Say hello to the minimalist me

I am definitely interested in minimalism. I don’t want to tell people I have just met about it because I don’t want to scare them off. Now you all know, have I scared you away? Keep reading please. Minimalism is not exactly ‘normal’ but I think the trend is increasing in popularity. 

You might be wondering what I mean when I talk about minimalism. I think minimalism means something different to every minimalist out there. You can embrace it however you want. There is no right or wrong way. If you are interested have a read of how Joshua Becker defines it. He is a well-known minimalist blogger who has a trillion times more expertise than me.

Some minimalists travel the world with 100 possessions. Some live in a tiny home. Others get rid of everything excess and are minimalists in all aspects of life – food, friends, TV etc. Not me, I love TV.

I do not have a bare home with no furniture and no belongings. My home has lots of stuff (it is currently a mess). We don’t do without anything. We are an average family. The difference is I am intentionally trying to live with less stuff.

Not the stuff that I use and the stuff that I love. I am talking about the extra stuff. The stuff I bought and never opened. The stuff someone gave to me that I never wanted. The stuff that sits around doing absolutely nothing for years. I see it as pointless stuff.

I didn’t always. I had lots of pointless stuff for most of my life.

One day I was watching good old TV and saw a piece about a minimalist family living in Sydney. I remember footage of a small wardrobe which the parents both shared. The wife had less than the husband. “Wow, that is extreme,” was my reaction.

A few months later I was listening to the radio on the way home from work . I was stuck in the usual traffic. There was an interview with two American guys called The Minimalists. They used to be stressed and felt burdened. Now they were focussed, free and happy. That sounded good to me.

I looked up their blog, I read their book. I found the blog of the family I saw on TV months earlier. I couldn’t get enough of reading about this new cool thing called minimalism. I wanted it in my life.

I started with my wardrobe. I had so many clothes and accessories. Clothes that didn’t fit, clothes that were ripped or had stains that I couldn’t get out. I donated or threw them all out.

Then I tried again. I got rid of the clothes with tags still on them, clothes that I didn’t really wear and the ones that made me feel crap wearing. It was harder to do. I spent so much money buying them all! They were worth something and I could wear them one day. That’s how I used to feel.

I moved on to the other rooms in the house. The kitchen, the bathroom, the basement and so on. So much stuff that was sitting doing absolutely nothing. It took months (years even) for me to feel somewhat satisfied. I still declutter today, I love it.

When I look back, my life is not really that different. I don’t regret getting rid of anything. I think there has being many benefits.

I buy less stuff overall but I buy more things second-hand. I shop less on impulse and I shop more intentionally.  I don’t get excited by sales, I get excited by selling stuff. I spend less and I save more. I feel less stressed and I have more time. I use fewer resources and that makes me feel like I am at least doing something to help the environment.

The biggest benefit for me has occurred since having Bub. I get to be a stay at home mum. We can live off a single income. I am not forced to go back to work because we need it financially. I can base that decision on other things besides money. This feels freaking fantastic and I believe it would not be possible without minimalism.

So there you go. Thanks for reading!

Bottlebrush
Callistemon

I eat Skippy

Do you eat your national emblem? I do! I support the kangaroo industry in Australia.

You can get fillets, steaks, sausages, mince, rissoles, burgers and kebabs. You don’t even have to look far. Woolworths and Coles stock kangaroo (next to the pet food HAH). When I first tried it I thought “Hmmmm, its a bit gamey”. Once I worked out how to cook with it I loved the taste. I prefer it to beef.

Sustayable Me
Kangaroo…tasty! Photo from https://www.flickr.com/photos/razlan79/16752666431

I’m fairly certain it is nutritionally better for you than beef. It is a lean meat. My health is not the real reason I eat kangaroo. To me it is about sustainability. The kangaroo industry is well suited to the Australian environment.

The cattle industry (like all agricultural industries I am sure) has a few negative impacts. Obviously cows are introduced species to Australia. They have cute little hooves that press down and compact the soil. Cattle cause desertification, soil erosion, as well as a loss of native vegetation and wildlife.

Also (you may have never thought of this) cows fart methane. Lots and lots of methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas. It traps in infrared radiation from the sun. Lots of cows = lots of methane = enhanced greenhouse effect = global warming. Blame the cows people!

So the cattle industry in Australia isn’t perfect, I think I have made that clear. Australians love meat, I doubt we’ll ever stop loving meat, but maybe we can reduce our love affair with beef. I say let us eat kangaroo!

You might be thinking “This woman is crazy. How could we eat Skippy?!” Well hear me out. Eating Skippy means we can utilise Australia’s abundant kangaroo populations. Kangaroo harvesting is a sustainable industry that can help conserve our environment. Even with kangaroo harvesting, populations still increase by around 2 million per year. Without kangaroo harvesting, the population would be probably 30% more. There are simply lots and lots of kangaroos out there!

The industry has the potential to offer greater conservation benefits. I understand that government regulation is important. Harvest quotas and humane harvesting are essential. Kangaroo meat is a healthy and environmentally friendly choice for us, the meat consumers. Don’t knock it til you try it.

Sustayable Me
Me and Skippy. We used to be friends.

Thanks for reading! What do you think?

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