What is Eco-minimalism and is It Really for You?

It’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of buying, using and throwing away things when you live in an industrialised country where waste disposal is taken care of by third parties.

Even if you are aware of how wasteful this behaviour really is, it can be hard to change your habits or even know where to start. Luckily, there are many simple things you can do to reduce your ecological footprint without changing your lifestyle too much.

What is Eco-Minimalism?

Eco-minimalism is a term used to describe someone who has adopted the simple, sustainable lifestyle of consuming only what they need. The idea is that by limiting your material possessions to things you actually use, you reduce the strain on the environment.

Eco-minimalists tend to not buy anything new unless it’s absolutely necessary and will last them for a long time.

They also try to avoid buying any item made from synthetic materials because these products are almost never recyclable and usually contain harmful chemicals which can leach into our landfills and waterways.

Eco-minimalists try to cut down on all the unnecessary stuff they accumulate that doesn’t bring them any joy. Their homes tend to be clutter-free and their belongings often reflect their lifestyle, like riding a bicycle to work instead of driving a car, for example.

Eco-minimalist traits can include

  • Being happily content with your current possessions
  • Living in a small, efficient home
  • Owning few things, but which are durable and multi-purpose
  • Reducing food waste by planning meals and eating leftovers
  • Composting food scraps and other biodegradable waste
  • Recycling and upcycling materials where possible
  • Using natural cleaning products and detergents
  • Having a philosophy of living minimally
  • Using only what you need and not being wasteful

Read also: How To Be Happy With What You Have: 7 Secret Steps

Is Eco-Minimalism for you?

Photo by Juliaap

If these traits sound appealing to you, then yes. There are a number of other sustainable practices that go hand in hand with minimalism, including recycling and upcycling things instead of throwing them away or burning them.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your material possessions and the negative environmental impact they have, then eco-minimalism might be right for you. It’s a great way to simplify your life while also doing your part to help the planet.

However, it’s not for everyone and there are a few things to consider before making the switch.

One thing to keep in mind is that eco-minimalism can be quite demanding both mentally and physically. It takes a lot of self-control to not buy new things all the time, especially when everything around you seems to be shouting “buy me!” at you.

Read also: Minimalism and Sustainability: How They Go Hand in Hand

On the other hand, if you’re interested in making this lifestyle change but don’t know where to begin, there are many simple things you can do every day that take little effort and will reduce your impact on the environment.

For example, you could start by recycling paper and plastic more often or taking a reusable water bottle with you when you go out.

There are many other ways to reduce your ecological footprint, but the important thing is that you start somewhere. If being an eco-minimalist sounds like something you’d be interested in, then do some research and see what changes you can make to your lifestyle that will work for you. It might take a little time and effort to get started, but the benefits are well worth it.

Read also: 9 Great Reasons to Choose Bamboo Products for your Sustainable Home

What are the Benefits of Eco-Minimalism?

There are many benefits to living a more eco-minimalist lifestyle. Some of these benefits include:

Reduced waste

One of the biggest benefits of eco-minimalism is that it can lead to reduced waste. When you only buy what you need and use everything you have, there’s less waste produced overall.

You can also reduce your waste by composting and recycling. Composting is the process of breaking down organic matter into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. Recycling is the process of converting used materials into new products.

Both of these practices can help reduce the amount of waste that goes to our landfills and ultimately to our waterways.

Read also: 25 Simple Ways To Consume Less This Year

Less clutter

Since eco-minimalists only own the things they need for their everyday lives, there’s less clutter and more space in their homes which can help reduce stress. When you don’t have to search through piles of stuff to find what you’re looking for, it’s much easier to relax. There’s also less of a need for storage space, which can save you money on storage units or extra rooms in your house.

Read also: Minimalism For Beginners: 10 Tips To Kickstart Your Minimalist Life

Healthier environment

Living a more eco-minimalist lifestyle is one of the simplest ways to reduce your environmental impact. It can help reduce the amount of energy you use, the amount of waste you produce,and the amount of pollution you create. All of these things are important for keeping our planet healthy and can make a big difference in the long run.

Conserves energy

When you live a more eco-minimalist lifestyle, you use less energy at home. It’s obvious when you think about it: the fewer items you have in your home, the less energy it takes to power them all.

Reduces pollution

When you consider the amount of pollution that is created to make things like plastic bags and disposable diapers, it’s clear that reducing consumption can significantly reduce this type of waste. Even recycling your trashcan help reduce pollution since there would be less garbage on our roads if everyone recycled their paper, cans, and bottles.

