Zero Waste, Minimalism and Privilege with Elizabeth from Plant Based Bride

I had the pleasure last week of getting together with Elizabeth from Plant Based Bride. Elizabeth and I talk about a lot of similar topics on her channels. We both are very interested in the veganism and the environment (Elizabeth also has some great videos on ethical fashion, which I highly recommend).

Zero Waste, Minimalism and Privilege

In this video, we talk about zero waste and minimalism – two topics that are very interesting to us. Both minimalism and zero waste have come under attack for being elitist and privileged.

If you’re anything like me, you might be a bit confused by the supposed connection between minimalism and privilege. How can lifestyles characterized by anti-consumerism be privileged? But they often are, and it makes sense. Certainly, if your concept of minimalism is slick white spaces filled with apple products and modern furniture, it’s pretty elitist. That kind of image is definitely not attainable for many. But is it the only way of seeing things?

Definitely not. For example, The Minimalists base their philosophy on the idea of keeping only what brings value to our lives. Granted, this philosophy is not directly anti-consumerist. But it encourages conscious consumption.

The same is true of zero waste. While zero waste is ostensibly about reducing our consumption and attempting to refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and compost as much as we can, it can still seem very unattainable. Many people think they can’t be “zero waste” if they don’t have access to bulk foods (not true! Bulk bins produce waste as well!). And of course, some high-profile zero-wasters have created an aesthetic that can encourage competitive consumption (expensive water bottles, matching french canning jars for storing pantry items). But who said it needs to be like that?

Check your privilege

Like with anything else, we need to think critically about how we “do” zero waste and minimalism. We also need to ask ourselves “why”. Is this a lifestyle we subscribe to because we genuinely care about the planet and feel this is the best way to live? Or do we want to just feel cool? Or is it a little bit of both? Whatever motivates you, I think it’s important to be honest about our goals and intentions. Minimalism and privilege might be

Special thanks to the ModVegan Patreon community, especially Richard and Jess for their continued generous support!

Check out Elizabeth’s YouTube channel, Plant Based Bride 

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