This week, Klow is welcoming Marie from the french blog marieeppe. In this open blog post, she will explain us a bit more about her eco-conscious consumption habits. A testimony that, we hope, will inspire you to adopt a healthy & minimalist lifestyle that respect the environment.
My name is Marie and I’m the founder of the french blog marieeppe and Instagram account @marieeppe where I have been sharing my conscious lifestyle and consumption for 2 years now. As a committed consumer, I do my part on a daily basis but I’m not “perfect”.
My goal is to raise awareness. To show that small, simple actions that are better for our health and our planet, are accessible and can be adopted by all of us.
A trigger for a more responsible lifestyle and consumption?
For some, there was a trigger, a particular event in their lives that led them to change their consumption habits. For me, it hasn’t really been the case, I’ve always had a healthy lifestyle. I was lucky to have a mother who always cooked fresh and seasonal products, I grew up in the countryside and have been practicing a physical activity since I was a child. By becoming independent, I naturally adopted a lifestyle and consumption habits that could be described as “responsible”.
At 20, I moved to the other side of France. I left my native Lorraine (a region in east of France, close to the German border) to study food engineering in Nantes (west coast). While the food-processing industry is often seen with a negative eye, I was already leaving with the ambition of being able to contribute to “changing the world” in the field of food.
My objective was clearly not to join one of the major industrial groups in the food industry! During my three years of studies I made sure that each of my experiences and projects were linked to my personal values and convictions. Therefore, I did my internships in small family businesses that have a human scale, offering healthy and organic products with an ethical and ecological commitment. Why this ambition? I still haven’t been able to explain it today, but it was through food that I started to adopt a responsible consumption lifestyle.
Everything started in my kitchen: from good to my health to good for the planet.
Coming from a small village in the countryside, I spent all my childhood eating the fruits and vegetables from our garden. When I arrived in Nantes, I no longer had access to these products, so I joined a Farm Share (an organization that allow you to buy local products directly from the farmers). Every week, I collected my basket of organic vegetables from a local market gardener. My student budget didn’t stop me from doing my part, I was able to consume better little by little. For my food shopping, I quickly realized that buying in bulk was no more expensive than buying packaged products at the supermarket, especially for all dry products (cereals, legumes, seeds…). My shopping was therefore organized this way: dry products bought in bulk in organic stores and fresh products in supermarkets (certified organic or from local farmers at most).
In addition to the quality and cost of products for my health, I have also been concerned about the environmental impact. By buying in bulk, I bought reusable fabric bags, bought products with reusable or recyclable packaging and opted for large containers rather than small ones (e.g a large yogurt pot rather than several individual pots) and continued to buy seasonal and fruits and vegetables from local farmers, as my parents always taught me.
From responsible eating to a minimalist lifestyle
Now as a young graduate, I had to move a lot during my studies. I lived in 18 square meter flats for short periods of time. It was, therefore, not an option at all to use too much space. And beyond these limits, I quickly realized that being satisfied with the essentials helped me to be more relaxed on a daily basis. By having only what I need, I have seen myself becoming more productive and organized. For me, having a minimalist lifestyle saves me time on a daily basis! My habitat is not obstructed and therefore my mind is not either.
From fast fashion to ethical fashion
I have always been very simple, not really extroverted and even less extravagant. Since my teenagers years, the more I could hide into the mass, the better I felt. I don’t really like to be notice. So, I have never been really interested by fashion and its trends. To be honest, I have always prefered comfort over aesthetics… I’m 24 and I still wear clothes that I wore when I was 16, and I like it. They are basics that are “timeless” and can be used in all circumstances.
But like many, I started by buying my clothes in fast-fashion stores. For me, it was the most accessible. And like everything else, I tried to adopt better habits regarding my wardrobe. As I said, I never had a big closet. I started by sorting out what I was never wearing and then I introduced the rule of “a garment that comes in, means a garment that comes out” to keep my closet minimalist. And for the clothes that enter my closet, I switched to second hand. For me, it is the first and most affordable step when it comes to ethical fashion. Second hand store has become my best friend, I do flea market and I go to second-hand clothes shop.
Zero waste in the bathroom
Very quickly, I asked my mother to make me facial cleansing cloths, I adopted solid soap, then solid shampoo, oriculi, bamboo toothbrush etc. I didn’t change everything in one day but over time. Concerning make-up, as for fashion, I never really cared about it, I don’t wear make-up on a daily basis, and I’m satisfied with a lipstick and a little bit of eyelash make-up. I only need few products, which allows me to choose quality products (organic, natural, cruelty free…)
Growing professionally with a responsible lifestyle
As I said earlier, I followed an agro-food engineering degree and have been a graduate for 6 months now. Linking my education with my personal values and convictions was obvious to me. I don't know if I will change the world, but I want to contribute to its preservation. So I decided to onboard on an entrepreneurial adventure and create my own anti-waste food company. My objective is to contribute to limiting food waste, which represents more than 10 million tons of products in 2018 in France only! I don't want to create new products, but rather enhance the existing ones by giving them a second life. This project is called In Extremis.
Finally, I'm not looking to be perfect, I'm just looking to consume less but better, to consume more intelligently in a way. I establish new habits as I go along at the speed that suits me. I don't put pressure on myself and try to always remain benevolent to myself and others. That's also what I'm trying to share through my blog and my Instagram account.