As I become more interested in minimalism, I discovered that its true essence lies in continuously assessing what it is in your life that brings you value, serves a purpose and brings you joy. Being a minimalist doesn’t mean getting rid of all of the things you own and having an empty, cold stark home. By making a more conscious decision everyday to only have and purchase things you really need, you consume less and produce less waste. You live a more intentional, simple life.
In my pursuit for a more minimalist, eco-friendly lifestyle, I wanted to share some ideas that I am trying at home with my family, and maybe you could find it helpful for your family, too.
The kitchen is the centre of the home. It is where everyone gathers and enjoys each others company. But, it is also the area where there is a lot of waste, as well as high water and electricity usage.
Do you know how your refrigerator, dishwasher and oven ranks in energy efficiency? There are models out there that can greatly reduce your energy consumption. If you choose energy-efficient appliances, you can greatly reduce your carbon footprint, and save money overtime. Energy-efficiency can also be a selling point for potential buyers should you decide to sell your home in the future.
If you are shopping for new appliances, there are two labels that make it easy for Canadians to make energy-efficient choices:
The Canadian EnerGuide label displays:
They save energy without compromising performance in any way. Typically, an ENERGY STAR certified product is in the top 15 to 30 percent of its class for energy performance. Saving energy saves you money and reduces your impact on the environment.
If you haven’t already, change your light bulbs to long-lasting ENERGY STAR® certified compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs). These lights use less energy and they last longer, saving you more money.
When less energy is needed by a lightbulb, the less carbon dioxide is produced which means there are less pollutants in the air.
There are so many new kitchen gadgets out there promising convenience and time savings, but in actuality, all they do is take up more space. Here are some items you might have in your kitchen that may not be getting a lot of use.
Other Minimalist Kitchen Tips:
Keep your countertops clear. We try to keep our counters with only essentials. Yours may be different, but these are the items we use on the daily and don’t want to have to put away each day: coffee maker, toaster, rice cooker, dish rack (though we try to empty it as much as possible) and a kettle.
Limit Dishware. Sometimes you only need one or two sets of dishes depending on the size of your household.
Limit Pots and Pans. Keep it simple and assess what you actually use.
Quality Tupperware. Invest in good, quality glass tupperware that you know you won’t need to replace for a while.
Recycle and Use Your Compost. Recycling and composting can reduce your household waste that goes to landfills.
Just like the essence of minimalism is about slow living, the process of getting there is just as slow. So, take your time! I know I’m not yet ready to give up my deep fryer just yet, and I think that’s okay. You don’t have to do it all at once, and you don’t have to do it all on your own. Ask your spouse, your friends or your older children to give you a hand.