Not that long ago I embarked on my journey to minimalism and admittedly it was not intentional. I wanted to spend less money and de-clutter my space and low and behold, minimalism happened! Since then I have binge watched all the YouTube videos to help me organise my life and live more simplistically. So with becoming a minimalist at the forefront of my mind I thought I would let you know everything that I have stopped buying so far, and what I plan to ditch in the future.
By Definition: Minimalism – The act of living with and having less brings a larger sense of freedom.
“Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.” (Minimalists.com)
I really had a long thing about what I could live without and the main points that I focused on were improving my carbon footprint on our planet and focusing on living in a more sustainable way. I also wanted to rid myself of toxic chemicals and unnecessary items that society markets to us so we thing we need, when in matter of fact it’s just additional clutter.
WHAT I HAVE STOPPED BUYING:
Plastic Bottles, Plastic Bags, Plastic Straws etc.
All of the plastic ever made still exists on the planet today and extra plastic products such as bags and bottles are very unnecessary within my lifestyle. With it being the law within the UK to pay 5p for each disposable bag, it made sense to me to purchase a couple of 1 time buy reusable hexane shopping bags. It’s the same with plastic bottles; they are throw away items that are not supposed to be refilled.
We are advised to change toothbrushes every three months so that’s more plastic in landfill. I have switched mine for a biodegradable bamboo handled toothbrush.
Low Quality Fast Fashion and Trends.
I found that large retailers and fast fashion clothing didn’t spark any joy within me at all. I found most is low quality and trend just fly out of fashion too quickly. So I made a capsule wardrobe and focus my items around quality and ethics.
Chemical Ridden Cleaning, Laundry & Wash Products.
Over the next few months I am going to be ditching store bought cleaning products all together because we never really know what is going into them. Even “eco-friendly” products have a list of multiple ingredients that I cannot pronounce. But as for now, I’ve switched to cruelty free brands such as Ecover and Method.
Processed Foods with Unpronounceable Ingredients.
Since going vegan I focus what I eat around whole plant foods for optimal health. I just feel the best living this way and I love eating colourful foods, fruits, and vegetables. The ingredient list on most packaged foods is actually scary to me, they just aren’t necessary so I prefer to avoid them.
Cheap Jewellery & Accessories.
I am not a huge jewellery wearer in general so I gave up costume jewellery and cheap accessories years ago. I still wanted to give it mention as it goes alongside trend led fast fashion. Majority of the time it is bad quality, metal that tarnishes, and just extra plastic. If you’re an accessories junkie is this something you could give up? And instead, invest in a few high quality ethically made pieces?
Makeup & Beauty Products That I Do Not Need.
Beauty Youtubers and bloggers can really sell it to you as a viewer. Since clearing out I have cut down my makeup by more than half but baring in mind that I was not a huge makeup junkie to start with. Since I’m eliminating toxins from my products I’m planning on eventually getting rid of what I already own and swapping for all natural products that are 100% cruelty free and vegan.
Chemical Ridden Deodorant, Tampons, & Fluoride Toothpaste.
Hygiene products are surprisingly easy to switch. Admittedly I had to experiment with deodorants before I found one that works, and I am currently using Neal’s Yard Remedies Peppermint & Lime Deodorant (aluminium, paraben, synthetic colours, synthetic fragrances, animal testing & GMO free). Toothpaste is again, something that can be trial and error as we’re used to strong mint flavours that really foam whilst brushing. Also, we are told of the necessity of fluoride but it is so untrue [I will be writing a whole blog post regarding this topic.] Currently using Kingfisher Fluoride Free Fennel Toothpaste. And tampons: it is estimated that females use 3600 pads & tampons every 10 years which are all waste products that end up in landfill. I’ve switched to an Organicup.
Simply because I find them unreasonably uncomfortable. Also, weight fluctuations is so common that I was growing and shrinking out of my bras consistently with every measurement being different. They are also so expensive and I found them unnecessary.
WHAT I PLAN TO DITCH:
All Plastic Wrapping/Packaging on Food Items.
This sounds like a bold claim but even large supermarkets sell single item produce. But fruit and vegetable produce would be the easy part and other items such as rice and lentils will be more tricky. It is a cheaper option to buy packaged free items as 15% of the cost is just to cover the cost of the packaging!
Beauty Product Packaging Where Possible; DIY Products.
Again, another bold claim but definitely not impossible. I guess not buying excess and unnecessary beauty products will limit the packaging anyway but making the switch to DIY packaging is a way to save money and use less plastic. However, even the ingredients for DIYing products have packaging so this is something I will be researching deeper into.
Store Bought & Chemical Loaded Cleaning Products; DIY Products.
Switching to eco-friendly cleaning products is one thing, but DIYing those cleaning products is another. This is just a safe way of knowing what is actually in the products and general household ingredients can be great to clean away grime too e.g. bicarbonate soda, white vinegar, essential oils etc.
Again, another waste plastic item that fills up the landfill and are actually quite expensive in the long run. I’m on the search for an eco-friendly option.
Non Organic Foods.
Another bold claim and also an option that can seem more expensive. However, to shop organic is obviously better for our health and we aren’t eating a host of pesticides and it is also better for the environment. It definitely isn’t essential but just something I am thinking of trying.
Books That I Don’t Get Around to Reading.
I have over 100 books in my amazon “saved for later” basket and a stack of books on my shelf that I have bought and not even read yet. So I am putting a ban on buying books for myself until I have read all of the books that I own, which will probably take me around a year!
Unnatural Hair Products Including Hair dye.
I have been dyeing my hair since I was about 13 and have had the same dark brunette Garnier Olia hair colours for almost 5 years now so stopping dyeing my hair is a bold move. I can’t even remember how I looked with my natural hair colour or even what my natural hair colour actually is. That’s one of the reasons I’m considering stopping with the dyes. As well as how I don’t want to put those chemicals on my head anymore.