5th June marks World Environment Day and like most people I do stop to ponder about the impact my actions & living choice have on the world & its environment. World Environment Day is not a hallmark holiday. It is a very important and grave part of our modern lives today. We need to talk more about the Environment and the legacy we leave behind. The old Indian saying which has been quoted far too many times, rings loudly in my ears…
“We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children”
Before I had #BabyT I would roll my eyes at those tree hugger type of people who would advocate save trees, go green, save water and all of it was mumbo-jumbo to me. I mean how does just one plastic bag I use make a difference? Right?
Turns out I was wrong. When they put that shriveled up & pink little dumpling in my arms I was transformed. I vowed to do everything to protect him and bring him up as a good human being in a better world than you and I know today. A cleaner, greener, healthier world. And so I joined the “Hippy bandwagon” – the term hurts me sometimes, but this is what some people now refer to me as. A hippy. But the hippies are a cool lot, they spread love and harmony and did a lot for the world that they graced their brief lives with.
Apart from the usual save water, save electricity tips, this World Environment Day I would love to share with you the change that I have brought in my life.. a greener and more healthier change. Both for me, our family and the environment.
- Reduce non-degradable, disposable waste – no diapers & no sanitary pads, wipes. By now it is no secret that I use cloth diapers for babyT’s diapering needs. These diapers are washable and reusable. So my stash of 30 odd diapers is all I use on him.
They hold well in all seasons, day time and nights (12 hours of being on him and holding a great deal of liquid) , I use them on vacation, for weekend visits out of home, during fevers, colds & rashes too (which is rare) I have not used a disposable diaper since he was around 4 months old and that means I have prevented almost 3000 diapers from ending up in landfill, waiting for 500 years to pass before they begin to completely disappear off the face of this Earth.But that is not all.
I now have switched to sustainable and reusable products for menstruation. How pretty are they?
We also don’t use face wipes ot wet wipes at all. This was so shocking to certain family members when they were around babyT. They were at a loss, “What do you use then?” My answer – “The same thing that you used when when you were a child, a handkerchief or a small piece of cloth, wet under the tap.” Where did we forget the basics? Do you see how well the marketing has worked to indoctrinate our minds?
- No plastic – I will admit this has been a bit difficult to change. What with plastic surrounding you in all areas of life, the change over to non plastics has been slow. But fill your lives with beautiful tote bags and you will see yourself grabbing cloth over plastics more often.
Beautiful wetbags in bright, attractive colours provide the necessary waterproofing that many people seem to miss with cloth bags.
I have a stash of wetbags from Superbottoms which we use for swimming trips, in the monsoon and to fresh and soiled ferry cloth diapers about.
- No harmful chemicals in detergents, shampoos & soaps – With this one I really did feel like a hippy and people did give me the raised eyebrow of now you have gone too far. But did you know that most of modern household detergents, cleaners, soaps, shampoos contain so many elements which are both harmful, carcinogenic to you and when they flow into the ground water they contaminate our water supplies and cause harm to the creatures that live in water.
So leaving aside the convenience of popping open a bottle of face wash or shampoo or chemical laden floor cleaners I made the switch to healthy ecofriendly options like soap nuts for washing clothes, ecofriendly floor cleaners and even using soda bicard and vinegar to wash hair. You also can’t miss the good old besan haldi for baths. It is great for the skin and the environment too. 🙂
- Reusable storage alternatives – Avoiding plastics at home and in the kitchen has been another change we have brought in. I have reintroduced those stainless steel containers to store grains and pulses. Ceramic or stone ware to store tea and sugar.
And then there is bottled drinking water – as a concept if you think about it, it is so weird, packaged water in a bottle which is discarded. You may have also read enough WhatsApp forwards about how the plastic used is of questionable quality and can leach chemicals into the water. We now carry our own water when travelling. Steel bottles like these keep water safe and can be reused.
- Mend don’t discard – And finally mend, don’t discard. It is so easy to just discard something which is broken or torn. But all it takes is a stitch or some super glue and you can extend the life of that product. This is an important habit which we seem to have forgotten.
This is my life and how I feel proud that I am doing a tiny bit for the environment. This World Environment Day do spend a few minutes thinking about how you can make a tiny change in your daily living to leave a better tomorrow for your little ones.
What do you think of World Environment Day? Do you feel concerned about the legacy you are leaving behind?