Today, of things where people can borrow

Today, we are living in a world where our wants are numerous but the resources available to us on earth are scarce. I have chosen to base my research on this question ‘ According to the dictionary, “Minimalism is a style in which a small number of very little things are used to create a particular effect.” In other words, less is more. On earth, we are still in the initial stages of recycling and using renewable sources of energy but the advancement isn’t as fast as the rate at which we deplete our resources. The one thing that can slowly help in making a world where all our sources aren’t used, is by practicing minimalism.We as humans are constantly striving for the betterment of the society, be it technological advancements, scientific advancements, and other advancements. What we do not realize is that while we are advancing toward a more informed and efficient world, we are using and exploiting all of our resources. Minimalism is giving up of things that are not necessary for living. From fancy clothes to fast cars, minimalistic living is living only with necessities rather than unimportant materialistic possessions. This in turn gives us a clutter free world, where there is place and time to pursue our passions, declutter life, be happier and also lead to a debt free world.On a global level, minimalism is growing rapidly. People are recognizing what minimalism stands for and are starting to follow it and their reason for doing this is because we all want a life of less stress, less distraction, more freedom, more time for ourselves, concern for the environment, need for no personal debt and more. However, people are still misinformed as to what the meaning of minimalism is and believe that it is extremely hard and it is the giving up of everything materialistic and living only with bare necessities. With increase in capitalism in the world, people have more disposable income, bigger houses, swankier cars, rooms full of antique furniture and the need to flaunt the French roofs. Ironically, the happiness levels are coming down and the stress levels are going up. Every new hobby, project or possession costs not just money but also precious space in our city apartments. Minimalism is the need of the hour. Buying lesser, sharing/renting more is the way forward. An example of this is ‘The Sharing Depot’ which has opened in Toronto, Canada. It is the first library of things where people can borrow items like camping gear, sporting equipment, toys and garden tools. Various studies have been done on achieving or finding out about the global sustainability however, it is being increasingly realized that minimalism is the way forward. Japan is a very minimalistic country. Japanese do not have much furniture in their homes and do mostly everything on the floor. Japan is a hotbed for minimalism. Being a country that is familiar with Zen Buddhism, turning into minimalists has been fairly easy there. Young minimalists have taken minimalism in Japan to the extremes. They live with nearly empty apartments or apartments that look empty enough to be unlivable. India, on the other hand, is neither sustainable nor a minimalist country. It is a country which is the third largest economy in the world, with the second largest population and a fast-growing economy with 7.6% GDP growth rate. But it is also the country in the world with the largest number of people living in absolute poverty. India has introduced many policies for cleaning of the country but is still not even sustainable as its electricity heavily relies on coal, which produces a lot of CO2 emissions. How do we make India more sustainable? Minimalism is the answer! It is not easy to turn into a minimalist in India. India is a country of timeless traditions and etiquettes. Indians constantly clutter their homes with unnecessary possessions and their success is seen by how big their house is and /or how many cars they own. They are subjected to peer pressure and hence they are misinformed as to what is minimalism and how good it is for the environment. Indians buy these unimportant goods because they are all sold very cheaply. There could be two possible outcomes: one – India will start practicing minimalism and aim towards a sustainable nation or two – they won’t practice minimalism and their country pollution will increase and their sustainability levels will reduce causing them to move lower on the sustainability index chart. If outcome two is chosen then India is in peril.Individuals go on about their life, cluttering it with useless gadgets and items without realizing the impact it is having on the society and the world’s resources. We are misinformed and don’t use renewable stuff because they are too expensive and buy non-renewable items because they are cheaper. The government should inform the country about their doings and provide ways to practice minimalistic living, along with the other issues that have been existing in the country for centuries. For example, “Swacch Bharat” referring to the Clean India Drive started by the Prime Minister nationally. This needs to be done at two levels. One the price of renewable or recyclable goods like jute bags, cloth bags, etcetera, have to be reduced and two, the production of plastic bags has to be stopped. And in this way, reduce people’s dependency on non-renewable sources. However, this is a long-term process in a democratic country like India where most matters are ingrained in the mind and very difficult to change, especially in the matters relating to religion. Farmer suicide is at the highest in India these days because of the debts that they are unable to pay. The reason for these suicides is not only bad weather, but other factors like having many children, their upkeep and then their marriage. I have been unable to understand the need to borrow money that one may or may not be able to return just to marry the children in front of 500 people in the village to show how well off the family is to be able to feed the invited guest. Looking at the topic at all levels, globally, nationally and individually, it needs to be affected at the individual level first and foremost. Like the saying goes, “every drop counts”, every individual counts. After doing this research, I found out how vast minimalism really is and though it is a difficult decision to become a practicing minimalist, it is not unachievable. Like Graham Hill says in his Ted Talk on minimalism, I need to edit ruthlessly- have lesser clothes in my wardrobe, make more space in my life for experiences rather than possessions, think before going for shopping or buying gadgets. I need to think small because more the space, the more I want to fill it up with things. This made me think of how happy we are really when we go to a hotel and in one small room we are happy with all our possessions or for that matter when we stay in a camp, carrying very few things and just close to nature. I intend making things multifunctional. I want to ask myself before I go to my parents if I really want the latest gadget that’s so popular with my friends. Today my phone is not there just to make and receive calls, I have 13 mega-pixel camera, a surround sound, a personal computer and even a book reader in it. So, do I really need to get five different gadgets and then look after them or do I feel better because one thing solves all my purposes. I know it is a gradual process, however, minimalism is a way of life that should truly be preached and can help towards making a sustainable world when all other methods failed. This revelation really helped me in believing that there is an alternative way of living without using our very scarce resources.