I think we are on a roll here with some of our guests and the message is a great one: people are getting rid of and are getting tired of having too much stuff! And I can already tell Madeleine is a stitch. She writes Sweet Madeleine blogs with titles like How to Parent From Bed and How to Design Your Home to Support Self-Reliance. She is fun and funny and to make my case, here is an excerpt from her book that I found to be pretty darn funny: Most eco-friendly books start with terror-inducing lists of the carcinogenic chemicals you are liberally slathering all over every single surface in your house, painting most people as unwitting eco-villains, happily Lysol-ing their way straight to hell. Well, readers can just relax and unpack the (plastic) bags – no guilt trips today!” Bring in on, Madeleine, we are all ears! The show made possible due to the generous support of The Fairfax Companies.
- Eco-friendly has become about what you buy, instead of how you act. Buying eco-friendly products will not help the core issue of many environmental problems, which is overconsumption.
- Before buying an eco-friendly product, consider whether or not you really need that product. The most environmentally friendly thing to do would be to not purchase it or reduce the amount of things purchased – which can be very challenging!
- Living environmentally friendly doesn’t have to be all or nothing – small efforts matter!
- When trying to be minimalistic or live with less stuff, it’s important to focus on getting rid of things but also focus on what things are coming into your home. Be conscious of what you’re buying and why you’re buying it (e.g. are you shopping because you’re stressed or upset?).
- Shopping at second hand stores can disrupt the cycle of fast fashion where clothes are disposable rather then long lasting.
- It’s important to not feel guilty if you’re trying to reduce your waste and you do something “unsustainable”. For example, if you go to the grocery store and forgot your reusable bag, don’t feel guilty about using plastic bags. Being conscious of your shopping behavior is what’s really important!
- Madeleine recognizes that pursuing a more conscious lifestyle, at first, may seem and feel like having to give up many things. However, it actually allowed her to live in a way she wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. As she spends less time and money on material things, she’s been able to live comfortably and gain a sense of freedom.
- Since it can be easy to talk about reducing one’s consumption and difficult to try to figure out how to do it, Madeleine found it really helps to ask herself 4 simple questions before she checks out at a store:
1. Do I truly need this?
2. Can I make this myself? If I can’t make it, the next question would be…
3. Can I buy this second-hand?
4. Is this the best quality that I can afford? (Try to buy things that are good quality that will last instead of falling apart within a few weeks).
- Read the Book: All You Need Is Less: A Guilt-free Guide to Eco-Friendly Green Living and Stress-Free Simplicity
- Check out Madeleine’s Website
- Like Sweet Madeleine’s Facebook Page
- Follow Madeleine on Twitter
- Follow Madeleine on Instagram
- Next time you’re looking for new clothes or furniture, visit your local second hand store.
- Instead of buying beauty products, home cleaners, and other products from stores, try to see if you can find a recipe on how to make that product. Pinterest offers infinite ideas!
- Visit a used bookstore or library instead of buying new books. In Arizona, we love Bookmans.
- Evaluate your own consumptive behavior and see if there are any areas where you can make a change. Keep in mind, baby steps are important and can really make a difference!