Why Sustainability Needs Minimalists


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The direct correlation between sustainability and minimalism is pretty clear ― if we consume less stuff, we can sustain more resources and lessen the negative impact on our environment.

Americans are fantastic consumers, and it’s in our nature as humans to covet what we see. Advertisements are inescapable in our digital world. We’re now bombarded around the clock. And social media isn’t helping either, as we’re constantly comparing, judging, and coveting the lives and stuff our “friends” have.

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It begs the question, how much is too much? And more importantly, what is the true cost of this stuff we can’t seem to get enough of? As most Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck, living a more minimalist lifestyle can help decrease economic hardship.

That new, expensive dining room table your neighbor just purchased to replace another (that did its job just fine and didn’t deserve to be fired) may not have come directly from Borneo — but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t contribute to the pillaging of their forests and the displacement of native people indirectly. After all, that wood has to come from somewhere.



The problem is that it’s not about the table’s functionality. We could use four cinder blocks and a piece of plywood as a table. The problem is that we (privileged) humans use things, like that shiny new table, to temporarily fill holes in ourselves that can’t be filled in the long term. It’s like eating Chinese food and being hungry 30 minutes later. That table isn’t going to satisfy for long. Round and round we go.



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