Let me start by saying that my eco-minimalistic journey is ongoing, constantly evolving, and I’m not nearly where I would like to be. But at least I’m doing something, even though my steps are wobbly and clumsy, and my path is not yet very clear.
There is so much to do, change, learn, and so little time to do all that. But lack of time, the impossibility of knowing everything right from the start or implementing all the changes right away isn’t going to stop me from making my life more in tune with nature and Mother Earth.
I choose not to think about what’s impossible. Still, instead, I build on my small steps allowing my new consciousness to take roots while expanding my sustainable and eco-minimalistic lifestyle choices.
Since my initial steps were tiny, I’m pretty sure the doomers would have dismissed them as insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But those carefully planned steps I’ve been taking make me happy, less needy, more resourceful and empowered. I’m a doer, and lingering on the side-line, hoping that someone will finally give me permission to act, doesn’t sit well with my personality. So even if my actions might seem insignificant, if enough of us takes such “insignificant” steps, we will collectively make waves, and this is how the real change begins.
At first, my motivation and reasoning for changing my life was driven by the desire to be financially free and independent. However, for that to happen, I needed to critically look at my spending, cut down on all the genuinely unnecessary stuff and re-evaluate the number of things I wanted and needed in my life and what I considered necessary and unnecessary to spend and invest money in. I had stuff in my flat in London, my parent’s house in Poland and my apartment in Wroclaw. That is a lot of stuff!!!
However, since I began my eco-minimalistic journey, I haven’t thrown out or given away much of what I have, but I surely adjusted my outlook on life, and I simply stopped craving to buy so much. I was also able to finally see how much I already had, which was a clear indication that my inner happiness didn’t depend on the number of things I accumulated.
Giving away things that I previously bought used to be one of my “hobbies” and perfect escapism that justified my overconsumption habits. The less I needed of the material things, the more resources timewise and moneywise I’ve gathered, which, in turn, have allowed me to invest in the long-term sustainable solutions. Since January 2021, I’ve been slowly and steadily replacing the easily disposable items I use every day for sustainable, long-term, long-lasting options.
My current choice to lead an eco-minimalistic lifestyle is driven by my desire to leave as little carbon footprint behind as I can. Knowing that I’m actively changing my life for the better and doing my bit to leave our amazing planet in a less distraught state than She is at the moment is where my energy goes.
I also need to be a good example for my kids, who learn from my every action developing life-long habits. What I do and how I lead my life will impact the way my children will behave in the future. If I lead a happy, eco-minimalistic lifestyle, they will most likely lean towards similar life choices. My son has already stopped buying drinks in plastic bottles because he knows that it’s harmful to the environment, and it pains me a lot when I see single used plastic consumed frivolously. ( Disposable coffee and teacups, water in plastic bottles. All that creates very unnecessary trash that could easily be avoided. The most annoying part is that we have easy, at-hand solutions for disposable cups and plastic bottles.)
When we buy pastries at any supermarket, my daughter never picks up the paper or plastic single-use bag, only waits for me to pull out our linen bag. She has already developed that habit and knows that this is what we do, and it’s nothing out of the ordinary for her. Those simple examples I’m setting are crucial to shaping my children’s perception of sustainability and eco-minimalism, contributing to truly conscious living.
The future belongs to our kids, and if the adults, show them that doing things differently is possible, they will do it differently and live with more awareness and sync with nature.
The need to change needs to come from within the person’s own experience, which hopefully will lead them to positive change as it happened in my life.
As for me, I keep working on my carbon footprint, reducing general waste, food waste, getting educated and making my life simpler.
I can be geeky at times and get pretty excited when the sustainable solutions I found work—seeing that something works make me want to look for more sustainable swaps, which contributes to my overall level of happiness.
In my eco-minimalistic lifestyle, I need less, and I’m more willing to give and share with others. I don’t get stressed out about money because my need to keep up with the Joneses is non-existing. I don’t get excited about the newest consumers gadgets. I never did, but now I’m even more oblivious to those. I would rather thrift, re-use what I have than buy new. Organically and from within, my needs have become rather minimalistic, and I love it to bits.
Eco-minimalism suits me and is perfect for my personality and my love of freedom, which eco-minimalism offers in spades. Instead of spending money on stuff, I’d give away in a year or two, I can use those resources to do what I want to do, change my life, travel more, or help others.
However, saying all that, I’m not perfect. Like any human, I’m a constant work in progress, and I make mistakes; I get tempted and sometimes buy things I don’t necessarily need and sometimes forget that the second-hand market is pretty robust. I also have difficulty always saying ‘no’ to my son when he asks for something. But I’m learning, and he is also asking for much less than he used to.
If we want to preserve this extraordinary, giving, full of beauty planet of ours for future generations, we all need to start caring and looking at ways to find happiness without needing excessive amounts of stuff; and without slowly but knowingly killing the mother of all mothers –Gaia.