I have been very conscious my entire life about the money I spend. I never had anything in abundance and maybe that is why I don't believe in splurging ever. I always wanted nothing more than I required.
As a new mom to be, I started nesting and preparing for the birth of my babies sooner than usual. That is when I started splurging. Being a first time mom, I was way too excited. I wanted my babies to dressed alike. I thought that since I was having two babies at the sametime, I needed double and maybe even a whole lot more than usual.
But soon after I had my babies, i realized that I had excess of everything. I had like 24 pairs of mittens for the two of them. Out of which I must have used about 4 pairs before it was outgrown. I had about 8 dry mats for tummy time for the two of them. They hardly used to have half hour of tummy time each day. Luckily they were diaper free most of the time and hence the dry mats came in handy.
In the same way, I was gifted a lot of things for my kids which were either in excess or duplicates to what we had already purchased. I ended up stocking all of that for another baby we might have or maybe never now that I know what I went through these past few years.
I learnt my lesson, give things that you deem absolutely rare and extremely useful while gifting or just take diapers for the new born baby. No parent can ever be more grateful for a pack of diapers because in the initial days, it is something that we constantly run out of stock.
So how exactly can we live a sustainable life? Well it is not half as hard as it may sound, but it definitely takes an effort.
1. Cloth diapering
I got my pair from the middle east. An it was no big brand. It was just plastic shells. Inside those, we used to fold up soft cotton cloth into a thick patch and then change this cloth everytime the baby urinated. This was a simple cloth diaper if you exclude the fact that the outsides were made of plastic.
Soon after I transferred them to training pants and underwears, I came to realize that we have a lot of Indian cloth diapering brands. Always do your research on cloth diapers. Since I haven't personally used any of those brands, I am really not at a liberty to comment on this.
2. Hand me downs
India has a beautiful culture of hand me downs. Here we keep sharing clothes to our younger siblings as soon as we outgrow them. If your close family has a baby slightly older than yours, then you could definitely use their outgrown clothes. Sharing is not a shame or belittlement to your social status. You are just being a responsible human being without splurging too much.
3. Steel Straws
Investing in a steel straw could help save the earth. This is one way to grow sustainable. You can carry your personal straw everywhere. There will never be a reason for you to use the plastic ones anymore.
4. Menstrual Cups
This is the best innovation I have come across in the recent past. Though they have been around since the 1980's, they have become popular only recently. Now that they are made of silicon, they have become more comfortable. When I started my menstrual cycle for the time, my mom handed me a pack of disposable sanitary pads. But years later, when my daughter gets her menstrual cycle for the first time, i will be handing her a menstrual cup. That is the kind of change i want our generation to bring about.
I also tried the Namyaa menstrual cup. Read my take on it here.
I loved wooden toys but I found it too be very expensive. They are solid and sturdy which makes it dangerous when you have two kids of the same age playing together. But other than this, these toys have a classy look and feel.
Instead of getting them separate toys all the time, you can make fun activities using the several toys that you have. Mix then and match it to create hundreds of activities. Use your regular kitchen products to build out on sensory games or counting or just playing the baby led way. I have basically used evrything possible to keep them engaged while playing.
Steel cups and spoons from the kitchen, pulses, pastas, flour, salt, turmeric powder and the varieties are just never ending.
6. Going Handloom
We have very own tradition of weaving disappearing at such a fast pace. In order to keep the tradition alive and to move into more sustainable and breathable clothing, we need to take a stand. Fashion statements don't matter because finally our culture and our tradition need to be preserved for our future generations.
These are some of the very simple steps that you can start following in your daily lives so that you have an earth that is sustained for the sake of your future generations.
Do read and let me know whats your take on sustainability in the comments section below.