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Documentary: Minimalism

There are many documentaries especially on Netflix that shed light on issues surrounding our environment and also the cultural habits of our nation. The documentary, Minimalism, is about two men, Ryan and Josh, who travel around to different expeditions to talk about the lifestyle change of minimalism. They both only have around three shirts and two pairs of pants, which they mix and match to create the effect of wearing different outfits. They explain that they understand that their way of living may be considered an extreme minimalism, due to the fact that they also have very little furniture in their homes, but they think even a small step into the lifestyle will help with the US’s over consumption of goods and services.

The documentary follows Ryan and Josh but also other examples of people have integrated the minimalist lifestyle into their lives. A women built her own tiny home in the back corner of one of her friends yard, a woman only dressed with 18 different accessories, clothes and shoes in total for a couple of months, in order to test a theory about people noticing when you repeat an outfit and a woman tries to live a zero waste life. The documentary gives helpful tips for people to make small changes into their lives, and think about the important things in life and what really matters to them instead of how many things they can have in their homes. They bring up the conversation about how as a society in the US we feel the need to buy things when we believe our lives are not up to par with the others around us. We have this mindset that the more we buy and the more stuff we have, the happier we’ll be, but as a country we are one of the least happiest in the world. Most of the things we buy have no real value to them, in terms of sentimental value, and we have no problem throwing away things as soon as we feel they have no more use, or they sit in our homes collecting dust for years, not being used. The documentary also talks about how in our country we don’t really have a sense of community around us, we live in a very individualist time when if we don’t have something we need, we’ll go out and buy it instead of asking family or friends if we could borrow their belongings.

After watching the documentary, the overall message really hit home to me, so I slowly made some changes to my lifestyle. I first cleaned out my closet and went through all of my clothes, shoes and accessories and made two piles, one was to keep and the other was to allow my friends to look through first to see if they wanted anything and then the remaining was going to be donated. The clothes I kept were clothes that I either wore a lot or they held some sentimental value to them. I have also started to ask around before buying something I need for a one time thing, for example I was going to a very nice event and didn’t have anything that would have been appropriate enough, so I began asking my friends if I could come over and borrow one of their dresses for this event. This way of thinking also helps to save money as well, because if I were to have bought a new dress for this event, it then would have sat in my room for months going untouched because I don’t go to things that would force me to dress up often. We have a conditioned thinking process that more is better, but with consuming that is not that case.

3 thoughts on “Documentary: Minimalism

  1. humphriesjt

    Great post! This documentary could be a tremendous eye opener to many living in the United States who have no idea how their particular water footprint, carbon footprint, and daily activities alter the environment. I plan to give this documentary a chance in the near future.

  2. keegancr

    This is a fantastic documentary! Everyone needs to watch this and reduce the amount of “stuff” they have and continue to buy. To anyone who has not seen this, I highly suggest!

  3. Tim

    Great post regarding personal lifestyle changes. I heard this documentary was really interesting and this post may have finally convinced me to watch it. I know the struggle with letting go of clothes that have sentimental value. I have a lot of concert and festival shirts that are pretty much one of a kind, and even though some don’t fit me anymore, I can’t seem to get it out of my drawer. Once this semester is wrapped up and I have a week off before my Maymester starts, I also plan on doing some spring cleaning. There are so many trinkets and enormous coffee table books that are collecting dust in our apartment. By the way, if you’re looking to get rid of any movies, books, cds, records, or video games, take them to Mr. K’s Bookstore by the Taner Outlets.

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