are not. Pick (depending on the length of your list) out a few items that you can do without for while or even forever.

Make a pact with yourself: “I am not going to buy these items in the next 6 or 12 months.”

Does that seem hard and full of privation? You will see: When you detach yourself from a material “need”, after a while many “needs” just go away.

And you can always treat yourself to the few that you feel you have to have.

Sustainable consume

Why is being a decent person so hard? None of us condones animal cruelty, unsafe working conditions, child labor and such. Yet, we “vote” differently most of the time. We vote with every purchase.

Sustainable consume is an alternative. If you are not able to resist the temptation, try to buy things you would have purchased “conventionally” in the sustainable or fair-trade version.

Organic instead of the discounter. Fair-trade instead of the sweat shop.

It’s understandable if you don’t feel like changing everything at once. Even if you just pick one or two items that you would have purchased conventionally and buy the fair or organic version instead it helps.

Just imagine only every 10th person would do that!

How does it help the environment?

The less you consume, the fewer resources are needed and the less waste you produce. Up to 60 different chemicals and metals can be found in some electronic devices.

Tons of pesticides are used for the production of cheap clothing from Asia. Especially cotton requires a lot of water. About 62% of fields have to be watered. If you buy less fashion, less water is needed – and fewer pesticides.

As you can read HERE, meanwhile, fabric waste can be found even in deep-sea creatures.

How it helps you

Clutter puts pressure on our souls and weights us down. Instead of dozens of cheap items that we don’t really love, we could buy fewer great items and wear favorite cloth every day.

And … isn’t it a great feeling to not support slave-like working conditions?

Where to buy responsibly?

In all honesty: buying organic cloth is more expensive than the conventional alternative. Often, the cloth is less fashion-forward as well.

A good start is Amazon. Just look at the brand of shoes I wear most often: They are high-quality but made from natural rubber instead of leather: El Naturaliste

My next phone will be a Fairphone. I am keeping my old phone until the Fairphone 2 becomes available again.

You can find out how your favorite brand ranks on the sustainability index and find some good shopping resources on the website of Rank A Brand.

The first challenges:

Free 10-Week Sustainability Training

Sustainability Challenge – Week 2

10-Week Sustainability Challenge Week 3

Sustainability Challenge Week 4

Sustainability Challenge Week 5

Sustainability Challenge – Week 6

 

 

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