Minimalism Versus Zero Waste

Minimalism Versus Zero Waste

What does it mean to be zero waste if you are not minimal and are you minimal if you are not zero waste?

We lived a zero waste life style for about 6 years – are we also minimalist, errr, nope. We have a long way to go. Are our lives aligned with minimalism, yes, for sure. There is definitely an overlap.

What Does Minimalism and Zero Waste Really Mean?

Do they need the labels attached to them? Do the labels themselves mean these lifestyle choices become unobtainable for many? 

  • Zero Waste – Focuses on reducing your environmental impact
  • Minimalism – Focuses on the beauty of less is more in lifestyle choices, buying decisions and environment
  • Eco Minimalism  – Minimalism through eco choices

Minimalism v ZeroWaste – Our Take…

In some hard core minilmists lifestyle, the person owes the bare minimum, the iconic beige, grey, black is a staple so that all the outfits go with any furnishings, which tend also be the same bland colour combination. Whilst this simplicity can be beautiful in it’s own right it is not the lifestyle for us. There are so many in between from extreme minimalist to living more simply. 

We love colour, we love things, art and plants and items bought from various worldwide adventures. But, we also love less, we love to own things that will last reducing our impact, having less stuff to tidy, wash and declutter is also a go to goal. So who are we? Are we zero wasters, are we wannabe minmalists? Are we neither? Who decides. Well, it my life so I decide what we want ot be and what we want that to look like. 

I’ve drawn up a list of the aspects of zerowaste we are drawn to and the aspects of minimalism that we are drawn to and the ones that overlap. You will see these in both lists.

Zero Waste

Reducing our carbon footprint > changing our habits to have less of a negative impact is something we are striving for.

Saying no to single use > single use is a modern ay convenience but the damage it is doing is irreversible if we keep going. There are very few situations where single use is a must. A smear test maybe. But everything else, really? Do you need to use something for a couple of minutes for it to live on the planet for 100’s of years?

Using our car less > the pollution caused by driving is high up on the list of contributing to a persons carbon footprint.

Finding another use for items > Sometimes things come into our lives and we don’t know what to do with them. Like packaging that can be reused like a mini hamper or basket, flower pot or sturdy cardboard box. In this instance we try and make use of the item for storage or repurpose. I often replace older boxes that are worn with any newer stronger rivals. 

Reducing products > the modern world has a product for everything, every body part, every household service, every part of your garden, garage, outbuilding. There is a product for everything, even all the things you haven’t even though of yet. We enjoy the challenge of reducing these to the bare minimum. In y shower, I have a bar of soap that we share, a shampoo bar and a shaver. That’s it. 

Composting > We were shocked to find out how much food is wasted UK wide so one of our missions is to lower food waste. Even though we use up as much of our food as possible, our compost is still full. We need to plant more of our one food to make use of it. We’ve not had much success with this. It’s an ongoing learning curve.


Living with less > For us not being suckers to the modern day consumerism makes us feel free. Free from the burden of needing things and having ‘stuff’. We buy with intent and often only out of necessity. We still love to have nice things but we just buy far less of them. The beauty of that is, when we do buy items we can afford better quality and from more independents shops or online stores. This allows us to create a collection that will be better quality and last much longer. Further reducing our impact and the quantity of items we own.

Minimalism

Reducing products > the modern world has a product for everything, every body part, every household service, every part of your garden, garage, outbuilding. There is a product for everything, even all the things you haven’t even though of yet. We enjoy the challenge of reducing these to the bare minimum. In y shower, I have a bar of soap that we share, a shampoo bar and a shaver. That’s it. 

Living with less > For us not being suckers to the modern day consumerism makes us feel free. Free from the burden of needing things and having ‘stuff’. We buy with intent and often only out of necessity. We still love to have nice things but we just buy far less of them. The beauty of that is, when we do buy items we can afford better quality and from more independents shops or online stores. This allows us to create a collection that will be better quality and last much longer. Further reducing our impact and the quantity of items we own.

Not owning things for the sake of it > Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful  -William Morris

This will forever be one of my favourite quotes, it sums up exactly what we should or should not own in one powerful sentence. Written in an era where single use was not an issue, where fast fashion did not exist and when Amazon did not deliver whatever you wanted the next day – it proves that as humans we have always perhaps been leaning towards having or owning more than we need or desire. 

We aim to work towards this and as we declutter our home we keep this in mind. We don’t want to live in a home without things we love and have the bare minimum but equally we don’t need nor want a house stuffed full with pointless unloved items.

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