I really want to adopt natural living, but it is impossible to do this in a city don’t you think?” – was a conversation I overheard at the coffee shop. It got me thinking to whether I was living a natural lifestyle and what natural living meant. Living in rural areas is the most obvious form of natural living. For a city dweller however, going green is a big part of natural living. It is about being conscious and making efforts to make the earth a better place. Initially, it was about the dangers of polluting the environment. These days, it has become a lot more about health and wellness of personal and society.
Natural living, changes every facet of life. It curbs unhealthy behavior, and build up of nasty toxins associated with hectic lifestyles. Living pure in every small way of daily living becomes the primary goal. This is appealing as it saves money, reduces stress and achieves good health. But how does one get started? Do you have to stop shopping completely and stop washing yourself, your clothes and homes because everything out there is a potential threat? Absolutely not! unless, you want to use that as an excuse to do nothing. Realising that the crux of the issue is the reduction of toxic loads makes everything else simple.
Indian chemical industry is the third largest producer in Asia & seventh by output in the world, and could grow to a staggering USD224 billion by 2017. How to avoid or reduce consumption of unwanted chemicals; in food, personal care, and in every product at home, work and public spaces and just about everywhere!?
Start with the fridge and kitchen by cooking from scratch and ditching pre-made sauces and other processed foods. Best if you can grow your own food; even a small methi plant in the kitchen window is a good start. Prefer a more nourishing natural option; switch to cold pressed oils instead of packaged oils. Pick items with minimal packaging and carry cloth bags to the store for shopping. A fantastic way is to take large containers to the wholesale mandi and load up on long shelf life commodities like rice, dal and pulses. Definitely ditch disposable items and plastics.
When it comes to self-care, prevention is better than cure. So, look for ways to stay fit and to keep moving. Use the staircase over the lift and exert physically as exercise and workout cannot be emphasized enough to feel fit. Opt for alternative remedies through herbs, supplements and medicinal oils.
These can keep people healthy. Start slowly, but start cleaning the home and the physical surroundings with natural alternatives. Ditch the all-purpose floor cleaner and then slowly move to a non-toxic laundry detergent. Easy to adopt, natural options are available for home and laundry. The last move is of course to take on natural bath and body products. If you keep your eyes open – you will be surprised at how many options pop up! So go ahead, make the switch – liv e natural and be healthy.
The writer is an architect, urban designer, dancer and chief designer at Shilpa Architects