Minimalism as an Indicator to Sustainability


Minimalism is way of living that will allow the people to realize the requirements for living a comfortable life. As there are no theorems to prove the definition can vary to understanding of respective person and community. It will help us to conserve resources for future generation along with it will reduce pollution to great extent. Minimalism also will allow healthy lifestyle avoiding excessive eating, needless luxury and most importantly to be effective. The unconscious consumption is leading great burden in human life, it is affecting several factors of Environment. Minimalism sometimes misinterpreted as spending less money, In fact, it is spending money on right requirement. Purpose of being minimalistic is to contribute to sustainable environment to conserve resources.

There are certain elements identified to represent minimalism as an indicator to sustainability and numbers taken from references not presented in this article.

Fast fashion

With the fancy to look a par with trend we are falling for multiple marketing trends by companies, we are buying clothes more than required. To meet the demand the manufacturing of clothes is being done in short time with less resources companies are degrading the quality of the clothes. It is affecting the environment in many ways and consuming excess of water. It takes around 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to produce just one pair of regular blue jeans. In countries like Bangladesh where there is high export of less expensive clothing, The tanneries release about 22,000 cubic meters of toxic wastewater into nearby rivers every day. Fast fashion not only emits 10% of carbon emissions from human but also pollutes ocean with micro plastic. Respecting minimalistic values will reduce tenuity to follow the trend and thereby decrease carbon emissions through clothes.

Over consumption of Food

Conscious consumption of food is helpful to body and environment. We are unaware of the requirement and consumption of food that is necessary for us. There are different reasons to demonstrate excessive consumption i.e., stress, lethargy and uniformed about environmental emissions. Excessive eating is impacting the organ failures and impacting 40% mortality rate . If we are careful about quality and quantity of the food, we can reduce up to 30% of greenhouse gas affects. Being minimalist is to eat what is good, not more.

The scarcity of water is also a problem that minimalism address where overconsumption of water is leading to lack of safe water for 1 in 10.

Abstemious lifestyle

Minute things we do in everyday life will have high impact altogether. Minimalism will attract people to contribute their fantasies for a better cause. It must be fascinating to live in big house, driving many cars and using number of resources, there are debates stating people are free to live the way they want to until they are respecting the legal rules. With due respect to everyone who have gone through to earn this luxury and prosperity, the questions are “Are we spending on right requirement”, “Is your luxury affecting the community and environment in any way “. Minimalism is not against expensive products, it is not for luxury impacting environment. Multiple gadgets, automobiles and luxury homes consumes lot of resources and creates social impact on people living in the community. Even after obligation to respect ISO 14001 norm and companies policy to recycle approximately 40%, emissions are growing as the global energy demands of the gadget sector will grow 7 to 20 percent by 2030. We reach a footprint of having 720kg CO2e per £1000 spent(approx.) On car manufacturing. Have large homes where high number of resources are used and constructions abandoned for long period of time is not sustainable way of living.

Growing desires of the society is proportionate to consumption of resources. In view of suitability, it is highly important to identify wants and needs. Living with principal needs is proven to be supportable to the nature and healthy for body and mind. This article proposes the practical parameters to consider minimalism as indicator like green electrons and footprints to measure sustainability. There are only few critical problems addressed above to align minimalism principles and explain environmental effects.

Pavani Buddaraju


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