Downsize and Simplify to Reduce Your Footprint

Simplify Your Life

Photo Credit, Robert Benner

Downsize to Save the World

You may be wondering how simplifying your life will help the planet.  It may then seem counter-intuitive to throw things away in your effort to downsize (though I recommend you try to reuse, repurpose, or donate items before they go in the trash). But I think having less stuff goes hand-in-hand with being ecofriendly.

  • Living in a smaller house consumes less electricity, gas, and water.  It takes less energy to heat and cool, and leaves a physcially smaller imprint on the earth.
  • Fewer things to wash, clean, dust, and scrub means less water used, fewer cleaning chemicals washed down the drain, and fewer cleaning supplies that you need to buy.
  • If you can downsize to one (or no) car, then you save on gas and produce fewer emissions into the air.  You reduce the amount of oil, antifreeze, and other car fluids polluting the planet.

An Even Greater Result of Simplifying Your Life

The effect of downsizing certainly impacts the planet, but I believe it impacts your mind even more. When you have less stuff to take care of and worry about, you have more time to find meaningful things to do.  Spend time with loved ones, volunteer, find a satisfying hobby.  When you are happier with life, doing things that you want to do, I believe you’ll be less compelled to fill your life with meaningless STUFF.  You won’t need a new car to make you feel proud and accomplished, you won’t need that brand new kitchen appliance to be the envy of your friends, you won’t need that great new grill the neighbors have been wanting to get for months. You’ll be content and happy with what you have and focus your energy on what really matters in life.

This translates to less consumption, and therefore a reduced carbon footprint.  You’re being ecofriendly by doing almostnothing–by NOT buying and NOT consuming.  Yes, you should take action and research products you do buy, take action to reuse and repurpose, take action where it’s needed to help the planet.  But sometimes being ecofriendly is as easy as doing nothing.

So think about all the benefits of having less, of downsizing and simplifying, and hopefully that will make the journey a little easier.

Boat on the Water

Photo Credit, Gianni Cumbo

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