Do you find yourself wondering about certain products (like toilet paper, bedsheets, lingerie, shoes, etc) and thinking "There's got to be a sustainable alternative for that somewhere!" ...well, so did Maddy! So, she did something about it, and now WE all get to enjoy the benefits!
Maddy Gawler, a conscious consumer, savvy business-woman and founder of E-CO Alternatives, joins Katie Kurpanek, Eco-Living Coach and Podcast Host, to share about her initiatives to help the world shop locally, then globally. Maddy is doing the hard work for us of finding sustainable alternatives for hundreds of products and services, organizing them, and sharing them with all of us through her E-CO Alternatives Passports (**discount books**) AND Global Directory! If you need to buy something or are looking for services like a gym, coaching, food/drink, etc and you want to support small, earth-minded businesses at the same time, she's got you covered. (learn more below)
This show is brought to you by listener support, and I'm sending a huge shout-out to these patrons for making it happen: Elizabeth R, Nancy K, Sarah W, Jodi S, Julia B, Liliana S, Karyn W, Linda M, Detlef K, and Kelly K!
To become a patron and receive all the perks of this community, visit www.patreon.com/allthingssustainable and join for as low as $3/month!
To learn more with your host and Eco-Living Coach, Katie Kurpanek, visit www.thatminimallife.com for blog posts and personalized coaching info!
TRANSCRIPTS FOR EACH EPISODE can be found here: https://allthingssustainable.buzzsprout.com
More about E-CO Alternatives:
Follow on Social Media:
@eco_alternatives for TikTok and @eco.alternatives for Instagram
Shopping sustainably has never been easier, E-CO alternatives was founded to make it easier to find sustainable alternatives locally AND globally.
Want a global sustainable business guide WITH discounts to over 100 companies around the world? Join our yearly business directory membership for as little as $10/year (or pay what you can)!
Want to explore the Denver-metro area sustainable business scene with access to deals at 26 local businesses? E-CO Alternatives Passports are available now! We offer them for individual purchase as well as bulk ordering AND fundraising.
Here is a quick sneak peek of what you can find in the passport:
Want to switch your household products to refills? Check out Homefill (15% off) or Joyfill (free soap with $10 purchase). Need a gym? Check out GreenDoor Fitness for half off first month membership or $100 off private trainings. Looking to start composting and want to do it with reduced emissions? Check out Scraps, the bike compost pickup company (receive $15 when you sign up). Want to grocery shop zero waste style? Check out Nude Foods (receive $30 off your first order). Want sustainably fished sushi? Check out Bamboo (20% total bill). Looking to switch to reusable cloth diapers? Check out Bundle Baby (4 weeks free wipes with new subscription & 10% off products from our online store & free delivery).
Feel free to share widely and reach out with any questions.
You're listening to all things sustainable, where we unpack topics related to sustainable living, as well as how to apply specific actions to your own life. I'm your eco living coach and podcast host, Katie Kurpanek. Let's jump in. Hey, everyone, welcome back to the All Things sustainable Podcast. I'm so excited that you're here. And today, you have a bonus episode. So lucky you in honor of Earth Month, I wanted to be able to share something extra with you. So I'm throwing this bonus episode into the mix, because why not? It is April 2022. And at the time of this episode coming out, we are now just less than one week away from Earth Day. And the thing is really everyday is Earth Day, right we are, we're aiming to be eco minded all the time. And in this season, specifically, we're talking about how to become a more conscious consumer. And looking at that word conscious through the lens of just aligning your shopping your purchasing habits with your personal ethics and your values. And I would guess that for a lot of us here, if you're tuning in, you probably care about the earth. And so that's going to be one of the ethics that you're aligning your shopping habits with, we have a lot of power with our money, like our buying power can genuinely change the world, it does change the world. If you think about it that way. Like we didn't get to where we are with so much trash just like overflowing the landfills in the oceans, you know, everything contributing to climate change, we didn't get there without buying power. So all of these individual choices that we've made, you know, globally, have contributed to where we are now. So but let you know, let's not think about that in such a negative way, I tend to take the more hopeful view of we can turn this around still, we can use our buying power, we can come together as individuals who create the masses who create change for the better. So let's do that. There you go. There's your little pep talk of the day anyway, in this season, we're looking at becoming conscious consumers. Previously, we've talked about supporting various small businesses, we talked about specifically bipoc owned businesses, so businesses who are owned by black indigenous people of color, we've talked about shopping with the idea of zero waste, zero shame. So doing the best you can with what you have around you. upcoming episodes, we will be talking about why shopping online is not always the enemy, and how sometimes it can actually be better. And then we'll be talking further into the season about like, Okay, once you've got all this stuff in your life, what do you do when you're ready to declutter a lot of that. So how do you do