I sat down with my mom- Karin Cantlon, of Madrone Hill Cottage this past week.
At Madrone Hill Cottage, she and my Dad- Joe, live off the grid. When i say “off the grid” I don’t mean they just live in the middle of nowhere (which they do), I mean they live off of the electrical grid and they have no city plumbing or city water. No, this does not mean they are living like campers!
Instead, they power their home with solar, use a compostable toilet, and collect their own rainwater.
They practice sustainable living in some very big ways. But I asked Karin, what about the small things? What are some ways they practice sustainable living in their everyday choices that the rest of us can reap inspiration from?
Karin gave me 4 things she does to foster her environmentally conscious lifestyle while living off the grid.
Karin is mindful to purchase her linens and towels from companies that are sustainable and ethical. She, like myself, uses SOL organics! Sol Organics is fair trade, uses zero plastic in their packaging, and even donates $7.50 per sale to charity! SOL uses 100% organic cotton grown from non-GMO seed. They are committed to supporting better farming practices that reduce carbon footprint, conserve and protect drinking water, and keep us and our communities safe. Being certified fair trade, they have a commitment to no child labor- EVER, and they partner only with facilities that pay a LIVING wage and are committed to the wellbeing of the people who work there. (use code RFF20 for 20% off)
2. From day one, Karin was conscious of her interior design. I learned thrifting and antique shopping from my mom. She’s been popping tags since before it was cool. (haha- Macklemore anyone?!) Instead of buying new, most of her items are up-cycled! She has a whole blog post HERE dedicated to sustainable and affordable ways to design, but here are a few examples:
The “kitchen table. Karin and Joe used the top of of my childhood table that we’ve had since I can remember to create their island table. They simply cut off the legs and mounted it to the metal storage base that they wanted. In her blog post, Karin says, “I was going to purchase hardwood lumber for our island table, which was going to be somewhat pricey. Joe realized that our current tabletop would fit perfectly, we just needed to remove the legs! I was super happy we could incorporate it, since it was the first piece of furniture Joe and I purchased as a married couple and both our kids grew up eating meals, finishing homework, and making crafts at this table.”
The green “pantry” door. A great score from an antique store!
The bathroom “vanity”. To create this lovely piece, Karin cut a hole in the top of an old dresser that she repaint and put a sink in it! The plumbing process was a more intensive than that… but you get the idea!
The kitchen sink. She found this old barn house sink from Craigslist. She looked for 8 months before she found the perfect one. According to Karin, patience is KEY in sustainable design.
3. She shops in bulk.
4. Karin is conscious of her water usage. When you live in Central Texas that is prone to droughts and you are responsible for collecting all your own water from the rain, you become highly aware of your water usage. This is true even in times of plenty. At this point, Joe and Karin have built up enough water supply that they really don’t NEED to “watch” their water usage, but water becomes more precious when you know where it came from and have a realization that it is a finite and valuable resource. This is a lesson we can all apply!!
Sustainably Supported by SOL Organics. As always, all opinions are mine & these are products I truly love! #sponsored