A rant: Decluttering does not equal minimalism, sustainability or eco-consciousness.

This is likely going to come across as quite ‘spacey’ so to speak, but I need to get this out. So, if it makes no sense, then I guess I’ll have to fix it later.

Lately I’ve been noticing this trend going around the internet (I’m pretty sure it started with that Marie Kondo book) and around people in my life, if I’m being totally honest, where people are promoting ‘Decluttering’ and ‘Minimalism’ because it’s become trendy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people doing things that mimic the notion of “I’m a minimalist, it’s so trendy, look at me decluttering in my photos, on my Facebook Page, in my videos, in my blog posts… it’s so great!”

Here’s the thing… if you were actually a minimalist, you wouldn’t have bought those fucking things to start with. Furthermore, please stop pretending as though this trend of becoming a minimalist is sustainable, eco-conscious or good for the environment.

Hearing about how you decluttered your home to throw a bunch of stuff in the trash, that’s the farthest thing from being eco-conscious. And honestly, please don’t try to pretend like you’re doing anything better by donating these things to a Thrift Store. While Thrift Stores try to resell what they can, they’re inundated with millions upon millions pounds of junk people bought and didn’t need each year, so they decided to ‘donate’. And I’m sorry, but you’re not saving the planet by forcing a Thrift Store to throw out things for you.

A minimalist is someone who doesn’t buy things they don’t need. A minimalist isn’t someone who declutters so they have space to go and by more things.

An eco-conscious person is someone who really thinks about their purchases and how they can make purchases that are better for them and smarter for our earth. And I really cannot stress this enough, an eco-conscious person is someone who makes use of what they already have.

For example: Being eco-conscious is not about buying a stainless steel water bottle when you already have a plastic blender bottle. An eco-conscious person says ‘I already have a water bottle so I’m going to make use of that one until it’s worn out or I can’t use it anymore’. Don’t just declutter your water bottle because it’s made out of plastic. It’s a water bottle. You already own it. Fucking use it. Dear god, please just use what you already fucking have.

This eco-conscious movement is being driven by hyper consumerism and it’s driving me crazy. You’re not doing anything good for the environment if you’re throwing out something you already own in order to buy something that isn’t plastic. You’re not doing anything good for the environment if you’re purchasing things from a Thrift Store if you still don’t need the things you’re purchasing… I don’t care how cheap they are. You’re not doing anything good for the environment by consistently donating what you have because your home is a revolving door of what is new and in style.

Furthermore a minimalist is a minimalist because they don’t buy/own things they don’t need. They’re not doing it to be trendy. They’re not doing it for clout. They’re doing it because if they don’t need something then they don’t want it taking up space in their home. Minimalists don’t have to declutter because they use what they have.

If you really want to make eco-conscious and sustainable decisions – start composting. Start recycling. Save your leftovers and eat them tomorrow. Don’t buy something because it’s trendy, buy something because you need it. Make smarter decisions.

I’m so tired of people throwing away entire boxes of Ziploc bags and plastic wrap because they purchased beeswax wrap or reusable bags on Amazon. Firstly, if we’re talking sustainability here… Amazon in itself is a huge problem. Secondly, you already own the Ziploc bags. You already own the plastic wrap. You might as well make use out of them, since you have them. And then, when you run out, that’s the time to think ‘how can I make a smarter purchasing decision next time’. Don’t just throw them in the garbage.

I will not ever fault someone for wanting to make eco-conscious, environmentally friendly decisions. That being said, please, please, please educate yourselves when doing so. Because there’s so much perfectly good/usable stuff sitting in landfills right now because someone needed to go out and buy the plastic free version, or the ‘sustainable brand’. And how is that helping anything?

Let’s talk about Environmental Consciousness.

My incredible best friend sent me a Sephora gift card for my birthday. Naturally, since I love all things Sephora, I had to place an order right away to take advantage of their annual sale.

I ordered the Drunk Elephant ‘Midi Committee’ kit, used my gift card and was told that it would be to my house in 7-9 business days.

The package ended up getting to my house a lot quicker than expected, and what I got in the package I was less than impressed with it.

The Drunk Elephant ‘Midi Committee’ is a collection of travel size, and smaller than travel size, skincare items. There are five in total. As one could imagine, the products are small and don’t take up a lot of space.

The packaging, on the other hand, was over-the-top, and absolutely unnecessary.

The packaging the Drunk Elephant products came in.
The actual (tiny little) collection of products that were in the package.

I consider myself a very environmentally conscious person. I don’t speak about it always, but I do try to make my friends and family members more aware of the choices they’re making. I don’t use plastic bags, plastic straws, I try to limit my waste, try to recycle as much as possible. I want to be good to the planet. As good as I can be.

I’m a firm believer that small changes every day can make the difference. I also believe that if everyone made small changes every day we could collectively make one hell of an impact on the earth.

I don’t believe that it’s just individuals responsible for making these changes. Companies should be doing it to.

While I don’t use plastic bags, only use stainless steel straws, try to limit the amount of trash I am creating and overall just try to be good to the planet, it really disheartens me to see companies like Sephora and Drunk Elephant putting so damn much packaging on such small products.

The trial sized Drunk Elephant products came in plastic molding that was inside of a box, that was inside of a plastic/cardboard mixed wrapping that had branding on it, that was inside of the white box, that was inside of the Sephora box that was filled with brown paper because the Sephora box was so damn big it was easily 5-6 times the size of the Drunk Elephant packaging.

I’m not impressed.

Firstly – if my order alone had this much packaging to it, think of how much truly unnecessary packaging is shipped out of Sephora’s facilities each and every day to fill the thousands of orders they get. Are all of those thousands of people going to recycle or reuse the packaging? How much of that excess packaging is going to wind up in a landfill?

Secondly – With respect to Drunk Elephant, there is absolutely zero need to have products in plastic, in a box, in a plastic/cardboard wrapper, in another box. If Drunk Elephant has this much packaging on one kit, I can’t imagine how much packaging the rest of their skincare line has.

As a planet, we’re quite literally in the middle of an environmental crisis and WE ALL need to do our parts. Even companies. We all need to limit packaging, cut down our waste and make a difference. The onus cannot be put solely on consumers because we’ll be fighting a losing battle if we try to make changes and companies are still pulling this shit.

This is not sustainable.

This is not environmentally conscious.

This is not right.

Companies need to do their parts as well.