WorthWhile

Anya has spent the past decade of her life living on a farm on the outskirts of Chandigarh. This time on the farm has been central to how she lives today.

Anya says, ‘Experiencing the fast life was important for me to realize I’m built for a much slower lifestyle, closer to nature. It was thanks to my 3 years of college in Mumbai – a life with a higher carbon footprint & reckless consumption.’

Anya used to be an avid fast-fashion shopper. “I didn’t think anything was wrong with the speed of my shopping or how I consumed things. Unfortunately, a lot of things were put into perspective for me only after I lost my father in February 2019. It is a central incident to why I changed my ways. My father lived a life close to nature, detached from material things, a man of few needs. I wanted to honour these values and be my dad’s girl. That’s pretty much when things took a turn and I started to address these areas of my life.”

I’m proud of my Zero Waste Bathroom! My bathroom is one of my favourite spaces and I love that it hasn’t created any trash in the past year. A slow but satisfying journey!

Over 70% of my wardrobe is traceable. I’m aware of the journey, the materials & the ethos with which those pieces were crafted, that the makers were paid well & that my wardrobe is made up of brands that have a larger purpose.

Yes, products and services as compared to non-eco-friendly products are expensive. A number of reasons are:

  • With an increase in demand for eco-conscious products, we  can expect greater affordability in the future.
  • Higher quality at all stages; right from the raw material, fair wages, ethical trade practices, creating, marketing, packaging, delivery. When you add up costs, it is more expensive.
  • Lack of introspection. We must ask why fast fashion is so cheap-instead of asking why conscious-made is so expensive.
  • Unfortunately, millennials are accustomed to extremely low prices. Asking younger people to shell out more money for higher quality products does not make sense to them. 

Content creation is not my  primary source of income. I would describe it as a passion & side hustle; one that is facilitated and fueled thanks to life at our home – Aura. I would most definitely like to acknowledge the privilege that comes with living at Aura. It does take care of expenses such as rent, house help, ration, etc. Had I been living a city or apartment life, I maybe would not have explored sustainability or content creation. Or have been the person I am, for that matter.

But, yes, even as a passion project, it does generate sufficient income to live a sustainable lifestyle 🙂

It is definitely interesting to learn basics from my farm staff – they all come from neighbouring villages and have the knowledge of growing food. While I rely mostly on a few mentors, resources and the Internet to add to my ‘farming knowledge bank’, I love the ‘unlearning’ that it compels my team to do.

I like to constantly optimize my spaces and make them productive. This is done through raised beds, quality non GMO seeds, efficient watering systems – as against large fields, GMO seeds, wasting water. There was a time Aura was producing no food – we’ve come a long way since.

I love documenting all that I am able to grow – and also follow other modern farmers on Instagram. I think a lot of people are encouraged to grow something themselves, so being a modern-farmer definitely comes with fair documenting and sharing. Something I love to do. 

‘Sustainable Fashion is boring!’
There is nothing sexier than having your own style and doing good. Thrifting helped me bust that myth.

“100% Sustainable”
Nothing on the face of this earth is 100% sustainable, and understanding that is important. Small, imperfect steps towards living sustainably are always appreciated. Be vary of anything that claims to be 100% sustainable :). Aim for progress, not perfection.

When you’re starting out, it might seem very overwhelming. What helped me was baby steps into breaking it up into separate departments. I would say recognize where you create a lot of trash and start with it. I started with my bathroom because that produced trash month on month.

We’ve witnessed catastrophes, species have come and gone, but Earth has survived. So essentially it’s us who needs to be saved and not the planet!

 

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