Attaining a Sustainable Life Through Minimalism

Mar 27th, 2018 | By | Category: Consumption and Waste

By Candela Vázquez Asenjo, youth blogger, Transition Earth.


Life as we know it is changing rapidly. The rise of new technologies, globalization, the increasing socioeconomic disparities and unprecedented anthropogenic climate change is resulting in a change in how we pursue our lives, some of it for the better. The challenges we face are leading to a shift towards a more sustainable, ethic, emphathetic and meaningful life for a growing number of people.

There is an awakening realization that our lifestyle has change if we want to lessen the detrimental impact of our actions and the corresponding disturbing consequences on the environment. There is an awareness that our actions and impacts have to be minimized and for lifestyles to change. Yet, in order for a shift in our global consciousness to occur, we still need to consider the happiness of each person. It is only when we are all happy and satisfied with our actions that a deeper and motivated change can appear.

Minimalism has been the chosen lifestyle option of many people, including myself. This “minimalism” has allowed people to discover a new type of life where simplicity and fulfillment meet. It is not about having few things, but rather, having the right amount. Having less allows room for more space, physically and financially, and to find ethical and sustainable alternatives that help us to minimize the huge carbon and human footprint that each individual is creates. Additionally, this free space can be used for sharing and experiencing moments that not just help oneself but many others, being able to do what you have always dreamed of and contributing to a better future.

Minimalism has been a useful mechanism for a shifting economic landscape, particularly for “millennials”. This young generation has found itself in an over-scheduled, wasteful, and consumerist society where rising economic inequality, high housing costs and oppressive student loans balances are serious obstacles for a more prolific and sustainable life. People have found themselves living a wasteful, distracting, stressful and disharmonious life, affecting not just themselves but also their relationships with others and society.

People are starting to be conscious about the positive impacts of cleaning the clutter from their lives, and are going further – to not just protect themselves, but also to protect their planet. In fact, Americans throw away at least 262 million tons of trash every single year. But where is all this trash going? Cities are building themselves on their own waste, and the most economically solvent ones ship their garbage out of their sight to other not so lucky countries. But even this is becoming more difficult. For example, China has moved to ban foreign waste. Now where can it be sent?

People are not happy living at the expense of others’ happiness and surrounded by a more deteriorated landscape and planet. Minimalism is not about getting rid of certain things, instead, it’s about moving towards a more sustainable lifestyle (see the website “Be More With Less”).




Minimalism is creating a more sustainable culture, where simplicity and getting rid of the excess is achieved by being intentional, fulfilled and focused on what brings joy. By cutting off excessive consumption and keeping what is essential, we are reducing our waste, our packaging waste, and consequently it is decreasing the amount of pollution that comes from our garbage and from manufacturing products that have an unethical, wasteful and unsustainable background.

Check out the Global Ecovillage Network for a list of places that incorporate a simplicity lifestyle.

Minimalism is not just a way of living but also a business. Though the market and customers are moving towards reducing overconsumption, the movement is still too slow and many people do not yet even know about what minimalism can do for the environment. Still, it is growing and people are realizing that life is not just about how much we have or how the end justifies the means, but that it is about going further, moving away from that line that has been drawn and scares us to cross. People are starting to know themselves again, and what is truly important. They are not allowing consumerism to completely take over their lives and instead are taking on a more independent and environmental-friendly attitude towards life and the planet.

Therefore, the main question is, will you be next?


Candela Vázquez Asenjo is an Environmental Management student at the University of Manchester, UK, and a Law student at the Nebrija University, Spain. She aspires to be a social entrepreneur, with a focus on international environmental problems.

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.