Mindful Living · Sustainable Living

The Eco-Minimalist in Progress

I can’t believe it is already 2023, and I hate to admit that I could not write here much during last year. I say this pretty much every year, don’t I? Well, I blame it on analysis paralysis instead of calling myself lazy. However, there is the beauty in the name of the new year that enables me to reset to start over again. Hence, here I am, sipping my favorite giant mug of cappuccino, which still makes my day more than anything else.

During last year as I wrote, I started the low-buy and the project 333 challenges, which ended up becoming truly the eye-opening experience. It clearly taught me the boundary between what I just wanted and really needed. I did already have everything I needed. Adding more never makes me happier. The key is to know and to face who you really are, figuring out what really works for you and what doesn’t. If you really invest your time and efforts to analyze your style and value, the answer can be incredibly and surprisingly so simple. The Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu’s “He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough” is the belief I live by each day.

As I still continue the challenges (or now I call them the elements of my lifestyle) this year, I intend to focus much more on the aspects of sustainability, adapting the eco-minimalistic approach. Thinking of the ways to reduce the amount of waste helps me to buy only what I need, exploring and supporting the ethics of the companies I purchase from. Another challenge I can add this year is to truly became a flexitarian by cutting down the consumption of meat despite my failed attempts.

This is just the vague update of my life, which is totally intentional. From my past mistakes for all of these years, I learned that if I declare I would be a minimalist, it ends up becoming the process of mere depriving, and if I decide to become a vegetarian, social dining experiences could be affected negatively at times, and if I try to live the zero-waste life and fail, climate anxiety and the sense of guilt attack my mental health. See? All of these eventually lead me to the vicious cycle of analysis paralysis.

So, the slightly more mature me, who acquired the adequate balance, just relax now, enjoying the phrase “in progress” and embracing each little step that I take as I would love to write much more here this year. All I ask you is to also relax and as my favorite poet, Emily Dickinson, says, “please judge tenderly of me.”

Mindful Living · sustainability · Sustainable Living

Living Sustainably Here in America

As I also wrote before, after I realized how materialistic wealth did not contribute to happiness from a certain point, I gradually started to practice meditation to be free from various attachments and to learn to adapt the concepts of minimalism and living mindfully and sustainably by embracing the ordinary in life. I simply wanted to be a slightly better and fulfilled being than I used to be. For example, I quit fast fashion, started using a menstruation cup and switched to shampoo bar, conditioner bar and toothpaste bits. I also stopped eating meat much by practicing the lifestyle of a flexitarian, being fully aware that minimalism is not depriving and attempting to live sustainably does not have to be aesthetically pleasing and you don’t need to be a plastic-phobia, either.

Even though it was obvious that such an attempt of mine was far from perfection, I wanted to, at least, stand by the values I truly believed in and to stick to it as much as I could, and I truly wanted to cherish what I own like my quality time with my dog and Husband. The feelings still remain the same today.

And here I’m wondering why a sustainable lifestyle can be pricey and doesn’t seem inclusive now that I live in the US when it didn’t seam necessarily the case when I used to live in Germany and Japan or I was just not paying attention there.

I understand that there isn’t much an individual can do when it comes to sustainability. Corporations are the ones that should be held accountable more and the involvement of government to a certain extent is vital.

That being said, it still has to mean a lot when we, as individuals, actively support ESG companies that stand by sustainability by purchasing their products and/or investing in their stocks within our budget as the consequence of our mindful choices by not being the hyper-consumers.

What are your thoughts?