Zero Waste Living – is it possible?

Yes – Zero Waste Living is possible because some people have proved that they can do it.

Is it easy? absolutely not!

The Zero Waste Living goes hand in hand with minimalism – actually the first time I stumbled upon this concept when I browsed through minimalism sources. Then I become more fascinated by this concept after a year living in New Zealand and found out how beautiful and serene a clean and waste-free environment. Then I go back to Indonesia and see the opposite almost everywhere.

It’s heart-breaking to me to realize that the environment is never a priority in my country. To find that how people are so accustomed to disposable, single-use things are frustrating to me. I have to make a special request when shopping or dining – to avoid unnecessary waste such as plastic bag or straw – but even with the request they still give me those things. Also, it is so hard to find a facility to recycle here, I don’t really know what to do with my plastic waste. Even one of my expat colleagues pointed out that he chose his current modern luxurious apartment in Jakarta with a hope that they will provide better waste management, including recycling, but it can’t be found there, let alone in the regular places in Jakarta. It’s really frustrating indeed.

Also, I found out that high education doesn’t guarantee an awareness about this waste management. As usually, people with higher income (who usually has a high education), consume more things and therefore more waste. Also, when I tried to throw this issue to my college friends – almost no takers, so I assumed they don’t even care about it.  What a disappointment.

I really hope that newer generation of Indonesia will care more and be cautious about the environment.







My Minimalism Journey – June 2017

It has been 2.5 years now since I made a pledge to live minimally.

For the first 2 years, I tried to reduce my possessions so they could fit in 1 suitcase and 1 carry-on backpack. It is a target I set as I have the vision to move abroad someday and I don’t want my stuff to weight me down. I was finally able to turn the vision into reality on February 20th, 2017, when I move to Auckland, New Zealand to pursue my master degree.

It was when, once again, a reality knocked me down. That I am still far far away from being a minimalist. Yes, I was able to fit my belongings that I wanted to bring to New Zealand into one 28″ suitcase, one carry-on backpack, and one small duffel bag. But they are severely overweight. My baggage allowance was 33 kg (checked-in baggage) and 7 kg (cabin baggage). But I was end-up with 39 kg (checked-in baggage) and 11 kg (cabin baggage), so my baggage was overweight by 10 kg. Well, I have evaluated where I went wrong, what things that I don’t necessarily need to embrace a new life, things that I should be left home or better be donated. But it was a painful lesson, as I had to pay a very expensive overweight baggage fee and also the pain I had to bear lugging 11kg backpack. Something that I promised myself not to experience ever again.

Refer to my experience, the key to minimalist moving are:

  • Research in advance about where to find/buy the cheapest things, such as homeware, clothes, stationary etc. I was so overwhelmed by my friends’ warning that everything in New Zealand is much more expensive than Indonesia. But I found out that it is not always the case, there is a store like “The Warehouse” that sell items just as cheap as in Indonesia. If I knew about this before I left, I would have brought items that I could easily find here at a cheap price. The good things are that most of these stores have online shopping website so you can find the exact price to compare even before leaving the home country.
  • I should have only brought clothes for 2 weeks. Only my best quality, favorite, most comfortable and most expensive ones, the clothing items that can’t be replaced. I should have left or donated the rest in Indonesia. Living in a new country means an opportunity to complete our wardrobe with local products and even upgrade it with a better quality. But it doesn’t mean a lot more purchase as it is opposite to the minimalist life principle, but just an enough amount to complete what we already have.

Other than that, I still have an enormous amount of possessions that I keep on my parents’ house. Something that I have to tackle immediately when I go back to Indonesia after finishing my study. I am supposed to only keep a few clothes in my parents’ house, only for when I spend my time there, at maximum is clothes I need for 2 weeks stay, nothing more. I have to also organize my books, my knick-knacks and everything that I no longer need but I am still keeping there. I think I have to get rid at least 80% of them.

Besides that limited items that I will keep at my parents’ house, recently I have listed all possessions that I require to live a normal life. Based on that list, I only need less than 300 items for a settle-life, a life whereby I stay in one place for more than 1 year, most likely at my own house or apartment. For a nomad life (stay in one place for less than a year, on a rental flat/room), I have to stick with 1 suitcase + 1 carry-on backpack rule (with maximum total weight of 40 kg) to contain all my belongings. The items count is reduced a lot to less than 150 items. So, it will make it very easy when I am moving again somewhere. And the last, for a travel life, whereby I keep moving and stay in one place less than 1 week, I have to contain all my belongings in one carry-on backpack only. The items count based on my list is less than 80 items.

I hope that I can stick with the plan and advance my minimalist journey further, as I am really overwhelmed with the burden of my possessions.



The Baggage I brought to New Zealand, still too much!!!!!


My Minimalism Journey – April 2016

Last December, I made a life-changed decision to quit the company where I started my career and worked for 9 years. It was one of the most difficult and important decision that I have made in my life. I planned to write about that in more detailed later, but my post here is about how it helps me to simplify my life, to push me closer to minimalism lifestyle that I am pursuing.

Quitting my last job forced me to relocate to other side of Jakarta, simply because I can’t stand the traffic. I think it is ridiculous to spend 2 hours/ day to commute between home and work, 2 hours/day equal to 20 days a year which is my entire annual leave entitlement! Such a waste to spend it on the road, grunting about traffic.

