A former journalist, I started Slow & Conscious Living, a little venture that works on spreading awareness and encourages environmentally and socially conscious lifestyles.
This is done through sensitisation sessions, workshops and by increasing access to earth-friendly products made by several NGOs (serving tribal and rural folks in remote India) and eco-entrepreneurs.
I am also involved with Fridays For Future, an international movement seeking climate justice. This involves holding climate strikes for awareness at public spaces (pre-pandemic times) and organising other platforms to sensitise people about climate crisis.
Over four years back, I started choosing everyday products and services mindfully; living a low waste lifestyle. I hope to reach a zero-waste mark someday.
What led to the journey:
I have always felt connected to nature. Watching water bodies, trees, mountains, playing with sand at the beach, talking to plants, etc always brought me peace. But with passing time and competitive life in Mumbai, the connection seemed a little faded.
I was born in a small town of Gujarat, India, where I also spent most part of my childhood. Going to waterfalls, rivers, climbing hills, etc was regular for me. After moving to Mumbai, situations changed and gradually, spots of leisure visits changed to more of malls, theatres, restaurants, etc. Every time, I passed through a green patch in local train, I would smile. Don’t know what about it actually made me feel good. But it did.
My job as a journalist made me meet some wonderful people doing wonderful work. One such was a family composting at home. One of them had told me, “Compost is just a byproduct of this process for me. I am happier about the fact that wet waste from my house doesn’t lead to the landfill.” He used to have excess compost than what he needed for limited plants in his house. He generously poured it out for his building compound trees and at the base of a hill in his backyard. I was amazed as why would someone bother to do anything without having any gain. It is after reading and learning more about the issue of waste that I felt I should do it too. But the hustle of work didn’t leave much time for me to prepare for it. So finally, when I quit job (without any solid career plan in hand), I knew one thing I had to do- compost kitchen waste.
It was a tricky process in the beginning and a rewarding one too. Now that wet waste was out of the dustbin, I curiously inspected what else was going to the landfill yet. And found plastics, lots of them. Slowly the process of reducing packaging started. From shampoo-toothpaste-moisturiser-biscuits-disposable sanitary pads- processed snacks to restaurant deliveries, I stopped using them one after the other. And voila! I was happily surprised about how my mind and body were reacting to it.
I started talking about my zero-waste journey to everyone, literally- even strangers I met on train. That is when I decided to take this as my future career. I started taking awareness sessions and simultaneously also learn from fellow folks and my experiments. My search and discovery of rakhis without plastic beads made it the first product I sold. I realised that access to Earth friendly products was not great. Buying from big websites also meant a lot of plastic packaging. So, slowly I kept adding items to the product list like handmade soaps, cloth pads, menstrual cups, bamboo toothbrushes, steel straws, shampoo bars, natural colours, etc.
Being in the business helps me and several grassroot folks making those products. Most of these are handmade by tribal and rural folks using their natural wisdom. And I love this part of my work wherein I am being Earth- friendly and also socially conscious. It has been three years to this and I feel highly satisfied looking at my work and people I came across in this journey.
You can know more about me, my work and workshops @slow_n_conscious_living on Instagram. Me and two of my friends have come together to do a series of workshops on Low Waste Living called- Hum Prithvi Se. You can also join us for these workshops.