For many minimalists and voluntary ‘simplists,’ environmental concerns are at the forefront of their life choices, myself included. Until recently, I was under the assumption that most minimalists are environmentally concerned. After reading several books, only about half of the minimalists and voluntary simplists view environmental concerns as a major reason for their chosen lifestyle. Though 50% seems like a large percentage, we are in dire need of more environmental activists. Our world is in a crisis of over consumption of food, material possessions, technology, and natural resources. Until our resources are gone, we tend to turn a blind eye to the issue and assume someone else will fix all the ailments of the earth.
I have made the conscious decision to make a positive impact on our natural world, but I can’t do it alone. I want to share a few tips to help others make good choices for the environment. It can be as easy as switching out your shower head and as hard as maintaining your own garden. A list of eco-friendly decisions might be more appropriate than a few paragraphs of what others can do to help save our natural resources.
For the bathroom:
Mellow when it’s yellow (Gross! I know, but it works)
Take fewer showers
Shorten your shower time
Switch your shower head out for a low-flow one
Change out your bathroom sink faucet with a low-flow faucet
Reuse your towels
For the kitchen:
Switch out your faucet for a low-flow one
Wash your dishes by hand with less water
Use Fair Trade approved coffee
Use Fair Trade approved castile soap
Make your own all-purpose cleaner
Use wooden utensils, not plastic
Eliminate as much packaging as possible
Reduce your garbage by reducing, reusing, and recycling
Recycle, recycle, recycle (I cannot say this enough)
Buy glass containers whenever possible, not plastic
Start a compost (My favorite)
Buy locally (farmer’s markets!)
Cook your own food
Harvest your own produce
Raise your own pigs, chickens, cows, goats, etc.
For the closet:
Tailor and mend your current clothing
Purchase used clothing and shoes
Buy less clothing (help save children from child labor)
For the car (or lack thereof):
Eliminate your cars or go one-car-less (if possible)
Bike or walk EVERYWHERE!
Do all your errands in one shot
Be a tourist in your own city (this is definitely one I need to improve upon)
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many ways we can help the earth. It doesn’t just start in our homes though. We need to think beyond ourselves and start helping people that are halfway around the world. With that being said, there is no better place to start than in our own lives. So I ask you all to join me and save the only earth we have.