We are very excited to share that, starting this month, the Daily Dump blog will also feature guest posts by some wonderful people out there, who are doing great work to help all of us connect better with each other and the Earth. Stay tuned!
2020 has been quite the year, hasn’t it? We laughed. We cried. We learnt new things. We unlearned some. Challenges were faced. Battles were fought. But hey, we’re here. Rolling into 2021. If there’s anything we all learnt in the last year, it is the value in appreciating our surroundings and being grateful for the fundamental things in life.
As we set our goals and intentions for this New Year, let us look to blend the virtue of mindfulness into our everyday routines. Learning to just be and appreciate the circumstances we’re placed in, not only helps in directing our attention and thoughts to the task at hand, but also helps relieve us of unnecessary stress and anxiety we may be holding onto.
Sounds great? We’ve only begun!
Mindful living also encompasses the environment around us; to make choices that are inclusive of all ecological components. It could be small changes like switching to a bamboo toothbrush to save the world, one toothbrush at a time. On the other hand, it could be more extensive changes like measuring your carbon footprint while being an advocate for conscious living.
While all of these changes are amazing and go a long way in making a difference, it’s also important that we consider our intentions behind these changes. Are we doing it just to follow a trend or is this something that can make us and our environment happier?
When I began educating myself on issues like the waste crisis, its impact on health, groundwater, food supply and social justice issues associated with many waste picking communities, I realised I wanted to stop being a part of the problem and live a lifestyle that best reflected the values I cared about. I thus decided to go zero waste and help others do the same as well.
Composting made me realise how I can be mindful of my actions and most importantly how I can rekindle intimacy with the Earth
Of course, this didn’t happen overnight. The transition was incremental. For instance, when I ran out of soap instead of buying store-bought ones, I would experiment and eventually learned how to make my own. And slowly, over time I was able to contain all of my waste in a 500 gm jar!
Having spent a lot of time with our families during the lockdown, we may have had the opportunity to reconnect with our older generations and relive some of their favourite memories with them. When I started my zero-waste journey, I sat down with my grandma and asked her what she did before shampoo started being sold in a plastic bottle? As she recollected her experiences, I realised how a lot of our Indian traditions are actually rooted in ecological practices or what we now can call “zero waste practices”.
Sometimes, all of this might get a bit much. Climate change, a global pandemic and more. Dwelling on this too much can lead to poor mental health and climate anxiety. Hence, it’s important to approach things with a balanced view. Remember, we saw how the Himalayas were visible from hundreds of kilometres away, while koels began singing again in our neighbourhoods during the lockdown. All of this goes to show that while things may seem bleak at times, there is immense power in our actions to re-imagine a greener, healthier world!
And finally, we need to remember to be kind to ourselves. We live in a constantly changing environment, which can get to all of us at some point. When we give ourselves space for mistakes, we learn to do the same with the people around us too. After all, to err is human. The important thing here is to understand that for every slip-up, there is a new chance to get back up!
At the end of the day, we need to remember to be fearlessly, authentically ourselves! Signing off with one of my favourite sayings by Thich Nhat Hanh, “Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”
Blog Author: Sahar Mansoor is the founder of Bare Necessities; She has built BN, a social enterprise that produces zero waste personal and lifestyle products. Sahar is a waste researcher, a climate optimist and a curious traveler. A University of Cambridge alumna with a background in environmental policy, Sahar formerly worked at the World Health Organization in Geneva and SELCO Foundation on renewable energy projects.
Co-Author: Reshma Hannah Bhat -Content & Marketing associate at Bare Necessities. With a background in environmental studies, Reshma has always been passionate about the environment and the waste problem in India. She now works at BN to encourage its audience to follow a sustainable lifestyle through diverse forms of content.