September 18th is National Cleanup Day!
At Sherpani, when we think of cleaning up, we typically think of our responsibility to nature and the ways we can be good stewards of the land. From following Leave No Trace principles while hiking to keeping plastic off the beaches, keeping our wild spaces clean and following sustainable manufacturing practices is one of our top priorities.
But keeping your own personal space clean and organized is important, too. Studies show there are various mental health benefits to living a clutter-free life and going minimal — from more energy to reduced anxiety.
Plus, minimalism is good for the environment. When you buy less things, you offset pollution caused by manufacturing and transporting new goods. And when you use products to their fullest, you can cut back on waste which contributes to growing landfills.
Here are our tips for how you can go minimal this year to enjoy the mental health benefits, save money, and give back to the environment.
1. Declutter Your Space
You can follow Kondo’s method by looking at the various objects in a single room and asking yourself, “Does this item spark joy?” If not, it could be time to let it go.
Check to see if the item is damaged, outdated, or in need of repair. For damaged items, see if you can repair it before you toss it out. If you can fix it, you’ll reduce waste and won’t have to buy new stuff.
Not feeling that joy Kondo talks about when looking at that old toaster? Why not donate it?
You’d be surprised just how many things can be used again or repurposed for something new. Find out if your old things can be recycled >
Once you get rid of all the items you don’t use or enjoy anymore, you can enjoy a more open, clutter-free home. And you’ll likely find yourself feeling a little more open and stress-free, too!
2. Reuse vs. Buying New
In today’s world, you can get pretty much anything delivered right to your door. Sure, it’s convenient, but it’s also having a detrimental impact on the environment.
Single-use plastic alone causes devastation to our oceans and natural habitats. A recent study found that 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic has been manufactured to date — and only 9% has been recycled.
So what can you do about it? Reuse!
You can kick your plastic use easier than you think. For home care, laundry, and other household items you can try eco-friendly companies that provide products that reduce CO2 emission, save water, and help less plastic end up in landfills.
For old clothes past their prime, why not find a fun way to turn it into something new?
Plastic bags at the grocery store? Not anymore. Those plastic bags take years to break down, and more often than not they end up in our oceans and natural habitats. Bring sturdy and reusable cloth bags (or throw your groceries in one of your Sherpani bags) and kiss those plastic grocery bags goodbye.
Finally, when you buy gently used items, that means using less raw materials to manufacture new items. So before heading to a big box store for new clothes, furniture, or household appliances, check the thrift store first.
3. Make Better Use of Your Food
Becoming minimalist also means being smarter about how you buy and use groceries.
Every year in the United States, 108 billion pounds of food is wasted. That’s nearly 40% all the food in America!
Food waste is a huge problem in our country. When you go on big shopping trips, it’s pretty common for things to go bad in the back of your fridge before you can eat it.
Food is also thrown out when it doesn’t meet a retailers’ standards. That means a perfectly good piece of produce can go right to the trash.
You can incorporate minimalist values in your kitchen by going on smaller shopping trips more frequently. You can also organize your food so that you can clearly see everything you have before you hit the store.
Food subscription boxes like Misfits Market are also a great way to get sustainably sourced groceries and fight food waste.
4. Organize Your Stuff with Sherpani Bags
This probably goes without saying, but we love staying organized. We design bags meant to keep everything in place, whether you’re globetrotting or heading to class or work.
The biggest bonus? They’re made of post-consumer plastics and created using sustainable manufacturing practices. We’ve created a whole collection made from plastics that could’ve ended up in the ocean.
With a Sherpani bag, you never have to sacrifice style for a sustainable bag. Because why not have both?
Join the Minimalist Movement with the Miyako or Camden
Bold style meets sustainability with these bags. Plus, they keep everything organized with accessible pockets and sleek compartments.
Remember all that plastic we’ve been pulling out of the ocean with our Blue Verve Project? These bag are made from those recycled materials.
We also donate 25% of the profit from this collection to reducing ocean pollution, so you can feel good about protecting the environment.
Step Up Your Sustainability this Season
Fall is the perfect time of year to get outside for some gorgeous hiking. But when you’re outside, it’s important to recognize the impact you have on the planet — even when you’re just going on a day hike.
There are many environmentally-conscious ways to hike without causing harm. Because when you respect nature, it stays beautiful for generations to come.