Climate change has reached our backyards now. From the intense heat waves to the repeating floods and the droughts, nature is giving ample signals to rev up the environment conservation game. No wonder, a few persons have taken it upon themselves to reduce waste and opt for eco-friendly options for daily transactions. Kamana Gautam, a lactation counsellor and mother of two in Hyderabad, has taken up the cudgels to reduce the carbon footprint of her family, and hence leave a better planet for the next generation.
“Consumerism makes us believe that we need to satiate our every want, whereas it is only our needs that we need to address. I have been following a minimalist lifestyle for a long time now, and I want to set examples for my children to follow.” So what are the measures she takes to make her family as eco-friendly as possible? She shares some practical tips:
Segregation of waste: One of the first green processes that I taught my children was segregation of waste. We segregate the plastic waste from the others, so that they can be given for recycling. My little daughter already knows that if we do not recycle the plastic, it will end up in the oceans and the animals will eat it and die.
Taking own utensils to restaurants: I take my own utensils to restaurants. People give us that odd stare, but we have learned to ignore that. Once when I had gone to buy food from a truck that was parked just outside our apartment, I was stunned to realise that people from our apartment were ordering food from that place through a food delivery app! If we bring our own utensils, a large amount of plastic used in packaging the food is reduced.
Eating home-cooked meals: A lot of plastic and other non-biodegradable material are used to pack food by food delivery apps. In case the person does not have the time to cook, hiring a cook and and buying your own supplies works out to be much cheaper and healthier!
Pre-loved clothes and toys for children: I ask my acquaintances to give me clothes which their children have outgrown, and make my children wear them. For their birthdays, I have asked guests to bring pre-loved (pre-used) toys and wrap them in the paper. People buy too many toys for their children and they can all be shared once the kids outgrow them. I use flowers, instead of latex balloons for birthday celebrations.