How to start a minimalist, zero-waste, sustainable lifestyle

When you're afraid you can't commit to lifestyle redesign, challenge yourself to just try, tiny step-by-tiny step. You're so tired after another stressful day you just want to dive into bed, but, I tell you, you have the strength to turn off all of the lights, and unplug your tv and other devices and take a few deep breaths. You do have the strength to wash your dishes--your morning will thank you!

We can challenge ourselves to regularly... 
* wait one more day/week/month before we make that so-called life-changing purchase
* clean for four minutes (using a timer). Especially when feeling "don't feel like it." Do it now.
* exercise for 2 to 5 minutes climbing the stairs or walking in place
* go another hour/day/week without screen distraction (tv, laptop, ipad, phone, etc.)
* do something we thought we wouldn't be able to do. Not for outcome per se, but just as a show of idealism and optimism
* think in terms of "we" instead of "I" -consciousness

Starting a minimalist, zero-waste and sustainable lifestyle
I challenge you (and myself) to draw from y/our reserves of psychological strength, spiritual optimism and fighting spirit. For earth, and the future of humanity, stop hoarding shit!
  1. use public transportation once a week (I live in L.A. I own a car. I got kids.)
  2. go out less. Stay home more.
  3. eat vegan more (going vegan can reduce a person's carbon footprint by 25%). Menu planning will save you money and help you reduce food waste.
  4. eat local food. Ride the bus/subway/bike to your local farmer's market with some reusable bags. 
  5. unplug your television (This has been truly life changing for me, a huge tv addict). 
  6. reduce your physical possessions and psychic attachment to crapitalist materialism. Be vigilant. Don't judge others. Look at your own crap first. If you have the patience, sell. If not, donate.
  7. wash your dishes as you go. 
In terms of minimizing your WTF-was I thinking crap, Declutter the Kitchen First! This is the heart of the home. Get rid of excess furniture (Martha Stewart, i deplore u and your consumerist inflaming rag. I bought a kitchen island, buffet table and other crap from ikea which I ended up donating after less than a year cause I live in an apartment, hello!). Keep it easy to clean. The number one priority is to keep the peace, not impress imaginary guests with your taste in mass produced, made in china and destined for landfill tchokes.

Get rid of, say hell no to 
  • the microwave, it's bad for you and really bad for kids. Look it up.
  • duplicate cups, wine glasses and other knick-knacky bourgeois crap. 
  • all plastic containers. Replace it with a few simple glass and stainless steel basics. 
  • all paper-based products. Poor trees. Poor forests. Replace paper towels with microfiber ones, and use reusable cloth napkins. 
  • all but two vases. 
  • anything with a corporate logo. 
  • anything wannabe. anything 'celebrity' is déclassé. 
  • toys.
  • cookbooks designed around sugar, wheat, beef. Non-foods that you know are no good.
  • recyclables for one day cooking and sharing. Jars, bye bye.
  • the trashcan itself. Start composting, stop shopping, and get your time and money back!

1 comment:

  1. great list! will definitely try the four-minute cleaning. I'm tired of waking up to a messy kitchen!