Nandia is from Serres, Greece. She lives and works in Barcelona, Spain the last 7 years and has gone through a lot of bigger or smaller changes in her lifestyle. Her habits changed throughout the years and we asked her to talk to us about these changes:

– I avoid buying clothes from chain stores but that’s not new. My mom used to have a shop in my hometown, therefore it comes out naturally for me to prefer spending my money on local businesses rather than conglomerates. 

Since I started living on my own, I never do laundry if the washing machine is not full. I stopped using fabric softener since the plain detergent is just fine for keeping the clothes soft and I put small soaps in my drawers among my clothes to sustain a nice smell. Moreover I don’t buy special detergents for white clothes, I use white vinegar. Trust me it works very well!
In the kitchen, I don’t use plastic bags or plastic foil to wrap food that is left over. I use kitchen paper instead. I also don’t use plastic straws. I drink everything directly from the glass.

– Is there anything you still want to change but you haven’t yet?

My best friend is using a wooden toothbrush. I wanna buy one too. I read somewhere that approx 1% of plastic garbage is toothbrushes! However, I would like to mention here that in many cases being more conscious about the environment might have a negative impact on your pocket. Therefore, I try to keep a balance by adopting habits which are good for the environment, my health and my finances. For example, this same friend I mentioned before recently spent 50 € for natural personal hygiene products (shampoo, soap, etc). I think it’s a lot. Actually he thought the same, but at the same time he didn’t regret it. I would regret it. These are everyday necessity products, they are not a luxury. If they were at the same price, more or less, as the conventional ones I would buy them but when they’re not, I struggle to make such a decision.

– It’s a fair point, however sustainable products are often a bit more more expensive so that everyone included in the production chain has a fair profit margin and because natural products are scarce.
– I understand that, but it’s one thing a slightly higher cost for the reasons you mentioned and another thing a price that is double or more.
These differences are not related to fairness, but to companies positioning those products as if they are addressing a high-end niche market. Well they don’t.

– Well, from our side we will do our best to spot and highlight the companies that are trading in “normal” prices. Please do let us know the ones you prefer yourself, either local or not.
– Will do 🙂

– I have to admit, when you mentioned you gave up the plastic straws, it was quite eye-opening for me. It’s something I hadn’t thought before, since personally, I don’t use them much but I know my parents do, for example for their cold coffee or juices. It’s such a minor thing that could have such a big impact if we more of us were doing it.

Thanks a lot for your time Nandia and for sharing your thoughts.