some spring cleaning sustainably or responsibly. And we'll be talking with more people experts on like shopping secondhand thrifting, how to get those good deals, and even more. So I am very excited for all of that. But today's bonus episode is specifically focusing on another option for you to shop really consciously and sustainably. So a lot of us turn to online purchases in order to shop in a way that aligns with our ethics. Because depending on where you live, you just not you may not have access to all the things that you would like. And so in this episode, we're speaking with Maddy Gawler, who is the founder of E-CO Alternatives. And she has an awesome mindset like many of us, shop local shop global, she has so far created two projects that support these initiatives. One of them has to do with like a passport, which is like a little discount booklet that allows you to shop locally if you're in the Denver, Colorado area. And then her second initiative that she has begun, takes it global and connects you with so many businesses around the world that are doing great work in the area of sustainability and creating amazing products for you in the process. So I won't say more than that. We'll just dive right into this bonus episode. I hope that you enjoy and as always, if you have any questions or want to reach out, just look at the episode description and you can follow up with me you can follow up with our guest speaker and thank you for everything that you're doing to become a more conscious consumer and to care for the world around you. Alright, let's dive in. Maddy, thank you so much for joining me today. I'm really excited to talk with you this whole season two now of the All Things sustainable podcast is really focused on like conscious consumption and guiding our listeners as they are conscious consumers are aiming to be So I'm really excited to talk to you about what you created with eco alternatives. And I gave a little bit of an intro if the beginning of this episode, but I would love if you could just share a bit about yourself and what eco alternatives is. And like, how did you even come up with this idea?Maddy Gawler:
Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to be here. Yeah, so eco alternatives has been a mind, I guess idea for like three years now, it's been a thing I've talked to a lot of friends about. And finally, this last year, I quit my job end of June and 2020, and, or 2021, Wow, it's 2022, haha COVID. And I decided to start pursuing the E-CO alternative sphere. And really like my passion area has always been trying to make it more accessible and easy for consumers to find sustainable alternatives. As well as help shed light to those smaller and medium sized businesses that are really actually focused on sustainability. Its mission aligned, it's in their DNA, rather than the Nikes of the world that are publishing that they're doing green things. And that's great for them. But they're really like, that's not who they are, they're doing it because people are now telling them to. And so I was trying to figure out a way to bring that passion to life, as well as support local, because I live in a great state that everyone loves the environment, which is great, we have a big backyard full of mountains. And people want to keep that alive, and they really care. So that's kind of where eco alternatives started to come from. And initially, we want to really focus on this local aspects of the Denver Metro Front Range area. So I started getting to know people, farmers markets, I'm a very extroverted human, we started just networking with the people there, getting to know what they were doing for sustainability, what their limitations were, whether that was that, you know, the cost of being sustainable is really expensive as a suitable company to invest in, whether that's like the product itself, the ingredients or the packaging, the ink that they're using, there's like such a whole supply chain around sustainability. And a lot of companies struggle with other finding the right sourcing, or there's always so many different things to go about, like whether it's finding that source, it's local, or finding one that's like reducing their water consumption. And there's so many things to think about as a business. So just understanding where they were at what their journey. And so slowly, but surely, we launched our first effort, which is our passport, I actually have one here, which is really exciting. I don't know if you've seen them yet. But no, so this is recycled paper. On the front, it's ink. The ink is algae ink, which is a new type of paint that they just started and launched with Patagonia last year. And it's supposedly net positive. But I am going to say that we're neutral, because there's going to be something that's going to come out most likely and just knowing suitability, and they're like, this isn't as good as we think. So we're doing as much as we can in terms of that it's all the papers sustainable. The only thing that's not is staples, but staples still can be in the landfills, and they they still are pretty biodegradable, almost from what I've been told. I haven't done too much research on staples. So that's the little book, we have 26 wonderful companies in there, which is really exciting. And so yeah, so we came up with this idea of building something that people could use physically and go in and explore different companies locally, whether that be solar, or consulting, or working with, you know, diapers, we've got jam and cold brew. So kind of all over the different spectrum of things, and really showing how restaurants and and products can be sustainable. And the options we have here because I feel like sustainability, people always think of products, but there's services and restaurants and other spheres that can be sustainable as well that you could be looking at.Katie Kurpanek:
