One of the great things about living more sustainably is that you can also save money by adopting greener habits. One way to improve your ability to live sustainably, and to save money, is to adopt a few of the principles of minimalism.
What is Minimalism?
There are many different definitions of minimalism, but, for the most part, the main point of minimalism is to reduce the clutter in your life. This includes the material clutter of things, as well as the clutter in other areas of your life, such as continuous activities that make you seem “busy,” even though might really be accomplishing very little.
You don’t have to get rid of everything you own to follow minimalist principles. Two of the main principles of minimalism include:
- Get rid of what you don’t need/want: Are you willing to get rid of the things you don’t need in life? Think about what’s really important to you, and get rid of the things and activities in your life that don’t meet your priorities.
- Stop committing to things that don’t matter: Cluttering your life and your home with obligations that don’t matter to you can leave you feeling bogged down. Part of minimalism is changing the way you spend your resources so that you are no longer committing to the things that don’t matter to you.
Following these two principles can help you save money, as well as live more sustainably.
How Minimalism Can Help Your Pocketbook and the Environment
Just adopting some measure of minimalism in your life can make a difference in your financial situation and to the environment. First of all, when you get rid of what you don’t need or want, you clear up your living space. My husband used to think we need to buy a bigger house. But once we cleared out the unimportant clutter, the house seemed bigger, and now he’s happy with the size of home we have. Money saved — and a larger carbon footprint averted.
Additionally, the items we got rid of went as a donation to the local thrift store. We got a hefty tax deduction for the donation (in the United States), and the items were passed on in a way that prevented some folks from the need to buy new, thereby preserving resources.
The environment also benefits when you practice minimalist principles. Not only do you save money when you stop buying so much stuff, but you are also reducing the need for packaging, and the use of resources to create new products. When you aren’t always driving from here to there, frantically trying to fulfil commitments, you save gas money as well as reduce the pollution in the air.
Simple tastes in food can also help. You don’t have to go vegetarianism to adopt a more minimalist diet. Just choosing foods that are less processed (including meat) and more natural can help you enjoy better health (and save money on those costs) as well as help the environment. Natural choices in your food are generally easier on the environment, and choosing local food sources can also help.
You might be surprised at how much you can save, and how much more eco-friendly your existence can be, if you adopt a few principles of minimalism in your life.