Sue Maxam’s Everyday Activism Blog

Week Three of “Earth Day Every Day”


As a society (specially in the US), we tend to be very consumer-driven, buying, buying, buying, even when we don’t need things. This impacts us so many ways… financially; emotionally (in terms of the additional stress that comes with having so much and always wanting more, never being satisfied) always wasting more; and environmentally (in terms of contributing to environmental degradation).    For these reasons, I have taken on a “minimalist” lifestyle, allowing me to make room for what REALLY matters to me…making a difference in the lives of others and contributing as little as possible to global climate change and my carbon footprint.


What does having less have to do with sustainability? Consider the fact that that, according to “The World Counts,” thanks to  our current use of plastic for the packaging of countless items, combined with its inability to break down, there are now 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square mile of the ocean and enough plastic to coat the entire planet in clingfilm! Additionally, the amount of food wasted each year emits billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the air and the United States alone produces 15 million tons of textile waste annually. In fact, according to the EPA, Americans throw away at least 262 million tons of trash every single year, much of which is wasted food that could be composted.  The statistics I could offer up are staggering; suffice to say, if considering a more mimimalist, less consumeristic lifestyle enables us to minimize unnesssary waste and, by extention, our carbon footprint, then, to me, it’s a no-brainer!


So what are some things we can do to begin leading a minimalist lifestyle?

  • Only purchase things you NEED!
  • When making purchases, ensure what you are buying has minimal packaging. Consumer actions ensure companies listen and make changes!
  • Bring your own canvas bags rather than using plastic bags given out by the stores!
  • Buy second hand items where possible and when buying new items, avoid anything originating from sweatshops by giving preference to fair trade items!
  • Donate what you don’t use/need!
  • Try a bamboo (which is completely compostable) toothbrush (and cease contributing to the 50 million pouds of plastic toothbruses that enter our landfills every year!).
  • Remember, and live by, the age-old reduce, reuse, recycle mantra
  • Go outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer with this new-found free time you have being that you are not out at the store buying things you don’t need!

    Want to take part in this challenge? Click here, Everyday Activism 2019, to learn more and sign up for the #EverdayActivismChallenge!