Yeah, that's super exciting. And I know, so these are the Eco alternatives passports, and I know that you talked a little bit in your marketing about how it's kind of like the Denver gold oh my gosh, I'm gonna say it wrong. But gold C book? Is that what it is? Yeah. And so could you explain to listeners who have like, you know, either never heard of that, or at least never heard of eco alternatives, passports, like what's the connection there? What is what does that specifically do for them?Maddy Gawler:
Yeah, so these these books inside of them, they have a little explanation. So the lovely logo of a company. So this is Nude Foods market, which is up in Boulder. This is who they are. And this is also a little bit about their sustainability. So this is a zero waste grocery store, which in itself, like tells you what sustainability is. And then at the bottom, there's a deal. So if it's a physical store, it'll tell you the deal and someone will sign off or stamp it to validate that discount. So for example, nude Foods has a coupon code you use this coupon code and you get $30 off your first purchase. And then again, like you use it in person Then they'll sign it, or there's online codes. There's a lot of companies that are just virtual and or have a virtual option. And so you can use whatever that code is email or using on their website and validate that that coupon. So it's pretty much like a coupon book for local sustainable alternatives.Katie Kurpanek:
Cool. Yeah. Thank you so much for sharing that with listeners, because I know I've promoted it a little bit like my business is one of the businesses that's in that passport. So there's, you know, there's a deal in there for like coaching with me on living sustainably, but there's so many other businesses in there that you could get really great deals with. So I'm happy to like put this out into the world even more and like encourage people to shop sustainably as much as possible. But I'm curious, like what your hopes and dreams are for this project? And then beyond that, with eco alternatives, like what else are you getting into or aiming towards?Maddy Gawler:
Yeah, we're really hoping to just provide that accessibility for consumers and the education. I think, there's also a lot of excessive labeling recently, there's like, label fatigue is what I keep hearing, people just seeing a stamp. And they're like, what's this green, they're like, oh, it's it's sustainable stamp, like, I don't know what it means that's probably good. So we're trying to provide a lot of education and accessibility to not only the shops, but to the certifications that you can see. So even in our book, like we have a page dedicated to what our different members are, and what those mean, and then the links to find more information on them. Because we do understand, you see a stamp, and it seems really exciting. So we're hoping to make it easier and educate consumers. And ideally, what we want to do is continue to grow this book right now we have 26 partners. But that was from like three or four months of outreach and having no idea what we were doing. And really having 26 amazing partners such as yourself that also thought this is a good idea and hope for the best with us and, and jumped right into it. So we do have a couple new companies have reached out wanting to join for next year. So ideally, slowly growing this and making this like a one stop shop for sustainable local alternatives for people.Katie Kurpanek:
I love it, I love that you plan to keep going that you've already got businesses reaching out to you like that's so exciting to me. And I think that, you know, there are, like you said, there are the Nikes of the world that are like being told basically, that they need to focus more on sustainability and their concern, their customers are demanding it, which is good. I tell people all the time, like our individual choices really do add up, they matter and our voices are heard, because it's not just you as one person, like you're coming together with a whole bunch of people and trying to shop more sustainably and consciously. So it's good to see those big companies changing. But I think that we also really, really need to get behind like the startups and the little guys that are trying to like, really make a difference. And do that more long term too.Maddy Gawler:
Yeah, well, and I think personally, what I've learned in my journey and experience with small and medium businesses is a lot of them, again, sustainability is in their core and their DNA, they just sometimes don't have the financials to be able to support everything that they want to do. And I always see sustainability as a journey as if your business model is growing, your sustainability should be as well. And so the more we can support these small medium businesses, the more we're fueling them and providing them the funds to be able to grow that because you know, not one of the limitations we constantly hear too is the sustainable alternative, the minimum amount of product into purchase, whether that is the packaging, or the ingredient is way too much for these small medium businesses. So they're not going to be able to get use out of that product. Unless they have more people, more clients and more consumers to be able to help funnel that cost or help get to those those numbers and quantities that they need to have for those minimums. So the more we can support those underdogs, the small medium businesses that are really wanting to do something and change because they want to not because consumers are telling them the better. But we do still need the big dogs to participate as well because their carbon footprints a lot larger as we all know.Katie Kurpanek:
