This Millennial is going Minimalist!

Others: “Minimalism is just a fad”

Me: FIRST OF ALL, its actually helping our planet; if you do it right.

Minimalism is a practice of only purchasing or owning what one needs; in other words, the art of owning the bare minimum. It reduces purchasing single-use plastics, and feeding into the trap of consumerism. I am currently attempting to live a complete minimalist lifestyle since it seems easy on paper, but oh its way harder than you think!

Before I began my slow-moving journey, I watched a couple of videos on YouTube and Buzzfeed to see how other millennials who are rocking social media do it. They all basically got rid of their unneeded clothes, products, and junk and brought themselves to square one of the process: making low-waste decisions. One thing I noticed was that a lot of them ended up practically throwing away everything, which created a huge hole in their goal: producing more waste into landfills.

I, the owner of a ton of high school T-shirts, beauty products, candles, teas, and old clothes, didn’t want to just throw it all away and still be useless. Instead, I looked at what I absolutely needed, wanted, couldn’t really donate, could donate without a second thought, and didn’t want to go to a complete stranger. I began with my huge collection of unused artisan soaps and Bath and Body Works products. Realizing it would take years to use everything up and not wanting to hold onto all of it, I posted on Facebook that I was willing to either sell or just give them away. An old high school acquaintance who has a growing child happily took them off my hands. Then, I shoved everything I wasn’t attached to in a big box to be taken to a consignment shop and GoodWill. The things I loved but didn’t need I gave to friends who I know would appreciate them.

The trick was finding out what to do with my T-shirts from high school, since I couldn’t really donate them or give them away due to them having the clubs I was in or my name on them. I decided to make a quilt out of them instead, because you can never have too many blankets! They are currently in a box waiting for me to take them on during my winter break.

The other hard part of this whole process is using up my beauty products, since no one wants used makeup or hair products. I want to purchase new items all of the time because they either smell amazing or they have new colors, formulas, finishes, and everything a girl can want. So, I took up Project Pan: a trend that started on YouTube that encourages using up every little bit of one’s products before purchasing new items. This concept seems easy, but you try not having to buy that new state-of-the-art fishing rod until your old one breaks, or the like. Its difficult! But, not buying anything until you completely used what you have teaches you to appreciate your belongings a little more. What to do when I finally use up everything? Hit up Pinterest and get crafty, of course!

I know this is rather long, but what I want people to get out of this is that helping to save the planet is a process that can take up a lot of time. It took me a whole summer to finally get rid of things I don’t need in an environmentally friendly way, and I’m no where near to being done yet. Also, you really need to get creative with how you reduce, reuse, and recycle. You can make something entirely new like a clock with bottle caps and an old broken umbrella (a project I have in mind) or make someone’s day by giving them an article of clothing that meant a lot to you or things that everyone literally needs like soap! Reduce your carbon footprint, but make that impact YOURS.

Keepin’ it green,

Veronica Rutecky

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About vereecofriendly

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” This quote from Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax will always be one of my all-time favorite quotes because no words could be truer. Originating from the little town of Minersville in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, I’m well aware of the environmental impacts a community can impose. Firstly, we have orange creeks from acid mine drainage. Second, we have significant amounts of farmland. Thirdly, Smokey Bear is literally our best friend. I realized that I wanted to do something to fix our environmental problems and help preserve our natural resources, so I decided to major in environmental sciences at Albright College. I’m currently a sophomore, so I’ll graduate in 2020. For the 2017-2018 school year, I am living in Albright’s Sustainability House, which is a campus house that is dedicated to living as sustainably as possible as a college student. I decided to take up the challenge because I can utilize what I learn for my future as well as to teach others how to be a neighbor of Mother Nature.

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