Why minimalism and zero-waste go hand-in-hand

If you’re new to either minimalism or zero-waste living, you might notice that there’s a lot of cross-over between the two. That is to say, many people who promote zero-waste or low-waste living also seem to be fairly minimalist, and vice-versa. This is not a coincidence! The two are a perfect pair. If you’re on your journey with either one of these, here’s why adopting the other might be beneficial.

A perfect match: why minimalism + zero-waste go hand-in-hand

As always, I would like to note that you can be on zero-waste/low-waste or minimalistic journey and not be perfect at it. This is a safe space blog where my opinion is that any improvement over a wasteful life is a good improvement. I also believe that minimalism itself has different levels and doesn’t have to be extreme in all cases. Just trying to be better about the choices in your life is a win here at oh no fomo.

Stuff is inherently wasteful

A large garbage pile
Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels

That’s right. It’s hard to be wasteful if you don’t have to stuff to waste. It seems so simple, but you’d be surprised at how difficult a concept this can be. We live in a culture of consumerism, and capitalizing on minimalism and zero-waste living will only continue as it gains popularity. I suspect that zero-waste or low-waste packaging will start to normalize more, making people feel like they can buy all the things again! Part of the zero-waste lifestyle, however, is realizing what you actually need and choosing wisely. This is especially true when considering the end-of-life cycle for each product in your home. It’s much less of a hassle and easier to maintain when you have less stuff.

The less stuff you have, the less stuff you have that will eventually go to a landfill

Buying fewer high-quality items supports both a minimalism and zero-waste lifestyle

A few, simple items that will last a while

Of course, it’s fairly impossible to just live on nothing at all. I mean, maybe you can, in which case, respect. Both the minimalism and zero-waste or low-waste lifestyles support buying fewer, high-quality items. That means you have one of everything you need. This also means that the products you choose are built-to-last. Use up the rest of what you have for now, and replace them with these products. An added bonus of combining the two is buying fewer, high-quality items that have a sustainable end-of-life cycle. That means, choosing recyclable or compostable products. Also by choosing products that can be repaired easily as well.

No room for duplicates

These sunglasses? I lost ’em. They’re probably in a dump somewhere

Part of a minimalistic lifestyle is getting rid of all the clutter so you have room for the few things you actually really need. By removing all the clutter and unnecessary stuff, the ability to stay organized is much easier. How often has this happened to you: you go on a trip and somehow, you’ve misplaced your sunglasses. Now, you have to buy more. In fact, you buy several just in case you leave another pair and are left sunglasses-less. This doesn’t happen on a minimalistic lifestyle! The idea is that the few things you have are so important to you and you are able to organize them and keep track of them.

Now, of course, I’m not saying that you can’t lose things on a minimalistic lifestyle. I personally lose stuff all the time. It’s more about being intentional about everything you own and taking better care of it. By being better about the few things you have and taking better care of them, fewer things will end up in a landfill. This automatically improves your zero-waste or low-waste status. We are so used to just shrugging it off and buying more of the thing we lost OR buying multiples of the same that we don’t even think about it!

Adopting either minimalism or zero-waste living makes the other almost automatic

By living your life either more minimalistic or zero-waste, you’re almost automatically embracing the other lifestyle. The two will inevitably have a lot of cross-over. It can be easier, however, to live zero-waste or low-waste and still have all the clutter in your house. By removing the clutter and paring down your items to fewer, higher-quality items, you will waste less.

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