Eco-Minimalism vs. Aesthetic Minimalism: We're Not the Same

On 'Making Do' and Minimalism...

I grew up with the unspoken but clear belief that more stuff = security and safety. It's not true, of course.

In my lifetime I've seen the rise of shopping as entertainment, and even if the world wasn't rapidly drowning in plastic, I also don't want my HOME to be drowning in plastic.

Fun fact! Did you know that there's a TON of plastic in almost all "fast fashion" and "stretch" clothing?

Remember the leggings craze of 2016 or so? Yea, those are never going away. Best we can do is continue upcycling them - because they effectively never decompose.

that's a lot of plastic...

I enjoy shopping, don't get me wrong - but my main places to shop are thrift and antique stores and Etsy.

I enjoy Marie Kondo's concept of KonMari (despite my book-hoard), because she talks about having an energetic, animistic relationship with the things you own.

I like that. This way, our things don't end up owning us.

Marie might be disappointed, but I don't actually want to be a minimalist...I collect books, and we live on a wannabe homestead that seems to cry out for endless amounts of things to manage it (im)properly, from soil amendments and pool parts to mason jars and trellising.

We purge regularly, but we're never gonna be those liberated folks who have exactly 72 possessions.

Also--there's a pretty large distinction between the *aesthetic* of minimalism, and minimalism as a *value*.

Minimalism can be viewed as part of the tenets of permaculture and sustainability. Those are earth care, people care, and fair share, i.e. How to Be a Good Human.

If you throw out 15 things that have nothing wrong with them, and then buy a brand new one that perfectly fits your vision of "minimalism", we're not on the same page.

And yes, I'm gonna judge you for that shit.

Minimalism as a value looks like #visiblemending and creative reuse - not throwing out perfectly good things to maintain an Instagram-worthy living space.

visible mending ecogoth minimalism

Please at least recognize that someone else will gladly receive those things you don't want, and gift them. Join your local Buy-Nothing group, or even (gasp) talk to your neighbors.

Keep things in rotation of usefulness.

Don't embrace a minimalist aesthetic by adding to the landfill unnecessarily.