She says that people generally say lack of time as an excuse. With lockdown in place, Kalpana suggests this is the best time to switch to sustainable living. ”When people hear about topics like sustainability, climate change, or zero waste, many think there should be some policy to manage it. They think that as an individual, he/she cannot contribute to it. This idea is completely wrong. The change should start from one’s home — even if you contribute 5-10 per cent, it will still make a difference. When I started my family’s zero-waste journey, I had many doubts. But what I learned is that everyone can follow small things to create a huge impact,” says Kalpana.
Now, with free time during the lockdown or quarantine, one can make mindful decisions to create a sustainable lifestyle. “Firstly, you have to take care of your health; then it will automatically reflect in the family’s health. When you are removing toxins from your home, you are not just protecting your health, but also saving the environment. It is a win-win situation for all. Self-sustainability and gardening always go well together. These days, many are exploring gardening — there is a huge fascination with indoor plants, succulents, etc. Along with gardening, one can also try organic farming. If you don’t have space, start with growing microgreens. It is easy to grow and you can harvest in a week. When you understand its benefits, you will learn to appreciate organic food — also, you can compare it with things that you buy from outside,” she explains.
Kalpana shares that cooking from scratch is an important aspect of sustainable living and people often underestimate it. “When we talk about eco-friendly living, cooking from scratch never comes into the conversation. Not just health-wise, cooking from scratch is also good for the environment. If you cut down processed and packaged food and cook from scratch, automatically, plastic usage at home will reduce. Cooking is a great stress-buster and keeps one’s sanity intact,” the organic farmer opines.
Arul Priya, the founder of Namma Boomi, an initiative that encourages people to buy eco-friendly products, says, “Lockdown is the best time for a person to think how he/she can be environmentally responsible and reduce carbon footprints. A surgical mask is something that we use daily. But how many of us know how to discard it. We should take an effort in learning all this. The first step to green living is by starting a small vegetable garden. Composting can be the next step — this will not only reduce waste but makes us less dependent on landfills. Also, start doing DIY activities -— once you begin, then you will get a hang of it and it will become a habit,” says Arul Priya.