In addition, when you choose to use public transportation or walk instead of driving a car, you contribute even less to pollution and global warming.

Saves water

Water shortages are becoming more and more common all over the world. By living a more eco-minimalist lifestyle, you can help conserve this valuable resource. For example, you can reduce the amount of water you use by taking shorter showers and watering your plants less often.

Improved efficiency

Eco-minimalists often find themselves with more time on their hands simply because they own less and try to make things last as long as possible. When you only buy what you need, there’s no extra space devoted to junk that never gets used or clothes that never get worn.

Improved mental health

If you’re interested in living a more eco-minimalist lifestyle, then there’s another benefit that you might not have considered: increased mental well-being. When your home is full of the things you love and use, it can help relieve stress and can even improve your mood. On the other hand, when you own too many unnecessary items, it can lead to stress, anxiety and depression.

Read also: 21 Simple Living Tips To Reduce Stress

What are the Key Values of Eco-Minimalism

Photo by Juliaap

There are a few key values that underpin eco-minimalism:


Eco-minimalism is all about simplicity. From the way you live to the things you own, less is more. This doesn’t mean living in poverty or deprivation, but rather being thoughtful about what you really need and what can be eliminated.


Being an eco-minimalist means being conscious about how you approach life. Eco-minimalists are not about using up all of the Earth’s resources in a blaze of glory, but rather living sustainably and carefully to preserve that which cannot be replaced or regenerated.


Sustainability is integral to the movement. By choosing to use and reuse items instead of buying new ones, eco-minimalists recognise that we all share this planet and should care for each other and our environment so that everyone has access to clean air, water, food, clothing, shelter, and more.

Read also: 15 Ideas For Sustainable Living: Ultimate Beginners Guide


Another key value of eco-minimalism is self-sufficiency. Eco-minimalists often try to live without relying on the grid or other people. This can be done by growing your own food, using solar and wind power, generating your own energy, and more

Are all Minimalists Eco-Minimalists

Minimalism and eco-minimalism are not one in the same, but they can certainly go hand in hand. Minimalists tend to be people who subscribe to the idea that less is more and believe it’s important to rid yourself of anything that distracts you from living a simple life filled with things you truly love. Many minimalists are also environmentalists, but not all of them have to be.

There are different levels of eco-minimalism, and not everyone who identifies as a minimalist is interested in reducing their environmental impact. However, there is a strong overlap between the two movements, and many minimalists find that making small changes to their lifestyle can have a big impact on the environment.

The main difference between minimalists and eco-minimalists is that eco-minimalists are more environmentally conscious. They try to use fewer resources and produce less waste. This can include things like using recycled materials, upcycling, composting, and reducing energy consumption.

Read also: 9 Types of Minimalists: Which One Are You?

Minimalists don’t necessarily focus on being environmentally positive. They may focus more on living a simple life with less clutter and less stress.

There are some similarities between the two philosophies. Both minimalists and eco-minimalists try to live with less. They both believe that having fewer things leads to a happier, more fulfilling life. And both groups advocate for waste reduction.

Eco friendly tips for becoming a minimalist or reducing your ecological footprint without changing your lifestyle too much

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

The key to becoming an eco-minimalist is finding ways to reduce your ecological footprint without dramatically changing how you live. Here are some things you can do:

  • Rent, borrow, or share whatever isn’t in current use
  • Downsize
  • Buy secondhand when possible
  • Grow your own food if possible
  • Use less water
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle
  • Turn off electronics when not in use
  • Walk or bike instead of driving
  • Invest in solar or wind power
  • Practice zero waste living

Read also: Simple Zero Waste Swaps to Use Around the Home

These are just a few examples. There are many more ways to reduce your impact on the environment without making big changes to your lifestyle. It may take a little effort, but it’s worth it when you see how much you can save both the planet and your wallet.

Final Thoughts on Eco-Minimalism

Eco-minimalism can provide people with a sense of clarity and peace that they might not have had before.

So, is eco-minimalism For You?

If you’re looking to practice sustainable living that has a smaller environmental impact, then yes, eco-minimalism may be for you. It can take some time to adjust and change your mindset, but once you embrace the movement, you’ll likely find that it has a ripple effect on other areas of your life.

Do you consider yourself to be an eco-minimalist? Or perhaps you don’t identify as a minimalist but do practice sustainability? Let me know in the comments below!

Vourneen | ThePlainSimpleLife
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Join the conversation
  • Sharyn Sharyn on Sep 11, 2022

    I try to live this lifestyle. I know I have too much stuff, tried to get rid of some…. But short of dumping it in the trash (which would be counterproductive) what else can I do?