Is having a minimalist lifestyle the key to a happier, more sustainable, and animal-friendly life?
My story with minimalism started when I realized that being vegan is not just a diet, but a lifestyle.
I have been vegan for about 6 years now and I started my blog in 2015.
The aim was to connect with other vegans in the community.
Through these interactions, I found that most of them have a minimalist lifestyle, and why.
In this article, I’ll teach you how to become a minimalist in 30 days.
I’ll also show you why living a minimalist lifestyle will make you a much happier person.
It’s A Lifestyle, Not A Diet
My boyfriend, Adam, was a vegetarian when we first started dating.
Nine months into our relationship and 10 years of no meat, he went fully vegan.
He never pushed it on me, but I was so intrigued by his lifestyle and compassion for other beings on this planet, that I went vegan shortly after.
At first, it just started as a diet.
When you eat vegan or plant-based that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a vegan.
The definition of Veganism is:
“A way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
But, in time we’ve both realised that veganism is another gateway to a more ethical being, leading to a minimalistic but very happy lifestyle.
How To Start A Minimalist Lifestyle
Having a minimalist lifestyle must start with your fashion consumption.
Personally, I have stopped supporting fast fashion, which is most of what I used to buy.
Every now and again, I will pick up something from a thrift store that may be from one of those places and I feel ok about wearing it because it is second-hand.
Also, I am more selective about shopping, in general.
This is hard when you really love clothes but do ask yourself “do I really need another top, jeans, pair of shoes?”.
The answer is mostly no.
But if I DO need something, I try and only buy sustainable clothing.
I think every person needs to do their due diligence into any product, be it fashion or cosmetics, about how it was sourced and where it came from.
No one is perfect but knowledge is power.
Minimalist Lifestyle Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive
It can be, but it doesn’t HAVE to be.
Second-hand shopping is probably the best way to be sustainable and it’s always cheaper than buying new.
Also, if you buy less, you save money, which is what the minimalist lifestyle is all about.
I am happy to pay a higher price when I know the workers who made it are getting fair wages and the brands are transparent about where the money goes.
However, it is better to start looking for ways to buy products that create less waste.
Products that are ethically and sustainably sourced, at a price point that doesn’t break the bank.
Minimalist Lifestyle Influencers/Brands To Follow
An absolute minimalist lifestyle influencer, who’s been vegan for 32 years.
Furthermore, he has a restaurant that gives 100% of the profits to charity and he has been working to help animals forever.
2. Elizabeth Jones
She is constantly out in the trenches doing INCREDIBLE activism work.
When you see what she’s up to, it’s jaw-dropping.
If only we all did that level of work, imagine what the world would be like.
3. Sophia Esperanza
Sophia is an influencer who I love.
She has this massive following and she uses it to promote veganism.
She is also ridiculously stunning and has incredible taste in clothes.
4. Animal Hope and Wellness
Is a rescue out of Los Angeles doing a lot of activism for animals, as well as trying to change legislation.
Videos of animal cruelty get sent to them, and because of their reach, they’re able to track some of these monsters down and have legal action taken against the offenders.
Lastly, they’re also going to disaster areas to help animals.
5. Logical Harmony
This is my go-to for finding out if cosmetic companies are vegan and cruelty-free, meaning there are no animal products used and they are not tested on animals.
Daily Habits For A Minimalist Lifestyle
Meditate every day and use the Waking Up app by Sam Harris.
Indeed, it’s such a simple thing, but can alter your day-to-day thoughts and behaviors and improve your mental wellbeing immensely.
It’s truly been a game-changer for me!
Secondly, ALWAYS try to have a reusable cup with you that you take to coffee shops, etc.
The other benefit of that is that you will usually save money on your hot drink too!
Most cafés offer discounts to people that bring their own reusable cups, as they know how damaging the plastic/cardboard cups are to the environment.
Personally, I’m also always trying to cut down on the amount of trash we make in our household.
We have a long ways to go but I’m getting better all the time.
That being said, always remember, progress is better than perfection.
Take it easy on yourself and just try to have a more minimalist lifestyle.
And do your best every single day!
Top 6 Benefits Of A Minimalist Lifestyle
The minimalist lifestyle is a way of living that gives you the freedom to enjoy life with fewer resources and cognitive effort.
In simple terms, it means living with minimal expenses, no clutter, mindful materialism, limited debts, and financial burdens.
People who follow minimalism or a minimalist lifestyle are known as minimalists.
They believe in getting rid of unwanted stuff both physically and mentally so that they can gather experiences instead of material assets.
There is no right or wrong way to practice minimalism.
You need to explore the concept and gradually keep what’s in sync with your personality and your long-term life goals.
Though it may seem like a millennial fad, minimalism when practiced the right way, provides enormous benefits:
1. Freedom From Financial Burdens
A minimalist lifestyle can significantly reduce financial burdens.
Free yourself from debt traps, wasteful and unnecessary purchases, mindless loading of shopping-carts at supermarkets, picking up stuff just because it’s on sale or cheaper by bulk, etc.
Mindful expenditure is a conscious choice made after asking yourself whether this purchase is necessary and whether it adds lasting value or true happiness to your life.
2. Focus On What’s Important
Clearing out drawers and closets creates more room and breathing space.
That means getting rid of things that don’t add value to life.
Instead, fill life with positivity and meaningfulness.
De-cluttering is an ongoing process of replacing and upgrading, analyzing your needs, the available space, and your own emotions.
Getting rid of unwanted stuff, including digital clutter, gives you the time and leisure to focus on essential things like family-time, hobbies, travel, quality purchases, relationships.
Things need care, maintenance, and security.
Reduce them to a minimum and enjoy the freedom from greed, attachment, and obsession.
4. Ending The Materialism Trap
In the age of consumerism, we forget that wealth and worldly possessions can give comfort, but they cannot buy happiness and peace.
We cling to things because of sentiment, competitiveness, guilt, or because we’ve forgotten about them.
When we give possessions their rightful place in life, we learn to be more grateful and less stressed.
5. Boost Your Confidence
When you are happy, satisfied, and content with your life, it automatically increases your confidence, self-reliance, and individuality.
The final aim of minimalist living is to create better relationships, a stress-free life, true peace, and happiness.
6. Improves Relationships
Competing and keeping up with the Joneses is a zero-sum game.
Once you opt-out of the race, you become more connected.
Good relationships are developed through shared memories and experiences.
Every day we are ‘told’ what to buy, how to look, what to wear, eat, or think.
Messages beam out from TV, billboards, radio, print, people around us, friends, and family recommending this or that product.
We’re promised that this is the ultimate object that will make us happy, fulfilled, beautiful, thin, smart, rich.
But, happiness and peace can’t be bottled, packaged, bought, or sold.
To find happiness, you have to declutter your life; living a minimalist lifestyle will help you do just that.