This article has been updated in 2022.
When we started to make changes in our lives, we wanted to fully educate ourselves on as many related topics as possible to be able to make better choices. These documents have been a source of inspiration to us both, and have brought us to reflect on the subject which is always welcome when wanting to make a change.
We didn’t follow each recommendation literally, obviously, but it’s interesting to gather all the information and then feeling confident in making that personal decision on what to introduce into your everyday life.
So here are our favourite books and documentary inspirations!
-Vivre avec moins (Vicky Payeur)
We have been following Vicky for a couple of years and we love her Youtube Channel, full of helfuls tips for living a simpler and low cost life. Her book is a guide for everyone curious about minimalist life style.
- Vivre Simplement (Elizabeth Simard)
We love this book because Elizabeth have such a great way of living with her kids. Full of tips and inspirations without any judgement.
This book is inspired by Fumio Sasaki’s personal experience with Japanese minimalism.
A simple man (not a specialist) who embarked on a huge change of lifestyle, when his previous habits had led him to a burnout and depression. He talks about his experience and tactics as well as how this lifestyle changed his life in a positive way. Fair warning: this book just might make you want to make huge changes for yourself…!
Léonie Daignault-Leclerc, a designer specializing in sustainable fashion, wants to raise awareness of the environmental and social consequences surrounding the fast fashion industry. To help us make better choices, she teaches us how to:- identify the certifications that ensure that our clothes are made in an environment that respects workers;- identify the fibers and materials that are best suited to ecological and ethical fashion;- detect the quality indicators of a garment, a guarantee of durability;- maximize the use of our clothes through thoughtful purchases. She also shares her tips and advice on how to take care of our clothes in an ecological and responsible way.
A practical guide to help declutter your space. « The art of simplicity captures all the basics to be in harmony with yourself and therefore with others: Zen living is the key to happiness and balance. »
-The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Marie Kondo)
Marie Kondo is the author of the Konmari method, which I’m sure most of you organized minimalist out there have already heard of before. Marie Kondo’s method suggests the following: consider each object that you own and ask yourself if it brings you joy. Yes? Keep it. No? Get rid of it! Although maybe a little extreme, this method is incredibly efficient for those who need a big cleanse in their homes and lives! Plus, she provides all the best tips to store each object efficiently.
This book was the very first book we read on this lifestyle and it was a game changer for us. Though Bea applies a very strict zero waste regimen to her family life compared to what we do, this book is filled with tips and inspires a high level of ecological awareness. She gives lots of tips to reduce waste at home and explains the basic principles behind this lifestyle (refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and compost.) It’s impossible to remain indifferent after reading her work, there is a little something for everyone in that book, you don’t have to start doing everything she’s doing right off the bat.
Hygge’s book explains why Danish people are the happiest. The answer lies in the integration of cocooning into their lifestyle! After reading this book, all you’ll want to do is light up a candle and cuddle up under the blankets, just to slow down and take advantage of what life has to offer!
When it comes to a zero-waste kitchen, our reference and expert is Florence-Lea. From dry pieces of bread to old mushy fruits, she’ll give you recipes to find a way to use all the food to avoid any waste. The book contains many template recipes that you can modify depending on what you have on hand and like. One of my favorites from this book is the pineapple water made with the core, which I make on a regular basis. - Laurie
This is a book that I love! Take the time to sit down and truly take in everything this classic has to offer. This book brings us to understand we are not our own mind and to detach ourselves from our thoughts, which often bring us doubt and anxiety, etc. It’s a little guide towards spiritual awakening that’ll lighten a burdened soul and offer inner peace : ) – Stéphanie.
You don’t necessarily need to be an early bird to enjoy this book. The author points out how important it is to take a moment in the morning for yourself to do something that you truly enjoy before the daily routine kicks in. This book was a revelation for us to put aside our cellphones upon waking up! We now start our day reading, meditating or by simply having breakfast…without any distractions or work! We both found we were more productive when doing this and changed our state of mind for the rest of the day!
This book talks about Mexican Chaman traditions that teach you how to get rid of certain thoughts that put up walls and blocks us from feeling and being happy. An example? Don’t take anything for granted. How many times in a day do you build-up a story in your head that only furthers your anxiety and fears!? We all do it, and this sort of mechanism holds us back, it disables us from being present in a situation that demands our attention, we’re too busy being wrapped up in our heads trying to confirm our assumptions! This book focuses on psychology, and it’s an interesting read.
DIY beauty/essential oils
This book is a true reference for those who wish to start making their own cosmetics. Les Trappeuses give many DIY recipes for making your own masks, hair products, beauty creams, etc., along with a clear explanation of the benefits of using natural ingredients. You’ll definitely want to change up your cosmetics bag for a greener version once you read this!
While this one isn’t quite a novel, it’s in my bathroom at all times! I’ve been referring to it on a weekly basis for a few years now! From a sore throat to dull hair, the author suggests essential oil-based remedies. She also explains the purpose of different essential oils. This book is my number 1 choice for advice on creating my synergies! - Laurie
We’ve mentioned this book quite often in our DIY beauty videos and blogs, but this book is filled with cosmetic recipes to make at home with natural ingredients. Yet another excellent book for those who would like to make a change in their makeup bag and skin care.
**Always check with your local library first to see if the books are available there before making a purchase anywhere else!
This blog is filled with ideas on green cleaning recipes or arts and crafts to make at home with the kids according to the Waldorf approach. It’s a gentle approach, and all you’ll want to do is clean and tidy up your home with the products you’ll have made!
Before writing a book, Les Trappeuses had a blog filled with awesome DIY recipes and eco-friendly ideas written by several collaborators! A wonderful reference when in need of inspiration!
Not the eco-friendliest blog, but still filled with arts and crafts ideas and projects. Great ideas to keep yourself busy instead of shopping! This one is for the DIY enthusiasts.
A documentary that makes you reflect on the clothing industry. You’re addicted to those big brands that have low price items? This documentary will open your eyes on how these fast-fashion items are made. Ever since we’ve saw it, we make it a priority to only visit second-hand stores. On the same subject, you can also watch the documentary Fast Fashion by Gilles Bovon and Édouard Perrin
A documentary that offers solutions, a refreshing breath of fresh air to the alarmist vibe. It’s original, positive and will encourage you to be part of the ecological movement.
A documentarian travels in 14 different countries to observe what truly makes people happy. Surprise surprise, owning tons of material things doesn't seem to make the difference!
This documentary was a huge success in 2017, and we understand why! It’s about the journey of two men who decided to live a simpler lifestyle and who meet people who have chosen a minimalist lifestyle.
We hope that these ideas inspire you! No need to wait for January 1st for new resolutions! Any small gesture can make a difference!