In today’s episode Madeleine, of The Wise Consumer, and Maxime, of OurGoodBrands, will share not only the challenges they’ve faced when it comes to living more sustainably but will also chat about their own personal eco-friendly lifestyle goals for 2020.
This is one of the first conversations between Madeleine Wisecup and Maxime Ducker, in which they explore all things related to sustainable living, including the good, the bad and the ugly of their eco-friendly lifestyle goals. While both Madeleine and Maxime have come a long way in their eco-friendly journey and are passionate about sharing their lessons learned, tips, and favorite planet-friendly brands with their communities, the truth is they too face some personal eco challenges. But, that’s life, isn’t it?
Madeleine and Maxime are about to get REAL real with each other/you about a variety of topics ranging from zero-waste periods to how to live a more conscious and eco-friendly lifestyle when you’ve got a million other things you’re trying to tackle in your busy days. Being human is hard and they’ll be the first to admit they’re zero-waste journey hasn’t been perfect.
Don’t miss this super fun conversation — download the episode below.
Madeleine’s 5 eco-friendly lifestyle goals
1. Buy seasonal veggies and fruits
Mad wants to avoid certain veggies and fruits that are not seasonal, such as blueberries in winter. The biggest challenge is that her husband loves eating berries for breakfast and most likely won’t want to make a shift to another more seasonal fruit. Or will he?
2. Try the menstrual cup for her period
Mad has already managed to move to more healthy and eco-friendly options for her period. She’s currently a huge fan of Thinx and Glad Rags (she occasionally uses Cora or Seventh Generation products when she’s traveling). This year her goal is to transition to a period cup. The challenge is that she’s concerned it might get messy or feel uncomfortable.
Brands mentioned: For menstrual cup brands, Diva Cup, Ruby Cup, and Organic Cup. Ourgoodbrands covers many other alternatives for plastic-free periods plus the health benefits of using menstrual cups. And Madeleine wrote a great piece on Period Poverty and how you can help mitigate this issue, click here to read it!
3. Figure out how to dispose of old electronics responsibly
Mad still has her first iPod (plus a bunch of old electronics and wires she’s been moving around for the past 5 years in an old shoe box), she’s unsure how/where to responsibly dispose of these electronics. Her goal is to find an e-waste program that will recycle/upcycle her old gadgets.
Brands mentioned: Nimble and Fairphone as these have e-waste recycling programs but potentially they only accept if you’ve already purchased from them. We also chat about Terracycle as they are known to recycle uncommon waste.
4. How to donate her clothes responsibly
Mad has a large number of garments that she doesn’t wear anymore, most of which are pretty old or no longer fit.
Her goal is to responsibly donate clothes that are still in great condition to second-hand shops that won’t send her clothes to landfills or overseas to be “someone else’s problem.”
As this is a big challenge for many people, Mad and Max will cover in a separate video so stay tuned!
5. Make more snack foods in bulk to avoid plastic packaging
Madeleine is hypoglycemic so needs to eat about every 3-5 hours. But having zero-waste snacks on hand isn’t always convenient as it requires her to cook/make snacks, other than fruit and nuts, from scratch. Her goal is to make more snacks in bulk over the weekend to help her reduce unnecessary packaging.
Maxime’s 5 eco-friendly lifestyle goals
1. Buy eco-friendly make-up that’s good for blemished skin
Maxime’s goal is to find a skincare brand that ticks all the following boxes: zero-waste packaging, vegan, cruelty-free and that doesn’t clog her pores.
Brands mentioned for make-up: Coconut Matter lipsticks and lip balms that work as blush make-up; La Mav which is vegan and cruelty-free (however comes in plastic packaging). Mad is using and highly recommends the zero waste makeup brand Kjaer Weis.
2. Purchase Fairphone
Maxime loves the brand Fairphone and is seriously considering it for her next phone purchase (FYI, this is the only cell phone brand that achieves ethical standards that align with her values).
