Henry D Thoreau from Walden says, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life.." I live my life by these respects. I will work hard for my own to build shelter, and grow my own food-- other than these basic essentials, why would I need anything else?
I can better spend my time in the woods, exploring, and living for free.
Naturalism similarly suggests conserving energy, recycling, reducing waste, and other clean practices. Yet animals do not recycle or commit to clean practices because that's simply their nature. People have invented microwaves to heat food and television for entertainment.
"Men have become the tools of their tools" is an accurate portrayal on the disillusionment within our society.
What are some of the practices of wild animals? Animals eat a raw diet (whether they're herbivore or carnivore). Animals build their own shelter out of readily materials-- using their own strength (without machinery); own no clothing or use hygiene products; and Obviously the list goes on.
Minimalism is included in the practices of naturalism and environmentalism. Minimalism suggests letting go of unnecessary objects/possessions in your life. 'Letting go' has been a mantra in Buddhism and many other philosophies. Herman Hesse writes in Siddhartha "Property, possessions and riches...had become chain and a burden".
Once you have become free of many of your possessions, or all, you feel free to move-- as if you've lifted the weight of your belongings off of your shoulders.
Focusing on our most basic needs and living independently from bills and corporations, will force you to grow your own food; build your house out of mud/straw/sand/rocks; filter water you have collected to drink; eat raw herbivore diet; wash your clothes minimally and do not own much clothing...or much of anything.
The idea is to conserve finite resources and minimalize on space. Animals are usually nomadic creatures, and do not carry 'things' with them. Although the couple in the picture below are practicing minimalism, they are not practicing all natural living, which is fine if they want to live in a city with air pollution and commercialism.
|this is NOT an example of natural minimalism|
Another topic I will bring up (at a later date) is my refusal to drive vehicles. Not only are vehicles unsafe, but they're environmentally unstable unless we can ALL design our own water vehicles, or make our own moonshine for fuel. Then again, water may be a scarce source in the future.
I prefer to walk where I need to go, usually walking 1-4 miles a day. If I'm going to a friend's house, they'll give me a lift for courtesy.
Going back to water shortage, my grandparents and my partner and I shower minimally, once every two weeks, or use wash rags for face and privates. Using these practices will help me in the future when I will be living outside. I have many other ways I conserve water in this post, "How to Save/Recycle/Conserve Water".
Generally, if you live in a city you can also recycle glass and plastic for a little bit of cash.
My family drinks soda, so I have them save the cans to recycle (and I collect some along the road as I walk)-- I do this to make a couple of dollars too.
My grandparents even practice extreme environmentalism; recycling all plastics, cans, containers, and cardboard/paper. When I mention recycling, I do mean you should recycle or reuse objects you come to possess, but I also mean limiting your purchases. If buying food from a store, buy food in bulk (which comes in boxes), or use cloth bags. Purchase less stuff and eat food that can be composted.
Furthermore, do your part to clean up your environment, not just inside your home. Humans have the advantage because we are evolved animals who must take the responsibility to balance the use of technology with nature and wildlife.
We can choose to use solar panels for electricity, and learn many homesteading techniques to live freely. We can grow our own food. We can build our own home. We can walk our own path.
|pic from "Circle of Iron" with David Carradine|