It started really small – my personal journey towards sustainable living. I left a job that generated an enormous amount of hazardous waste and began to segregate and compost the wet waste I generated at home. Soon my mother joined me and we started thinking of ways to live with a light footprint. A couple of years later, she was telling me how the small idea was slowly metastasising into nearly every aspect of her life.
There is no single way to live ‘green’ but there are many people with interesting takes on different parts of life. I have found a lot of inspiration in traditional lifestyles, by looking back at the styles and fashions of the last century. At the same time, there are people using looking into technology that could change the way we live and consume in the future. Others are producing content that builds awareness and changes minds.
So here is a list of five social media accounts that have given me insight and direction in the past few years. Each of these uses a different platform, and often, different media – text, photographs, or videos. Hopefully, there is something here for everyone.
1. Climate Change – M Sanjayan for Climate Lab
I discovered this playlist on Youtube when a friend shared a clip about the impact of express shipping on greenhouse gas emissions. I need to shop online for a number for many essentials because I live far from an urban centre. After I finished seeing the video, I began to pause before ordering anything online – and not just because of the enormous amount of packaging that gets wasted.
My personal favourite among the videos is one where he echoes the doubts of many people who are working on sustainable living: Going Green Shouldn’t Be This Hard
Added bonus: I recently discovered that cardboard cartons (with plastic masking tape) can be composted in open pits. Clever little critters in the soil selectively eat up the cardboard and you can then remove the plastic wrapping. So a small smidgeon of my guilt over online shopping has reduced.
2. Travel – Neha Dara
Neha Dara’s twitter account reflects her work as part of the Travel Desk at Mint. She often shares the writing of people who enjoy slow travel, close to nature, and has also written a popular piece about how her trip to the jungles inspired a life decision. Her timeline is a great launch pad for discovering news about sustainable travel.
Added Bonus: She used to work for National Geographic India. This is one of the articles she helped write – 22 eco-sensitive resorts in India
3. Minimalism – Pick Up Limes
Sadia Badiei creates content for Pick Up Limes and covers a wide range of topics – many of which deal with food. She speaks about veganism, mindful grocery shopping and nutrition, as well as allied lifestyle changes like minimalism and productivity.
Often, a sustainable lifestyle involves more woman hours – someone has to segregate the trash, plan the meals, find an organic food store and so on. In the absence of support, this can become (ironically) an unsustainable set of habits that reduce a sense of wellness. And so, her videos on productivity and minimalism have helped me think about my daily routine and cleared up space in my mind and home for a simpler life.
Added Bonus: This video on 30 days to minimalism is hard to follow completely, but it is a good primer to think about the stuff in our homes and lives.
4. Composting – Daily Dump
The Twitter timeline of Daily Dump, a company that specialises in wet-waste management, is quirky and humorous. It is an excellent place to learn more about what’s new in the composting world.
Added Bonus: This weekend, the lovely folks at Daily Dump are conducting a workshop in Bangalore on the composting (it is surreal to see powdery black fertiliser come out of kitchen peels). They are marking the International Compost Awareness Week. If you are in the area, drop by. Or simply read and watch, and start reincarnating your own food waste.
5. Fashion – Aarabi Veeraraghavan
Aarabi writes about identity, power, choice, and often supports brands that are producing ethical products – clothes, accessories, and personal care products. Her Instagram posts are colourful and crackling with crisp cottons and handlooms. A great place to look for locally-sourced and painstakingly made saris (as well as some beautiful cloth diapers for her son)
Added bonus: Her son and dog keep appearing in her posts. She also writes about the history of some of the apparel.