If she decides to switch to a more eco-friendly phone her goal will be to ensure that both her business/personal needs will be met and are compatible with her current devices, i.e. can she download apps she needs to run her business on the fairphone, etc.
3. Renew old underwear with eco-friendly and ethical brands
The goal is to find the brands that best suit her needs without having to pay an exorbitant amount for the shipping.
Brands mentioned: Colieco is an ethically handmade brand Maxime invested in, however, it’s not very comfortable and doesn’t fit her.
NOTE: The Wise Consumer and Ourgoodbrands put together a very extensive sustainable and ethical underwear guide that lists 34 ethical/sustainable underwear brands from around the world.
4. Buying groceries and vegan food avoiding plastic packaging
Even though Maxime has managed, for the most part, to stick to a vegan diet, the extra add-on of avoiding packaging is not convenient with her busy and overworked lifestyle.
The goal will be to shop in bulk stores more often to get nuts and snacks without packaging.
Mad & Max spoke about how brands are trying to be more responsible when it comes to their packaging as well as why legislation around food safety needs to adapt to current environmental problems.
A documentary that Mad & Max found really enlightening: Rotten available on Netflix
5. Purchase an eco-friendly yoga mat
Maxime does a lot of yoga. Her biggest challenge has been finding an eco-friendly yoga mat at a decent price.
Solution: Ourgoodbrands put together an extensive guide with 16 eco-friendly yoga mats that ticks all the boxes in terms of sustainability so that each of us can find what suits best to our needs.
Setting Eco-Friendly Lifestyle Goals
Why set goals?
- Without establishing concrete goals, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Oftentimes, not setting goals leads to inaction and profound disorganization, not to mention wasted time.
- Writing down your goals allows you to organize your thoughts and priorities — remove the clutter from your mind.
Goal Setting Tips:
- Simply writing down goals isn’t enough. Find someone to hold you accountable. This will help to keep you on track and honest with yourself.
- Don’t forget to celebrate. As you start achieving your goals, celebrate! We often tend to forget to celebrate our milestones before moving on to the next ones. It’s important to celebrate even the small wins.
The 5 big categories for an eco-friendly lifestyle
Here are the main areas where we recommend you to look into:
- Food & Kitchen
- Fashion & Accessories
- Beauty & Health
- Home & Cleaning
For instance, if there is one particular area that you think you should do a better job, maybe it’s time to focus on that. On the other hand, if you think there is one particular group that you are already doing well, then just find those smaller things that you think you could improve to and write them down!
Download here your pledge form! Feel free to share it across social media and tag @thewiseconsumer and @ourgoodbrands ~ It’s always easier to achieve goals when you can count on someone to hold you accountable 🙂
The basics to start with your eco-friendly lifestyle
If you’re unsure as to where to start, here are a few ideas by categories:
Eco-friendly Food & Beverage
- Eat less meat (challenge yourself at least one day a week. Meatless Mondays is a great initiative to start with.)
- Make tea/coffee at home, bring a reusable mug if you buy beverages while you’re out and about.
- If you’re in need of something, consider checking out your local second-hand store.
Eco-friendly Beauty & Health
- Before buying a new product, read the label — what ingredients are listed? Eco-friendly packaging is a bonus, however, 100% recyclable is the minimum!
Reusables for Home & Toxin-free Cleaning
- Use recycled toilet paper or sustainable brands such as Who Gives a Crap
- Avoid paper towels or napkins and choose reusable ones instead.
- Reduce chemicals by moving to eco-friendly laundry washing. Maxime recently purchased a revolutionary product called Ecoeeg which helps save money, time and the environment. Here is a full guide with 9 zero-waste detergent brands.
- Install and browse the internet using Ecosia, a green and sustainable search engine alternative that plants trees. Believe it or not, people around the world have planted 86 Million trees with their searches, and you can too – set up Ecosia on your computer as the main browser and download the app on your mobile phone.
Do you have any ideas that have helped you to achieve a more eco-friendly lifestyle or even any goals you’d like Mad & Max to hold you accountable for? Share in the comments below!