Global Development Studies


by Sophie Z and Hannah L


In this fast paced world that we live in, we can often be distracted by the instant satisfaction we feel after purchasing something that catches our eye. However, it takes only a second for us to stop and ponder, “Will this really spark joy for my soul?” By doing so, we are actively questioning the need to buy ‘stuff’ that doesn’t necessarily bring us joy. This question often prompts us to then reflect, “What do we REALLY NEED, and what is it that we only WANT?” 

Sophie and I, two Juniors taking Global Development Studies, embarked on a personal journey to dig into the topic of consumption by exploring, experiencing, and sharing our thoughts on social media accounts, hoping to make a positive change to our community. Our purpose is to spread awareness about the negative impacts that our prevailing consumer culture has had on the planet, and to discover the tremendous benefits that minimalism can bring to both the community and the individual. Living a minimalist life is all about focusing on the things we value most and removing what distracts us or wastes our time and resources. 

Throughout our journey of exploring the minimalist world, we were also inspired by many individuals who “walk their talk” with minimalism. We had the opportunity to interview d’Arcy Lunn, a passionate global citizen who lives in a tiny house, and who is the founder of Teaspoons of Change, an amazing organization that strives to leave a positive impact on our Earth. He shared many of his insights on sustainability and its true meaning, his reasons for living in a tiny house, and how his water comes from the rain and his electricity from the sun. D’Arcy highlights the balance of life, and how he advocates for sustainability by leading by example, something that we, as beginner minimalists, are striving to work towards. We also explored many other topics such as capsule wardrobes, the pros and cons of minimalism, and the negative impacts of waste on our planet, all of which are posted on our Instagram account and YouTube channel. Please go check them out if you would like to join us on this voyage to explore sustainability and minimalism!  


Now, as beautiful as this project may sound, nothing is without its flaws. Throughout this process of digging into minimalism, Hannah and I also faced multiple challenges. As we are not only beginner minimalists but beginner vloggers, our first vlogs completed during the quarantine period were… shockingly terrifying. We did not have a clear focus, our devices were shaking, and any viewer would have been able to feel the awkwardness seeping out from us. Looking back at these vlogs now, I really realized how we have grown, not only as vloggers, but also as individuals.

Minimalism is not about what others believe, but what you want to change about your life and your journey. So step up, and make a change! Remember: small tasks can make a big difference!


Hannah L. and Sophie Z. are students of Global Development Studies at Concordia International School Shanghai.