Absolutely. Yeah, it takes everybody coming together and making like pretty big changes in our lives. So I'm really happy to hear that like these passports are taking off successfully. And I love that even at the core of your business and the creation of these passports that like sustainability in the production of them has been a top priority for you. So I love hearing about like how you created those passports and you know the algae ink with Patagonia. It's like another reason for me to love Patagonia.Maddy Gawler:
yeah, I actually did a Patagonia research project in grad school. I went to the University of Denver off the street and my my friend and I we both like chose Patagonia because we wanted to figure out what was wrong with them. We're like there has to be something wrong. We spent hours and I have to say I could not find anything so either they're very good at hiding things. I think the only negative that came up was they had this one ad that was like don't buy this. And it was this jacket that was being launched. And they're like, don't buy our new jacket, just don't do it. And they actually had their sales skyrocket that year. So there was a whole controversy on whether that was intentional or not. But from everything else, we found that they seem like a very intentional and purpose driven company. And in their reports for CSR, they also like show their limitations and their hurdles that they've had. And I think that's just very, very important and crucial to have that transparency in there as a company. Absolutely.Katie Kurpanek:
Yep. Totally agree. Um, what else? So you you shared with me just a little bit ago that, like your eco alternatives is expanding beyond just these passports project. So what else are you getting into?Maddy Gawler:
Yeah, so we're really excited in January? Well, in January, we launched a global sustainable business directory, we currently have over 100 businesses, we hit 100 ended last week, which is exciting.Katie Kurpanek:
Thank you. Yeah, we're really excited. It's really cool. This all came back in October, November, we started getting questions from consumers from friends, family, and other products that we just don't have here in Colorado. And that's the thing is, we don't make shoes, we don't make purses, there's, there's a lot of things that consumers use, and we just don't have access to right now locally. And so providing an opportunity for people to go on one directory, find all these different businesses, find deals to these businesses, and be able to explore what what sustainability looks like for them as a consumer is really our goal. So actually, my my bed sheets are in the wash right now. But they are sustainable and eco friendly from one of our partners. And I just got my purse broke the other day, so I got a new purse. And then my wallet, followed it very quickly after and so adding a new wallet. And so you being able to like meet these different businesses from around the world, whether they're in Europe, or if they're in the US, or in Australia or New Zealand, we have partners all over the world. And what's really cool is understanding their different sustainability aspects. And so, for me, I think about alternatives, which is where our name came from, I don't think there's like the, like the one way to do it, there's 1,000,001 ways to be sustainable. And it's just figuring out like, what sustainability means for you and coming up with your own kind of Northstar or values around that. And so for me, I care about the full sourcing, I want to make sure that's mission aligned, like that's in their DNA. And so like lingerie, for example, we don't have high quality lingerie companies here in the US, sadly. And so my two favorite sustainable companies are both in the UK. And they make really good like lingerie. And their bras are very comfortable if they this one company has over 100 sizes. So they're very inclusive in terms of their sizing. And they keep everything as local as possible. So production, and sourcing, and everything happens within like, I can't remember the radius per se, but it's all within the same city. And like the London area, which is super cool, because they decrease their transportation costs and between production. And so looking at those kinds of things, for me is really important as a consumer. And that's kind of where this idea came from, as some of my friends like they care most about water, because they live in California, or they're just really interested in water. So being able to go on this directory and see like what makes companies sustainable, and what types of companies there are because there's, there's like 100, shampoo bar company, let's be real, there's so many of them. But not all of them work for each of us. And so being able to see all of them, see where they're located. So whether that's like you care about how close it is to you, finding that closest proximity will be easiest for you or best for you. And you can check that out our directory. And then again, about three quarters, probably about four fifths, at this point have deals as well. So upwards of like 30% off on your purchase, which is great, because, again, sometimes your sustainable alternative purchase isn't what you're looking for, you might decide that you don't like shampoo bars, and you want to go back to like liquid again. Well, you can do that. And you can still get a discount on both of those products. So you're not spending the full amount on trying something new, getting out of your comfort zone, etc.Katie Kurpanek:
