Text by Seema Manchanda
Motherhood brought about significant changes in my thinking, my lifestyle choices, my buying habits. What started as choosing healthy living for my kids ended up giving me insight into the space of environmental awareness.
I got pregnant with my first baby in November 2013, I think that’s where it all began. While trying to provide a nourishing environment for my yet to be born child, I chose a vegan, medicine free, chemical free and natural lifestyle. Going vegan and choosing a whole plant-based diet reduces the load on our ecosystem. Being medicine and chemical free helps in ensuring that our nature is less polluted. It is interesting to see the connection between environmentally sustainable living and healthy living. The more close to nature you are, the better health you are assured.
It requires making small changes in your day to day living. Be it the food you consume, the products you use, the places you visit and what you do with your waste.
These are the things my family and I are practising as we’re slowly moving towards a sustainable lifestyle:
- We try to buy organic food as much as possible.
- We try to eat local and seasonal fruits and vegetables. This reduces the logistics cost considerably, which in turn reduces the load on the environment
- We follow a vegan diet 95% of the time.
- We use steel tiffins, bottles and straws.
- We use bamboo toothbrushes.
- We use scrubs and bottle brushes made out of coir.
- All our toiletries are organic i.e. a natural toothpaste, soap, shampoo.
- We avoid the use of any creams, lotions, powders etc.
- We don’t use medicines and try opting for simple home remedies
- We make compost out of our kitchen waste using a very simple, easy to manage equipment placed on our building terrace.
- We try to spend most of our weekends, holidays, free time in natural places like beaches, seaside, parks, open spaces under the sky.
- We give our daughter plain back side of used printing paper for her art and craft time.
It is interesting to see how kids observe and learn. They are like apes; mimicking everything we do. I have two daughters aged four and one respectively. My older daughter doesn’t know what medicine is. Very recently I saw her making a composter while she was playing ‘pretend play’ with her friends, collecting dried leaves etc. We have conversations with her about pollution, wastage, bio-degradable stuff, organic, natural, vegan in very simple, a story like ways. These words are now a part of her vocabulary.
Starting with small changes and taking baby steps have worked for us. Thanks to the ban on plastic, a lot of things have become easier.
Raising our children through an environmentally sustainable lifestyle is simple as long as you…
- Have the awareness yourself
- Incorporate the changes
- And make these dialogues a part of your life
…and you will be amazed at how fast kids adapt and learn!
About Seema Manchanda
Seema Manchanda, aged 34, lives in Mumbai with her husband. She is a mother of 2 girls, Savannah, 4 years and Rumi, 1 year. By qualification, she is a Post Graduate in Marketing.
However, she credits her entire thought process to the way her parents brought her up. They got her sister and she out of formal education and gave them real-life experiences through road trips, relevant books and on-ground training.
Her husband and she have similar mindsets about life in general and enjoy the differences that make them complete each other. They are enjoying raising their girls. You can reach out to her by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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