Good morning, Sisters!!
I’m so happy to share this little interview with you all. I found Haley on Instagram and absolutely fell in love with her simplistic view of life. She is a beautiful soul, and an unashamed Christian woman, trying to live with more intention every day. I truly admire her mission and work and hope that you will read this interview with an open heart.
+ For those who have not heard of you, please introduce yourself.
Hey there! My name is Haley and I run the Instagram page Blackberry Square (@blackberrysq). I live on a small farm with my family where we pursue sustainable, natural and intentional living. In early 2017 I came across the idea of minimalism, zero-waste and world-sustainability. Since then I’ve expanded my knowledge on these subjects and have strived to live as clutter-free and environmentally-friendly as I can.
+ Why is sustainability important for you and other people of the 21st century?
We’ve pursued easy/cheap/fast for long enough, and it’s taking its toll. Landfills are full of plastic items that won’t break down for an estimated 400 years (on avg.). Factories are filled with men, women, and children who are treated and regarded as slaves and paid poorly. Much of food supply is now corrupted with fillers so that less goes further. I’m not here repping sustainability because it’s benefits my life. I’m here repping it because it benefits the life of others. Sustainability is about taking care of OTHERS, and that’s why it’s so important.
+ You have also taken one step further and worked towards zero waste. For those who do not know of this idea, please explain.
Zero waste is the idea or concept of drastically decreasing the amount of waste you allow in your life. Many people think of zero waste as bulk shopping with mason jars and reusable tote bags, but it’s so much more than that! One step towards zero waste my whole family has taken has revolved around food. We have a small farm and raise chickens and rabbits. What food scraps we don’t eat that are safe for them are fed to them, and we use their feces in our garden, to fertilize the soil, and grow more food for ourselves and the animals. It’s a wonderful circle!
+ How has living with less waste helped you to live a less consumeristic life?
Pursuing a zero-waste life has changed the way I shop completely. It’s one thing to hone in on your passions and focus on those (as minimalism encourages) but zero waste calls you a step further and completely rocks the boat, in a great way! I research products before I buy them and do my best to avoid plastic packaging. For example, my next zero waste purchase will be a fountain pen (my Pilot G2s I bought pre-zero-waste are about dead) and I’m researching extensively for one that will last me a long time and comes with a refillable cartridge.
+ How do you feel that your Christianity plays a role in your desire to live with less of a footprint?
This world isn’t mine to trample as I see fit. The people of the earth are not mine to enslave and force to produce cheap products for me to consume mindlessly. Sustainability and Christianity go hand in hand because the Bible calls us to love others, and we can’t do that if we’re only focused on spending money on convenient items.
+ Living more sustainably can be a big step, even a scary one. What encouragement would you have for someone who wishes to start their journey in this area, but doesn’t know how?
Find people who are passionate about starting this change with you, or already have. Instagram is a wonderful place to meet new people with the same ideals as you. You can share struggles, successes and more with your new friends, and they’ll know EXACTLY how you feel! (Feel free to DM me any questions you wish or just start up a conversation, guys!)
+ Now let’s shift gears a bit and talk about minimalism. How has living a minimalistic life changed the way you look at the eternal, not physical, things of life?
For one, having less things means less time cleaning up after myself. My room stays pretty tidy, so I can focus on other things instead. Such as reading my Bible, spending time with my family and working in my garden! I’ve come to value relationships and my time much more. We buy things with our time spent working and wanting to purchase less means having to work less. Thus, more time for things I enjoy, and taking care of my relationship with God.
+ How has minimalism changed your relationship with God?
Man. Where do I start?! This one is going to be hard to keep short. Separating myself from my attachment to physical items has already made such an impact on my life. I’m not obsessive over what items I can buy next, what else I can gain, but instead, what I can learn and what gains I can make for the Kingdom. For the first time in YEARS I’m putting together a devotional (all about intentional living! I can’t wait to share this, it’s a HUGE project and I’m so excited for it!), and I now feel like if God called me to drop everything and go, I could. My priorities have shifted a lot, for the better.
+ What would your first tip be to someone wishing to declutter and simplify their life?
Start with your wardrobe. Write down the lifestyle you live, what kinds of clothes work best with that lifestyle, and go from there. My wardrobe is now basic tees, flannel shirts, cardigans, and 2 hoodies, plus jeans and leggings. For me, this is the best option. A mix of simple, comfortable, and casual. I layer in the winter to keep warm. Changing your wardrobe not just to match your lifestyle but to match your newfound desire to have less is the best place to start, in my opinion. You’ll waste less time searching for an outfit you like, less money shopping for new clothes because what you have “just doesn’t do” and you can donate the clothing you no longer need to a church with a dropbox where your items will be given to someone who DOES need them! From here, I’d move to decluttering your inbox/feed (unsub from all those companies trying to get you to buy things you don’t need!) and then see where that takes you.
+ Do you have any helpful resources that you would recommend to one looking into these different topics?
I definitely suggest checking out @bezerowastegirl and @underatinroof on Instagram, and www.thegoodtrade.com. These are my go-tos for learning and inspiration. Pinterest is a great place to read, just search for keywords like ‘minimalism’, ‘zero waste’, and ‘sustainability’!
THANK YOU, Haley, for sharing!! Please go check her out and give her tons of love, my friends!! Have a blessed Wednesday!!