Hmm, that's really, really cool, because so many people, myself included, do not have the time typically in their day to like research all of this stuff and to look into like you talked about the label fatigue, like all these products that we buy and bring into our lives, we're like, Okay, what does this actually mean? I'm just trusting it says green, so that must mean something. But knowing that there's actually like, a database out there that has been filtered and like heavily researched. You know, I think you're doing this I know of a few other people that I'm going to talk to you throughout this season that are also doing this with other products and like I just think that this seems to be the way that our shopping trends might be going From what I can tell, and I'm really excited about it,Maddy Gawler:
I am to Yeah, it's been really cool to see the different types of directories out there, I found some others. There's one in South Africa, but it only has to South African companies. And then there's others that I found that are just for one type of product or one type of certification, which is really exciting. But it's also like you're going to 15 pages to find this information. And so we're really trying to combine and bring everything together. And I our goal, right now, we're starting this local to global aspects, so that the global directory is one great aspect because it has everything. But also, I personally think it's important to be looking as local as possible and supporting small businesses. So we're starting to choose small, different cities around the states to start with will grow eventually. But we're going to start finding all the sustainable services, businesses and restaurants, so that we can have a one stop shop. That's automatic, too, which is always fun. I love maps, I like that. Yeah. And so we'll build it up. And so you can choose like, Oh, I'm in Denver, you click on the Denver link. And then here's all a map of all the businesses and we'll color coded based off of whether it's a service or restaurant or a product that you can purchase. And so we're slowly going to build this up, we're trying to get ambassadors on right now that loves sustainability and want to help build up their city and make it convenient for their city to have. And so we have one ambassador in Maine right now we're trying to find one in Oregon and Washington, because we're trying to hit those hotspots right now. And then we'll slowly build out the rest, but really trying to make it easy to shop locally. And then if you can't find it locally, then go global, because we want to have that local to global mindset. But we also wanted to make it easy for people to find a pair of socks if they don't have one locally. Yeah, yeah,Katie Kurpanek:
that's awesome. The very, like organized type-A educator and coach inside of me is like, so happy to hear about that, because having a map and then having it color coded is going to make this resource way easier to navigate too. So I'm really, really excited about that.Maddy Gawler:
Yes, I am, too I'm hoping eventually, if this can really take off, and I would love to be able to go do road trips around and meet all these companies, I'm very much an in person kind of person. So being able to go into a shop and see what they're doing and and meet the people behind it. That's really cool. I think working in sustainability, you can tell the intentionality of someone in their business when they're talking about it. And they're talking about their sustainability because their eyes just like light up and they get really excited. And so that's been one really cool thing about building this out is we one of the things we ask is for people stories, like what's your story? Why did you start this and so many of our partners, like they started their business, because they were like, there's no sustainable alternative for XYZ product, or they had a passion for something and they're like, but I also care about the environment. So I'm gonna hand like these two things together. So it's been really cool to meet so many entrepreneurs, a lot of them are just kicking off and starting off. So the more I can support them, the better because I want them to be able to be successful. Because then being successful means the world becoming a greener place slowly but surely.Katie Kurpanek:
Yeah. I love it. That makes me so happy. I feel like if you ever did that, where you got to the point where you could like roadtrip and meet all these people, you could easily like, record some of those interactions and share that on your website. Because then I think that would get consumers even more excited to support these companies. Because they know like, oh, that's the person behind the business. And like, look how passionate they are about this thing, or look how happy it makes them. And so that gets me really excited. What kinds of businesses are you focusing on between the passports and then the global initiative? Like, are you just looking to cover the whole gamut of like, anything consumers would buy?Maddy Gawler:
Yeah, so well, so I'll talk about the passport first, because it's my pride and joy. It's our first little baby. As you know, as a mother, it's your firstborn is always a little near and dear to your heart. But yeah, so we have anything we actually speaking of organization have little like codes up here. So we have things from like body care and skincare. We have a nail salon, which is very nice. It's very, very classy one. I don't know if you've -they provide you like wine and champagne, which is really, really nice. Yeah, it was a very different experience for me. Well, you have a lot of like makeup companies, skincare companies. Let's see what else. We have refill stores. We have three different ones which is nice because it depends on where you're located. And they all have a little bit of a different feel, which I really like. We have That Minimal Life which I feel like you might have you might know that one or somethingKatie Kurpanek:
