Today we are in conversation with Marie Lépinoux – an attempt by KKosmos to bring to its readers, real-life experiences of eco-friendly people especially women.
Marie Lépinoux loves philosophy and done her masters in the same, has a teaching profession to back her, lives in Dublin with her family, currently making a transition to a sustainable friendly living. She shares her journey on her Instagram handle eco.friendlyjourney. She loves to study and likes learning everyday – keeps it curious is what she says!
So, let’s dive into our conversation without further ado
Why did Marie think being eco-friendly is important?
Since childhood Marie always cared for the planet, had big ideas, growing up in Venezuela, she has seen lot of spending without much awareness about plastic or what is non-biodegradable during those times – which kind of made her intentions strong to start living eco-friendly one day.
Marie talks about her students at university who were vegan, it’s really hard to be vegan in Venezuela, too little economical options. They were a source of inspiration she says.
When did Marie kick start her eco-friendly journey?
Marie moved to Spain, that’s when she made a firm decision to go eco-friendly. She wanted to change grocery containers, but it was challenging to afford eco-friendly living, it is expensive, and it’s not practically possible, it felt a little unfair too.
When you start new in a different country, you always need to think of the budget. But against the expenses, Marie decided to make a shift and her first eco-friendly purchase were soap bars in cardboard boxes, shopping bags that were really sturdy and reusable.
Marie moved to Ireland with her family and their next eco friendly lifestyle change was moving to bamboo toothbrushes.
Marie says – we need to make changes small or big, we need to pick the best out of worst to slowly progress towards living eco-friendly.
How Marie stays motivated towards this cause?
Being mindful, because you end up buying lot of things sometimes, spending a lot of money on things you might not use at all, it equals to time being away from your family, your kids, save that money and have a really good holiday, retirement, buying a house or really good pair of shoes which can last 10 years instead of cheap ones which are short-lived – buying things that last longer, stops landfill and wastage.
Marie says – Being eco-friendly is also economics
How did Marie influence her spouse?
According to her experience, men can be less inclined to being eco-friendly, but they are not opposed to the idea, you have to make the changes and they get used to it, just a little push is needed.
How Marie works towards making her kitchen eco-friendly?
She loves zero-waste, but believes practically achieving it, is a long journey. So, she starts with small changes – having eco-friendly, no plastic detergents mainly – they damage water, food, and vegetables you consume in future. So, thats her number1 change.
Next come, sustainable cookware, so she doesn’t keep changing them like for example – nonstick and end up in a landfill. She looks for pans that are not carcinogenic and at the same time good for the environment.
More than buying organic food, she thinks its important to stick to a menu, because if you stick to the menu, it will reduce food waste, carbon footprint on food will also reduce. You buy organic mushrooms and throw it away because you didn’t cook – there is no point.
Buying less plastic packaged food, go for cardboard or easily biodegradable packages. Beeswax wraps – wrap anything it keeps fresh, avocado, tomato, onion, parmesan cheese, without drying the vegetables in the fridge. She prefers buying local, but depends on Amazon a lot for many eco-friendly options she doesn’t find locally. Like these interesting silicone tea bags.
When we asked her about this great picture, she went on to recollect great memories of Iceland , it was Reynisfjara black sand beach in Iceland. She loves snow and no better place than Iceland. Food was expensive, they import everything from outside. And also tasted the traditional dish of Iceland – Hákarl which is prepared using fermented shark for like 4-5months.
What are some eco-friendly baby products Marie recommends?
Baby nappy ointments from local shops, they come in glass containers, can be refilled. Use free cycle groups, this helps reusing things, instead of ending up in landfill.
Use organic formula specially made from Goat, they have less carbon footprint and research also shows goats milk constitution is much closer to mother’s milk. Buy formula that comes in recyclable containers, buy organic cotton products for babies, best for environment as well. Wooden toys are good also have vintage look.
Marie used these Eco-friendly nappies Kit and Kin but later realised here in Dublin they have a cloth nappy library, they give you loans, but there are wait times. So Marie’s baby was almost 7 months old by the time their turn came, but definitely for our next baby 😀
Using eco-friendly balloons for your kids birthdays. Do you know how long it takes to biodegrade a normal balloon ?
Marie’s message for others on being eco-friendly?
1) Do your research, lot of products say green washing, but you turn and see the labels, its still plastic – you can enjoy doing it, you just have to sit on your couch, google and have your own judgement, it gets easier with time.
2) Don’t be rigid, the zero waste rule book, it’s an amazing job if you can follow it, but sometimes it’s not practically possible – when you see the entire stairs it can be daunting , and you get overwhelmed . Like for example, she tried lot of organic products for dry lips, but finally had to buy vaseline which only worked for her, so she just settled for not being rigid, but now she will use it fully, even if she finds a totally eco-friendly alternative. And next she buys the better option.
3) Don’t throw the things you already have, though they are not eco-friendly, use what you have, give it for free to someone who really needs it. don’t end it up in landfill.
What are your views about circular economy ?
Circular economy is not totally sustainable or reasonable , she feel’s it could damage global economy. She think’s even green stuff can make profits. If plastic could make profits, the eco-friendly option can also make profits, I think no body came up with a solution to sell eco friendly cans to coco cola, if they did, it will sell 😀. Everyone wants food at their table, have a nice holiday. So while reusing is an option to reduce landfill, we cannot make it the only option. If you build a fridge that lasts 50 years, they will sell a lot.
So, this is how we got candid with Marie Lépinoux and we wish her very best in her eco-friendly journey, hope she inspires many – follow her and support her @eco.friendlyjourney