What These Three Big Trends Have in Common: Minimalism, Spiritualism, and Environmentalism
By Wendy Stein
Sustainable trends are actions taken by businesses, organizations, groups of people, and individuals that ensure an end to exploitation of resources and build systems that will promote a healthy future for the planet. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs has laid out 17 sustainable development goals with elimination of poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being topping the list.
WHY PEOPLE FOLLOW TRENDS
People follow trends because they like to ‘fit in,’ identify with a particular group, and gain strength from their associations. For example, when deciding between two similar restaurants, most choose the busiest one.
TRENDS IN SERVICE TO THE ENVIRONMENT
In terms of the environment, trends are emerging to moderate consumption through ethical purchase power, to end the cycle of waste through circular economy, aim for zero waste, and more. Increasing numbers of people carry reusable grocery bags, water bottles, and bamboo or metal straws, in order to reduce plastic usage and the detrimental effect it has on ocean life and the environment.
WHAT IS MINIMALISM?
Minimalism is about focusing on what is most important in a person’s life, while clearing away whatever is not adding value. It is a change in consciousness to life in a consumerist culture, understanding that things do not bring happiness, while personal relationships and experiences do. It is living with intention, bearing in mind the impact of your actions. Each person manifests minimalism in a different way, and for many it starts with decluttering one’s life by eliminating things that no longer serve a purpose. The result of having less stuff is more money, time, and space to experience more happiness by focussing on creative projects, having deeper connections with loved ones, greater freedom, and fewer obligations.
WHAT IS SPIRITUALISM?
Modern day spiritualism is deeply personal which makes it a bit difficult to define. It is a connection to our internal essence, meaning of life, and core values. It is an appreciation for life’s mysteries; for things that are beyond our ability to comprehend. Spiritualism is the idea that we are all connected to each other, to nature, and to life itself. Being rooted to our spirit, we can experience the awe and wonder of all of creation. No longer do we see the world as resources to use and compete for, instead they are seen as reflections of divine love and beauty for all living beings to share and enjoy.
WHAT IS ENVIRONMENTALISM?
In today’s interconnected world, environmentalism involves both knowing the facts and taking action towards a sustainable world. With widespread internet connectivity, it is difficult to ignore the damage and devastation to the planet and its inhabitants, as information is widely publicized. Environmentalism is also a social, economic, and political movement to preserve life on this planet. At the same time, it is the actions that we as individuals can perform each day, such as turning off lights when not in use, taking public transit when possible, recycling, and more.
COMMONALITIES AMONG MINIMALISM, SPIRITUALISM, AND ENVIRONMENTALISM
Looking at the world through these three ‘isms’ at once, serves to shift our perceptions from a fear-based world of data, economic decisions, and rational analysis to one of interconnectedness with our natural surroundings. When a person is deeply connected to their authentic nature and inner sanctitude, it brings harmony, reverence, and love for the natural world. It is exactly through this personal experience with nature, that a person is moved to take action. Minimalism provides a blueprint for treading more lightly on this planet, resulting in having more time and space to focus on what makes life matter. We purchase less. We care more. We build a desire to act towards a sustainable life, in all its various forms in order to thrive.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Do you have a guiding philosophy for life? Do the values espoused in this article resonate with you? Why? Why not? Please share in the comments section, below.