you know, sounds familiar.Maddy Gawler:
We have a fitness gym, which is really close right by East High School called Green Door fitness, very environmentally friendly name. Scraps, which if you haven't tried it out composting service, which is all bicycle run which is exciting. We have food. So we have a cold brew company, nude food markets, yummy lotus and the real deal. So that's we've got jam and pickles. The table public house is a coffee shop, we've got the oyster bar, we've got a sushi bar at artisan shop, which is really cool. They have things from all over the world. But it's like a local, they're all focused on social enterprises, which is really cool. solar company, like baby diapers, and then a couple fashion companies as well. So kind of all over the place, which is really exciting. And then oh, and then I Awakening Spaces is a consulting group. And they help with like the inside of your house, which is exciting are inside of your busy businesses. And then Dream Catchers. So if you're planning a sustainable wedding, we have a sustainable consultant for that, which is Yeah, and then right now for the directory. It's all products right now. So whether that's candles, or bedding, or clothing or glasses, we have so many different things, Home Goods, kitchen goods, my one of my favorite companies is called Z wraps. They're beeswax company. So they have all those things that you can use to like wrap up any of your products. But she also told me recently, she's like, You should try it for your shampoo bars when you're traveling, which is so smart. That's really smart. I know. So um, she's been really fun to work with. She's a mom that started this company because she realized how much plastic was going into her kids lunches. And I have to say their beeswax is the best one I've used so far. So it's cool because we work with companies like that we work with our bedding company who our guy will go on tangents about how many limitations they have and how he wishes they could be more sustainable. And they're already doing so much. So it's just really cool. Because everyone really cares about this stuff. And it's all over the spectrum, but things you didn't think could be sustainable are.Katie Kurpanek:
Yeah. Oh, I love it. That's so great. So this resource is amazing. The passport and then the entire directory that you're building. So is that all just found on your website? Or how can people get in touch with you? And like, keep up with everything that you're doing?Maddy Gawler:
Yeah, so we have an Instagram, we have a TikTok which I do not run them to clarify. I'm in it sadly, surely. So you can find this on those are Instagram handles 50 to 80, underscore eco alternatives, and then our tiktoks eco underscore alternatives. And then we have our website has everything on it. So if people are interested, we have on our products, we have the passport, which is that local aspect of the directory and the directory is a Pay What You Can we do have a suggested donation, and then we have a minimum. But we want to make it affordable for anyone. So you know, paying $5 or $10 to be able to get access to the directory is is getting you the access for a year, which is great.Katie Kurpanek:
Yeah, that's so little in the grand scheme of things.Maddy Gawler:
Yeah, well, especially with the deals that we have. It's great my friend actually she paid like the $10 or whatever for it. And she was texting me she's like I just saved $15 So I just made my money back I was like, That's how quickly as long as you're like purchasing things, which I don't suggest anyone just go out of purchasing rampage. But if you need to buy something, you know, check out the directory first before you buy it because there's so many alternatives and it takes about a quarter of the time to find the product.Katie Kurpanek:
Hey, just wanted to jump in real quick to talk about Patreon. Patreon is an online platform that allows you to become a patron of the arts, so to speak, a financial supporter of the creators who enrich your life with their content. Thanks to the generous support of my patrons starting as low as just $3 a month, I'm able to continue empowering individuals like yourself through these educational chats with various experts across the spectrum of sustainable living. As a patron of this podcast, you will have the privilege of joining the discussions with guest speakers via zoom and taking part in the exclusive q&a with them too. If you can't make the actual interview live, that's okay. You'll have access to the full recorded episode early before anybody else gets a chance to hear it. You also receive the added bonus of personal shout outs in podcast episodes, and other behind the scenes content sent your way. Plus, you'll receive unique discounts to more than a dozen sustainable businesses that have partnered with me so that you can save money and the earth while you shop. If any of the content that I create adds value to your life or the perks alone have piqued your interest, check out patreon.com/all Things sustainable to join our community and become a patron today. Thank you so much for your support of this journey to minimize our carbon footprint while maximizing our positive impact on this planet we call home. Okay, let's get back to our show. This podcast episode is really like I need to change up some of my purchasing habits now that I've got this resource so that's super exciting. Um, I have one routine question that I tend to ask like everybody that comes on the podcast and I just change up the wording a little bit too. Depending on who I'm talking to. So, for you, I would just be curious to hear like, considering all of our listeners various levels of privilege, accessibility to resources, like whatever background they're coming from, what would you personally recommend is like your top one to three actionable steps that they should take to prioritize living sustainably in their own lives?Maddy Gawler:
Yeah, I think the biggest like, I guess words of wisdom to go into this would be that sustainability is like a journey. We're all on different levels and different journeys ourselves. And it's really a stepping stone process. And I personally went through this love hate relationship with myself during my sustainability journey, because there was times that I do something, I'm like, this was not sustainable. And I'd go down and get really down on myself about it. But it's really focusing on making sure like, we're looking at alternatives and doing what we can, but not putting ourselves down for when we can't do things like I drive my car, and I need to drive my car, there's no, there's no way I can get to some places without it. So, you know, focusing on growth and focusing on our values. So I think like, the first step I always suggest people doing is thinking about what your values are. So what do you care most about? Whether that's like water, or energy, or sourcing or plastic or transportation, really figuring out what's the most important for you for, for how you consume, but also what you do in your daily life. And then thinking about what things are easiest. So there's going to be small things like recycling, go online, learn what is recyclable in your specific region. And there's gonna be harder things like today I learned how to make oat milk it's a very messy process. But I love oat milk. And I was like, I'm gonna try to do it myself. Because it's supposedly like, I mean, I don't like the cartons and I can decrease my waste. And it was easy in some capacities, but it caused a big mess. And it was very sticky. And it was a process in itself. But that was something I was willing to put a little bit more energy to figure out how to do, because it was that time for me. But it's not everyone's time, no one wants to make oat milk for the most part, aside from those people that are really obsessed with it. And that's great. So yeah, figure out what your journey is, and just take those small steps. And now I think the best like mentality I've been having is when I'm doing something, is there a more sustainable alternative? And what is that commitment that I'd have to have to be able to do it? Is it something that I can train myself to do? Is it something I can just start doing right away? And is it something that's going to add a lot of time or inconvenience into my life and just isn't a right now is a later situation that we're going to deal with. And just keeping all that in mind when I'm going about my life so that I'm not really stressed out when I'm doing something that's not as sustainable as whatever the best alternative is at the moment.Katie Kurpanek:
Man, if I had a whole team of coaches along with myself with That Minimal Life, I would be like bringing you on to that scene, because you just, you just summarized like everything that I tell people all the time. It's like a mantra that I'm trying to drill into their heads that like, you just do what you can do. And then when you feel pretty comfortable with that, like you built a good habit, and it's sustainable for you, then you can look at another part of your life and like, okay, what are the alternatives here? How could I be stepping it up and like doing something a little more sustainably? So I think that that those words of wisdom were super helpful.Maddy Gawler:
Thanks. Yeah, I always think of unfortunately, Hannah Montana back in the day. And she said that song, nobody's perfect. And I always had to tell myself that when I'm, sometimes I'll sing that song in my head, when I do something that's not sustainable. I'm like, It's okay. We're not always perfect. We have our off days, but it's about the on Days and what we're doing, like, I always carry around my water bottle. And I had to buy an extra nozzle recently, because I don't drink as much unless I have this little doodad up here. And so this was like a not sustainable purchase. But I'm drinking more water. And I'm still using this bottle. So the winner of the end of the day is I still use this. So it's like it's figuring out what the winds are and making sure that those are outweighing the negatives.Katie Kurpanek:
Yeah. 100%. Oh, my gosh, thank you so much for sharing, like your insight with us. And then everything that you're creating and putting out into the world, it is seriously making a difference. And like I am just hoping that all the listeners can now go check out your website and start shopping even more sustainably than they were before. Because then that that ripple effect that you're creating is just going to keep going and going.Maddy Gawler:
Yeah, we're very hopeful. I really appreciate all the energy. It's getting me more excited about what we're working on to.Katie Kurpanek:
Well, I will hype up your business anytime.Maddy Gawler:
Oh, thank you so much. I appreciate it.Katie Kurpanek:
I hope you enjoyed today's episode. If so please consider sharing it with a friend and subscribing to the podcast so you never miss a new episode. Check out the description for important links. And if you'd like to benefit from the perks of becoming a patron to the show, check out patreon.com/all Things sustainable. Until next time, do the best you can with what you have and remember that you can make a positive impact on this world one day at a time.