So I had to leave my 2 bed room apartment and rent a room in a rent-house, walking distance from my new office. That was when the reality hit me: I have too many stuffs! I was quite shocked because I have started to reduce my possession for almost a year! but I still have too many stuffs. I deliberately did the moving process all by myself, not asking for anyone helps, just to feel how all this stuffs weighed me down. It took me 5 weekends to move all my stuffs and cramped it to my tiny rent room. That was when I realize I am still far away from being a minimalist.

But for me, minimalism is a marathon, not a sprint. I am still streamlining my possession day by day, as I sit here in my tiny room, surrounding by my stuff. My target is to reduce my possession to bare essential, which can be packed to 1 suitcase and 1 backpack – if possible. I am done with situation where stuff weighing me down, I want to be mobile  and free..


Gaya hidup minimalis – starter!

Begitu mendengar kata “minimalis” umumnya kita akan langsung menghubungkan dengan desain rumah atau furniture. Coba saja anda googling sekarang, pasti yang akan muncul adalah foto dan desain rumah dan furniture minimalis.. 😀

Tapi bagaimana dengan gaya hidup minimalis?

Apa sih itu?

Secara sederhana, minimalis adalah hidup hanya dengan yang kita butuhkan dan kita cintai/ sukai. Minimalism is living with what we need and what we love.


Saya ambil contoh yang paling simpel, coba lihat  sebentar lemari baju kita dan tanyakan pada diri kita sendiri – apakah kita membutuhkan semua yang ada di dalam sana? tentu kita butuh dan suka memakai kaos (Tshirt), tapi apakah kita butuh 20 Tshirt atau 7 Tshirt sebenernya sudah mencukupi? Bagaimana dengan jeans? baju kerja? jilbab? apakah sebenarnya kita butuh sebanyak itu?

Tanpa sadar kita telah mengakumulasi banyak barang, padahal dari sekian banyak barang yang memenuhi lemari kita itu -kadang sampai susah diatur,  kita tahu kalau sebagian besar tidak akan pernah kita pakai lagi. Mungkin karena sudah kekecilan, tidak nyaman dipakai, sudah ketinggalan jaman, atau memang dari pertama kali beli belum pernah dipakai sama sekali. Berapa banyak barang yang kita beli hanya karena diskon? berapa banyak barang yang kita simpan hanya karena bermerk dan mahal? atau hanya karena itu souvenir dari liburan kita beberapa tahun lalu?

Dan itu baru dalam satu lemari baju, bagaimana dengan lemari lain dan ruangan yang lain? dari sekian banyak barang yang kita miliki – berapa persennya yang benar2 kita butuhkan?

Langkah pertama dalam hidup minimalis adalah memilah semua hal yang kita miliki, menyimpan hanya yang kita butuhkan dan menghilangkan/mengeluarkan sisanya. Dan langkah ini tidak hanya berlaku pada kepemilikan berupa barang (material). tapi juga terhadap non-material, yang akan kita bahas di postingan selanjutnya.

Tapi mengapa?

Alasan utamanya adalah untuk memanfaatkan waktu dan ruang yang kita miliki sebaik-baiknya dan mengurangi stress.

Coba kita ingat2 lagi, total waktu yang terbuang untuk membeli, merapikan, dan membersihkan barang yang tidak kita butuhkan? padahal waktu tersebut bisa kita pergunakan untuk hal-hal lain yang lebih berguna. Belum lagi barang2 tersebut juga memakan tempat di rumah kita sehingga terasa semakin sempit setiap harinya. Hari libur yang cuman sebentar akhirnya habis untuk membersihkan dan menata barang2 tersebut sehingga menambah stress.

Ada quote bagus yang saya dapat dari salah satu blog minimalis, intinya seperti ini: harga suatu barang itu bukan hanya uang yang kita keluarkan saat membeli barang tersebut, tetapi tambahkan juga harga dari waktu yang akan kita habiskan untuk memakai dan merawat barang tersebut, harga dari ruangan/tempat yang akan digunakan untuk menyimpan barang tersebut dan harga yang akan kita keluarkan saat membuang barang tersebut. Karena setiap barang yang kita beli suatu saat nanti menjadi sampah yang kembali ke bumi.

Lalu bagaimana?

Gaya hidup minimalis tidak untuk semua orang, itu yang pertama.

Tapi jika ingin mencoba, lakukan pemilahan dari tempat yang terkecil dahulu – 1 laci meja misalnya. Coba hanya sisakan barang yang kita butuhkan di laci tersebut, dan keluarkan sisanya dari rumah kita. Kita bisa memberikan barang2 tersebut pada orang lain yang membutuhkan atau dibuang kalau memang samasekali sudah tidak berguna. Tapi intinya barang2 kelebihan itu harus keluar dari rumah kita, jangan hanya pindah tempat dari 1 laci ke laci yang lain. Ingat, minimalisme bukan mengenai penataan penyimpanan.

Jika kita merasa lebih baik setelah melakukan hal itu, bisa kita lanjutkan ke sistem yang lebih besar: 1 lemari, 1 ruangan, 1 rumah? mungkin awalnya kita merasa skeptis – tapi coba saja dan share pengalaman anda disini.

sampai jumpa di postingan minimalisme selanjutnya.