We have all heard of minimalism and minimalistic lifestyles and choices. Simply put living frugally is frugalism. Frugalis in Latin means virtuous and it explores the idea of living with little but living a contented, happy life.
The space of frugalism is a space that rejects extreme consumerism, extreme hyper-connection through technology and a more environmentally and socially ecological balance that gets driven by sound reason and cause.
Frugalism is a life that slows down overall and adopts a gentle approach to living on both the self and the planet and society. Sparing, prudent, economical purpose to focus on what is needed and not what one wants and steering clear of the rat race and hyper competitive, over performance driven culture is what is at its core.
This hunger to constantly acquire and consume is unending and not sustainable for anyone and consumerism drives the planet into a tizzy with mass production impacting lives and ecology massively. Frugalism looks at imbibing an intent based value system and as an ideology can be adopted for various reasons, financial, personal, ecological or political.
Every experience puts life in perspective. For me, in the current times being stuck with minimum access to the outer world with just a few pairs of clothes to get by, has taught me what is truly important. We have now come down to eating two meals a day. The fact that we can breathe, eat, exist, stay healthy, stay safe and love and be loved and cared for is all that you need is something people world over are realising.
In times like this, frugalism is a great methodology to adopt for a change that is much needed for our lives and for the earth. The Mahatma Gandhi quote that reads – “The earth has enough for every man’s need but not enough for one man’s greed” is poignant more so in the times of COVID.
This reminds me of the stockpiling frenzy that we went into when the lockdown was announced. The way people emptied the supermarkets without leaving anything for the others. Again, this is privilege of access to finances and geographies that help the consumerism and catapult it in these times. When you start thinking of the planet and its people as a whole and set aside your own personal wants to factor in the needs of the others around you, we will be a far better race of humanity.
A slow life of slow food, slow fashion, slow housing can help tide over these times with enough left over for all.
How can it help us now?
- Spend less, save more as this will help tide over tougher months
- Help businesses by buying local and directly
- Build an understanding and framework to help colleagues and peers through these times
- Buy less, buy only what is needed and when it is needed so the shelves have stock for others
- Reduce meals daily to what you need and choose healthy options over flamboyant choices
- Use what you have in your kitchens and create food with interesting combinations of raw materials that are available to you
- Consume lesser meat in comparison to your usual consumption
- Buy perishables as and when you need instead of stocking as this could lead to waste
- Segregate your waste and watch what you are consuming
- Use simpler alternatives wherever possible like switching to cloth napkins instead of tissues
- Be conscious of use of resources and conserve
When this becomes imbibed into our lives, we will automatically operate with more empathy and our lives will have intent and purpose and the planet will also benefit.
Hope all of you are staying well, staying healthy and staying safe.
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