Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Minimalism - 10 things I don't buy anymore

Minimalism means something different to everyone and while I would not call myself a minimalist just yet, I try to apply a minimalist eye and mind to my lifestyle. I hope to get to the point one day where I am only surrounded by objects that serve me and/or bring me joy. I am definitely not at that point yet, but striving for a simpler lifestyle has already changed my life quite drastically in the past two years.
One aspect of this has been the decluttering part of it. I have gotten rid of an incredible amount of things over the last months and years. The other aspect of living more simply for me has been to be really mindful when it comes to what I bring into my life now. I have always been a conscious consumer in many aspects, but with everything I know now it has just gotten to a whole other level. With that being said, let me share with you some items or products I don't purchase anymore:

1. Plastic bags
Let's start with an obvious one. Humans produce five trillion Plastic Bags a year. That's 5,000,000,000,000! Or 160,000 bags that are used every second!  I haven't purchased or used free plastic bags in years. I bring my own bags with me whenever I go shopping, I especially don't use single-use plastic bags for produce and if I ever need to get or use a plastic bag, I will use it over and over again until it literally falls apart.

2. Bottled water
Like plastic bags, we use an insane amount of plastic water bottles every year. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that 50 million Water Bottles are thrown away EVERY DAY!  I just have a reusable water bottle and take that with me whenever I go out.

3. Coffee to go
Making your own coffee is a lot cheaper and better for the environment than getting coffee to go in a paper or plastic cup. I make my own coffee at home using a French Press or a simple coffee maker for filtered coffee. If I ever want to get coffee on the run, I bring my own mug and let them fill the coffee in that. Here in Germany, lot's of places even charge less if you bring in your own cup!

4. Newspapers, magazines and paper books
I've had an e-reader for many years now and while I still own a few books, I do not purchase any more paper copies of them. I might pick up a used book at a thrift store a couple of times a year if I've been looking for that one for a while, but in general all newspaper, magazines and books I read are on my e-reader.

5. Hardcopies of DVDs, music or games
Just like with books, I don't purchase any hardcopies of CDs or DVDs anymore. With netflix, youtube, spotify and games I can download online, no films, games or music have to occupy physical space in my life any more.

6. Cable TV
I haven't watched TV in years. I do have a netflix account and will occasionally binge-watch some of my favorite shows, but that's all the TV I watch. No cable or pay-per-view necessary.

7. New clothes
Except for underwear, I get all of my clothes second-hand, whether that be at thrift stores, online, through friends and family or at my local swap store. I've been doing this for around three years and so far haven't had any problems finding the items I needed or wanted. 

8. Hair dye, spray, foam, gel or hair cuts
I haven't dyed my hair in a few years, I recently started cutting it myself and I don't use any products in it. I've never been someone who styled her hair a lot and I just feel that my hair is healthier and my life easier if I just don't use any of these extra products.

9. Nail polish
This falls into a similar category. I've never worn lots of nail polish, mostly because I've been working in the service industry for the past ten or so years and it's just not that appropriate to wear bright nailpolish in that profession. But in the last few years, I've completely stopped wearing nailpolish even on my toes and it just feels right this way.

10. Period products 
I just recently got a menstrual cup and don't have to buy tampons or pads anymore. It took a while getting used to and figuring it out, but now I love it and would never go back! Saves so much money in the long run and I produce no more trash while on my period. 

These are some of the things I no longer purchase. Ask away if these brought up any questions or if you have any suggestions. I will probably do a follow-up soon, as there are at least ten more things I don't buy anymore, but for now this should suffice. 

Have an amazing day, read you soon,

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