I’m the girlfriend you text when you’re scratching your head reading labels in the grocery store, the confidante you blurt your “I can’t tell anyone else!” bathroom shenanigans to and the handy science nerd who comes through with the best cost-cutting, time-saving health tips you don’t know how you ever lived without.
“I believe that there is no one responsible person that can solve the climate crisis issues we are facing. We need to work together to avert this crisis. Governments and businesses do hold more power than individuals, and they also contribute to the crisis more than individuals alone. However, when individuals assemble for a common cause, a lot can be accomplished. I believe that individuals should use their voice in a way that works for them (marches, voting, holding companies accountable by asking things like “who made my clothes”) in order to speak out against big businesses and governments that are doing wrong.” – Addie Fisher
Meet Addie Fisher, mother to three-year-old Greyson (@tinygreenearthling) from Dallas, Texas. Addie is also the founding editor of the blog Old World New where she writes about easy & actionable sustainable lifestyle tips to help people make changes in their everyday lives. (It’s a great blog, make sure to check it out!)
Here’s what she has to share about her zero-waste journey.
Q & A with Addie Fisher:
1) City of residence: Dallas, TX
2) Place of birth: Texarkana, TX (I was raised in and attended college in Fayetteville, AR)
3) In under five sentences, please define your blog “Old World New”:
Old World New is a hub for easy & actionable sustainable lifestyle tips to help people make changes in their everyday lives. I call it “sustainable living IRL (in real life)” because a lot of times being sustainable is marketed and targeted towards rich white women. I want to remind people of any “racial background” or economic status that they can make easy changes at home that won’t disrupt their lives, and that their vote matters equally to anyone else’s. Life is a difficult journey – my goal is to just make being sustainable a little easier for people.
4) How long have you been living a low-impact/zero-waste lifestyle? What inspired the shift?
I’ve been living a more eco-friendly lifestyle for about 7 years consciously, and I say unknowingly all of my life because my family relied on sustainable living practices for survival. They just called it everyday living, so it wasn’t such a big deal. My conscious shift into sustainable living stems from my love for architecture and interior design. While I was studying architecture abroad, I took a historic preservation course. Once I returned home, i couldn’t get enough of it! One of my architecture professors was also one of the creators of my university’s new Sustainability program, and when I learned about it, it became my sole focus. My passion shifted from architecture to everyday living, but my passion for treating the Earth as if I love it and want others to love it, too, remains the same.
5) What is one thing about motherhood/pregnancy that you were least expecting?
Water everywhere! Water in the potty, water in the tub, water for cloth diapers and clothes, water to learn how to wash hands. I thought I was bad with my long showers… infants and toddlers use a LOT of water. Oh, and I need to drink a lot more than I did before.
6) How has motherhood/pregnancy changed you?
It has made me relax more and be more understanding of other people. When I first dove into the world of sustainable living, I didn’t understand why it wasn’t a top priority for everyone. These days, I try to educate and encourage people in an unimposing way. I’m less aggressive about it. I get it. Our lives are so complex. If we’re going to start making big changes, we have to do so in small steps.
(Photo courtesy of Addie Fisher)
7) What three things have you found to be the most challenging when it comes to living sustainably (eco-friendly, ethical fashion, etc.) & raising children?
Being prepared: the more prepared you are, the less waste you could potentially create. It has been difficult for me to be as prepared as I feel I need to be. I need to start making lunch and snacks a day ahead, and dinner at nap time in order for my day to be on track. I haven’t accomplished that yet, though.
Price: that is sometimes a factor, but I shop at thrift stores a lot so I can get around the price wall.
Helping other people who also love my child understand my POV: simply put, a lot of people think I’m weird when I say “no gifts” or ask for cash towards an experience instead of random plastic toys.
8) What three tips (things that worked best for you) can you share with other parents to help them along their eco-conscious/slow fashion journey?
Find a group of like-minded friends for guidance and support, whether they are with you in real life, or just online.
Do your research, and do things at a pace that is comfortable for you and your family.
Forgive yourself when you have eco-guilt because no one can be 100% sustainable or zero-waste.
9) List three of your favorite ethical and eco-conscious children’s brands:
10) Bonus question: “I don’t believe we as individuals should be held responsible for our consumer and lifestyle habits — it’s nearly impossible to live a sustainable lifestyle and honestly, I have other things to worry about — I am a busy mom! Rather, I believe it’s up to our governments and businesses to lead the way, to change their policies, etc. Climate change, ethical fashion, plastic pollution, child labor, etc. these are top-down issues, not bottom-up issues, my choices won’t make a difference.” Agree or disagree? why or why not.
I believe that there is no one responsible person that can solve the climate crisis issues we are facing. We need to work together to avert this crisis. Governments and businesses do hold more power than individuals, and they also contribute to the crisis more than individuals alone. However, when individuals assemble for a common cause, a lot can be accomplished. I believe that individuals should use their voice in a way that works for them (marches, voting, holding companies accountable by asking things like “who made my clothes”) in order to speak out against big businesses and governments that are doing wrong. It may sound cheesy, but we really are all in this together, so I think we should act like it. We need to live sustainably in our everyday lives and use our voice to demand that businesses and the government do the same.
Madeleine is a Franco-American podcaster and blogger on a mission to inspire and empower women to live healthier, more eco-friendly, and conscious lifestyles. On her blog/podcast, The Wise Consumer, she covers topics ranging from nutrition and recipes to ethical fashion and eco living tips. When not working Madeleine is either spending time with family, developing new recipes, or trail running.