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What IS Minimalist Living?
Amazingly I got a personal email from a regular reader who was having some inner turmoil about living a minimalist lifestyle. Here is part of the email.
I feel attracted to a minimalist lifestyle, but I find myself too materialistic. Yesterday I had a discussion with my best friend about it. He was very surprised when I said that I often feel ashamed because I find myself too materialistic. He said that it was not true, that I’m not a materialist. So I wanted to ask you: what’s your definition of a person who is materialistic?
I think it about myself because I have a lot of stuff, decoration around the living room, many books, many CD’s and I feel that some stuff have an emotional connotation for me, because it comes from Wales, from Sweden, because I bought that on that specific trip and things like that.
Hell, I feel this way at times too! And I told the reader this as well.
I am now feeling that I am not a very good minimalist. I drive a car. I don’t remember to always take my cloth shopping bags to the grocery store. I too, have stuff. I don’t live with only 100 things.
So am I a minimalist? I want to think so.
I do think before I buy.
I don’t buy anything I don’t really need.
I am trying to examine my ecological footprint and how to make better choices in purchasing in regards to their impact on the environment.
So here is another question.
Is someone living a minimalist lifestyle also automatically an environmentalist?
I am not a tree hugger. Not there is anything wrong with that at all. I wish I was more of one. Certainly lately with my plans to actually build a tiny house on a trailer, and to live off grid, I am taking a much more proactive approach to living a sustainable lifestyle.
I am much less attached to material possessions than in years gone by.
I try to travel very lightly. Minimalist packing, taking only one bag, etc.
I have a concern for others and for ethical issues.
Is this living a minimalist lifestyle? Am I doing enough?
I am sure that a lot of you have heard of the excellent book No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process
It is nothing short of incredible. I highly recommend reading it. This is what I strive for.
Now I know that each person is choosing their own path and doing the best the know how. I also realize that minimalist living is different for everyone. There are no hard and fast rules to live by.
So am I actually living a minimalist lifestyle? Am I walking the walk? I want to think so but I fear I have a long way to go.
So what are your thoughts on what makes a minimalist? What makes someone a materialist?
I really need your feedback on this post. Please share your thoughts in the comments. Thanks.