Living more deliberately with less: Minimalism – a documentary about the important things

the green walnuts - minimalism documentary
The new documentary Minimalism shows exactly what the subtitle promises: A documentary about the important things. Director Matt D’Avella made a beautiful movie with The Minimalists Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn about people who intentionally chose more simplicity in their lives. Highly recommended!

As I do not want to give away too much (watch the documentary!!!), but I think the message is so important, I picked a few quotes suitable for an intentional lifestyle with less waste.


„As a minimalist every possession serves a purpose or brings me joy.“ Joshua Fields Millburn

Minimalism does not simple mean to own less. It means to to choose deliberately what is important for oneself. It means to reduce everything to the essential, in order to have more energy and resources for what is really important to us. Whatever this is!

Joshua Field Millburn said so perfectly: ‘There is a template out there, the American dream. But this dream is A template, not THE template.’ Everyone can realize their own template, according to their own needs and desires. As soon as we recognize this, we can live a life which makes sense to us. We will not need to fill the void with consumer purchases and buy satisfaction, but we can strive for true happiness instead.

Tip: Before you purchase something, consider why you want to buy it and how often you will actually use it. Does it really add value to your life? Or are you only buying it to fulfill a certain image? If that is the case, chances are high you will throw it away sooner than later.


„When you talk about not consuming, people think you are trying to take something away from them.“ Colin Beaver

‘To buy nothing’ means for a lot of people to give something up. Who has a positive association with waiver? Although, it can be really gratifying to not have to buy anything. It can be quite deliberating not to chase every new trend, own the newest technology or have to spend the hard earned money on the very next occasion.

The less you own, the less you have to worry about. Just think about countless clothes in closets (minimalistic idea: Project 333), huge living spaces (minimalistic idea: tiny houses) or clutter in every drawer (minimalistic approach: declutter).

However, you do not need a tiny house to live intentionally with less. It would be enough to live within one’s means and not to buy things, which do not serve a purpose.

Tip: Use what you have – with the people who are important to you. The scarcest resource is mostly time and not an item. Nobody will think at the end of their lives: oh, if I would have only bought XY…


„We need to be true materialists, like really care about the materials of the goods.“ Juliet Schor

We do not value the things we own if we throw them out at the next best opportunity. The single-use coffee-to-go cup is thrown away after a few sips of coffee. We realize the new shirt is not really what we were looking for after we have worn it once. The whole lamp is ditched because the light bulb was broken and a new one will be cheaper.

If we consider the production cycle of our stuff, we will quickly realize that every single piece will need more resources than meets the eye when you just see the finished product. Every piece of clothing we own was sewed by someone. Every egg we eat was laid by a chicken and sold by a person.

Do we really need 52 seasons every year to buy a new it-piece every week? Is it really necessary to pay less for clothes than for many other products? Shirts for €2.90, eggs for €3.50? The decision for a conscious closet is not as hard as it may seem.

Tip: Get informed about the products you want to buy or already own. If something breaks, try to repair it – by someone else or yourself. Not everything has to be replaced right away!


„Having the balance, having enough. That’s what you’re looking for.“ Patrick Rhone

Do you have the feeling you need more? More money, more gadgets, more clothes, more time? Would you be happy if you had more? This question has to be answered on a very personal level. As well as the question what it means to live simpler, with less.

A minimalistic lifestyle always meant for me to choose intentionally an eco-friendly lifestyle. Buy less to save resources. Live smaller to save energy. Own less to have more time to actually repair your own stuff. Not to waste anything, but not to painfully give up on anything either. To find the balance.

It was not obvious to me that minimalism did not come with an increased environmental awareness. Because the reports on tiny houses and slow fashion always mentioned the eco-friendly aspect as well. They show how we can actively save resources to get more from life.

While watching the documentary, I realized that my conclusion minimalism has to be environmentally conscious, was totally personally motivated.

Just think about all the digital nomads, who are jetting around the world. Or look at The Minimalists sitting in their car with their coffee-to-go cups. Minimalism does not mean less trash. Conscious consumption does not immediately mean, you put emphasize on an ecologically compatible lifestyle. It can also mean that you just want to think about what you own and why you own it.

Whatever the motivation for a minimalistic lifestyle, chances are a lot less resources will be consumed compared to the throw-away culture we live in right now.  Maybe this is how we will find a balance for us individually and together.

Tip: Are you interested in minimalism? Then I can highly recommend these blogs:


„Love people and consume things – because the opposite never works.“ Joshua Fields Milburn


The documentary is now available on Netflix worldwide. Here are more ways to watch it.


Do you think a minimalistic lifestyle is desirable? How do you choose less?


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