As a minimalist, I carry most of my worldly possessions in an Osprey 40L backpack. I own 5 t-shirts and 3 pairs of trousers. I don’t like clutter, and although I am sometimes gripped by the undeniable pull of consumerism, I try to avoid wasteful purchases at all costs.

I am also an aspiring zero-waster…. I am trying to lower my plastic consumption; trying to avoid plastic water bottles, disposable razors and single-use plastic straws…… and the best way to do this?

By consuming. By buying reusable straws, and fancy stainless steel bottles with pictures of avocados on the side of them.

Man walking on train tracks
So the questions are simple; are these two philosophies inherently opposed? Is there a balance between being a minimalist and being sustainable? Am I still a minimalist if I own a £40 triple-walled stainless steel consumer bottle?

The reality is that the definition of minimalism varies from person to person, and “zero waste life” is a process: a journey. Despite this, it is still tempting to self-loathe every time we buy a bottle of water on a hot day, or sip through a single-use straw in a cocktail bar. But we shouldn’t be ashamed of our waste; we should be conscious of it.

I am still on my journey. I am still actively on the lookout for products that fit into the intersection of my minimalism & sustainability & Venn diagram.

I have had some great recommendations too…. Shampoo bars from Pure Chimp…. Small, natural, eco-friendly, and to my surprise they work just as well as liquid shampoo. Perfect.

Reusable, scrunch-up bags from Baggu… These bags fit in the side netting of any backpack…. They are stylish, easy to use and hard to forget. The perfect combination.

These are just a few of the great products that have kept my backpack light and my conscious clean. But as I said before… zero-waste is a journey. So share your ideas below, and tell me what fits into your ‘Venn diagram.’

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