5 Minimalist Steps to Become More Eco-Friendly
Living with less waste and being minimalistic goes hand in hand very easily. You already reduce a lot of CO2 emissions by dedicating to a minimalistic lifestyle. But minimalism doesn’t mean you live with 2 shirts for the rest of your life. It takes a conscious approach to how we consume and buy goods. That’s why a lot of people even call it essentialism.
The benefits of minimalism are having more time and money for your own goals. Spend less time with thinking about what you should buy next. Instead, concentrate on the essential things. For instance, minimalism is important for us to spend our money consciously on products which avoid plastic.
Becoming a minimalist doesn’t happen over night. It’s a long process with constantly different circumstances. If you want to include a more minimalistic approach in your life, challenge yourself and don’t forget: The good things in life need time. You just have to use your time efficiently. With the following 5 steps, we will show you how:
1. Use a washing bag instead of a washing machine
Washing, drying and folding laundry is a recurring routine in every household. It costs time, nerves and money. But there are a few tricks to help you do business more efficiently here. With a washing bag, you save either money or time, and you also protect the environment.
Washing machines can be an expensive investment, especially when you choose the most eco-friendly model. Not only your bank account but also the environment can benefit from a washing bag. Scrubba provided a wonderful washing bag, that is a 145g lightweight alternative to handwash your clothes with only 0.5 to 1.5 litres per load.
All you need to do is follow these simple steps, which take 5 to 10 minutes:
- Collect the dirty laundry and put it in your washing bag.
- Fill the washing bag with your laundry detergent of choice.
- Fill the washing bag up with warm water to the mark on the side.
- Fold it up and close the washing bag with the shutter.
- Open the air supply and let out as much air as possible, without letting out water.
- Scrub it out! Generally, we tried to count our scrubs and did 50 to 100 per laundry.
- Et voilá, you can rinse out the remaining water in your laundry and hang your clothes up.
Our tip: After 6 months of using Scrubba's washing bag, we wouldn't recommend filling the washing bag to three fourth (3/4) of it's volume. Half the volume works just fine and you can use the remaining water for your next laundry.
2. Sort out your wardrobe
Does an overflowing wardrobe make your choice of clothes difficult? Stop it! Reduce your articles of clothing and choose which basics are appropriate for a small, easily combinable and fit in your minimalist wardrobe.
Regularly deviating collections, always new trends, fast fashion for little money: the fashion industry wants us to buy new clothes non-stop - even if we don't need them. The result is a closet full of clothes, of which, according to a Greenpeace representative, we are only wearing a third. 40% rarely or not at all.
Getting rid of this 40% (and not buying it again) would make sense because a well-stocked, minimalist wardrobe has several advantages. If you have a few items of clothing that can be combined well, you hardly have to worry about your outfit, saving time when choosing your clothes, money for shopping and resources for production. However, one challenge remains: what goes into the minimalist wardrobe - and what stays outside?
There is no ideal on what you should look out for. The choice is yours. If you don't know what your favourite items are, which pieces are easily combinable, and which items are of great quality, there is a solution:
Test it out. Don't throw everything away immediately. Minimalism is a process and not an action.
3. Reuseable instead of plastic
Our nature is suffering from plastic waste. Replace your daily plastic products with reuseable goods instead. For example: Take a bag with you for grocery shopping instead of buying a new plastic bag for every visit.
We already covered this topic in an eco-friendly post, which shows more reasons and great tips on how to ditch plastic.
Are you still missing aspects we haven't covered? Write a comment on this article with your tips or ideas and we will make sure to review it.
4. Use your own water bottle
If your local tap water is clean enough, fill your water bottle with it instead of buying new plastic bottles from the supermarket. Make sure to use BPA-free and non-toxic silicon.
How dangerous are PET bottles?
Pesticides, heavy metals, moulds - reports of pollutants or contaminations in food keep unsettling consumers. For some time now, a threat with new quality has become known: PET bottles (PET stands for the plastic polyethene terephthalate), from which we use water, fruit juices, sodas and other drinks.
The experts disagree on this matter. According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, there is no health risk from the use of PET bottles, since the exposure is (far) below the legal limit values in all cases. Experts disagree and warn of possible long-term consequences that are not yet foreseeable. Apart from that, some bottles are not labelled - PET bottles have a barely visible triangle with the code 01 on the bottom of the bottle, so that nobody can say for sure how they were produced and what substances are contained.
Hormones in PET bottles
In an experiment with snails, researchers found that PET bottles can pose a health risk. They let the snails live in glass or PET bottles filled with water of the same origin for eight weeks. After the deadline, the experts counted the offspring in the brood pockets of the animals. It turned out that the snails from the PET bottles had a significantly higher reproduction rate, which speaks for a hormonal load on the environment. The experts concluded that the corresponding substances from the packaging must have passed into the water.
How minimalism helps
The dangers could quickly vanish if the manufacturers used light glass instead of PET. Light glass bottles weigh just a third of the standard glass bottles. But a changeover costs a lot of money and so we have to decide for ourselves: glass or plastic.
Instead of using new PET bottles each day, make sure to use one bottle for every cold drink. Or even hot ones, but don't get burned. Glass and BPA-free silicone are natural materials, that don't harm you a lot and the environment even less.
5. Learn more from others
Sometimes, there is no other way around but copying what others do and learn from it.
If you want to learn more about minimalism, feel free to dive into the youtube channels of Matt D'Avella or Heal Your Living and get inspired with new ideas. Matt covers minimalism with short films and shows new perspectives on the topic. Heal Your Living has a more thoughtful way of including minimalism in their life. Surely both of these channels will give you new ideas.
Not convinced? Have a look into this short film of Matt:
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