How do minimalism and sustainability go hand in hand?

Sushree Behera

Minimalism and sustainability are not just terms anymore. They have become more like two sides of a coin that’s crucial for the well-being of this planet and the human beings living on it. There is a drastic increase in the population, and there are certain circumstances to keep an eye on. 

The increase in population is directly proportional to the consumption of natural resources. The more the population, the more the consumption and the less availability. Although natural resources are not quite scarce, they are still not abundant. That is why minimalism and sustainability are important to implement. 

What is minimalism?

Minimalism refers to a concept that promotes the idea of being happy with what one has without the desire for abundance. Basically, minimalism focuses on simplicity, elegance, and utility. 

Human beings recklessly use natural resources because they are never happy with what they have; rather, they are fixated on the extremes of everything. This attitude has led to a significant crisis of natural resources like coal, petroleum, etc. This hostility towards nature is also responsible for the endangered and extinct animals. 

To be a minimalist, one must find satiety with limited or just enough resources. If, in some cases, there is a greater demand, one must aim to plant more than he/she cuts. This way, there will be a balance in nature. Minimalism encourages simplicity and benevolence towards others.

Minimalists care about nature and do not demand more than their requirements. After all, minimalism should be a social obligation to preserve nature as well as save enough resources for the upcoming generation. 

Read more: Minimalism, is this the key to sustainable living? 

What is sustainability?

A detailed account of sustainability will lead us to a step closer to understanding the relationship between minimalism and sustainability. So, sustainability is a concept that focuses on maintaining an ecological balance by avoiding or reducing the use of natural resources. 

Many people find it very confusing and think minimalism and sustainability are the same. However, there are certain differences. Minimalism is being happy with whatever one has, whereas sustainability is reducing the use of resources to maintain an ecological balance. Though the ultimate aim is the same, the terms have their individual differences. 

Successful implementation of sustainability avoids any kind of disturbance in the distribution of natural resources among all living beings. Human beings have overused many resources, leading to problems like scarcity, extinction, etc. To counter such blind usage, sustainability came into play. 

The simplest definition of sustainability is fulfilling the present needs of human beings without cutting down the parts of future generations. 

5 ways minimalism and sustainability go hand in hand

There are a few ways to grasp the concept of how minimalism and sustainability go hand in hand. 

  1. Minimalism helps a lot in living a sustainable life. As minimalism asks us to live a simple life with limited possessions, this leads to a reduction in the impact we have on the environment. When one doesn’t ask for too much, he extracts less; hence, resource consumption per head decreases. This way, the balance in nature stays stable;
  2. Sustainability aims to maintain an ecological balance, and when someone optimizes resources, nature gets sufficient time to reproduce. This is a beautiful example of how minimalism and sustainability support each other. Giving time to nature to reproduce the natural products naturally will help preserve a lot for future generations;
  3. Minimalism teaches us to appreciate our basic needs and respect the restrictions. This makes people aware of the importance of every small natural thing. This leads to a drop in human beings’ recklessness towards the consumption of natural assets;
  4. Minimalism further teaches us how to use all the resources efficiently. This deteriorates the production of waste. Using a resource right away leads to less wastage;
  5. Minimalism and sustainability together save the wild, too. Animals and birds are great sources of natural resources, too. However, that doesn’t give them a permit to use them. Using no or minimum animal-based materials will result in the longevity of these animals. This will help maintain the chronology of the food web. 

Countries that implement minimalism and sustainability together

A few countries successfully use minimalism and sustainability to preserve nature and develop in an eco-friendly way. 

  • Denmark: The people of Denmark deliberately reduce the use of carbon-emitting gadgets and encourage afforestation. They limit the use of coal and petroleum to save these natural assets;

  • The United Kingdom: With an EPI score of more than 77, the UK is the second most sustainable country in the world. People used the method of minimalism to establish a firm base for sustainable development. The UK also controls its soil domestic fuel consumption and soil acidification. 

Finland, Malta, Sweden, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, and Iceland are a few more countries that used minimalism to achieve sustainable development.

Understanding how minimalism and sustainability can go hand in hand is very important, and these countries have successfully understood it to a great extent. 

Read more: The 5 greenest airports worldwide, great examples of efficiency and sustainability

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