We do not cycle for others, we cycle for ourselves

We do not cycle for others, we cycle for ourselves

We do not cycle for saving the planet, for the Mother Nature. Who are we to save the profound Nature? We need the planet. The planet does not need us. We cycle for ourselves. Cycling makes us happy. It integrates time for physical exercise in our busy routine. Cycling makes us experience the breeze on our face. Cycling makes the body in which we live come alive. And  through the joy of cycling, we realise we are nature. It has our Self. There is no "nature" out there. There is nature "in here". The essence of the planet and us are one. That's why, no matter how unsustainably we must be living today, we all indispensably love the vast clear sky full of stars, and the green mountains, and clear seas. Our deep love for pristine nature comes from the deep truth of Oneness. On the outside, it is the planet that we all share. On the inside, the Oneness of the soul!
Small steps - Switching to eco-friendly sanitary pads

Small steps - Switching to eco-friendly sanitary pads

I wish to share with you all about Eco-Femme, a social entrepreneural venture in Tamil And that makes great quality cloth pads. I have myself started using these pads recently and to my surprise, they are super-comfortable and easy to wash. I was initially worried about washing them but it turned out that all one needs to do is dip them in a bucket and in half-an-hour, the stain completely (almost magically goes away). These pads can be used for over 5 years and thus are super economical. And of course, they are good for the environment. In a woman's life, one tonne of sanitary waste is created by using the napkins we find in the market... And today, when the limits to environmental degradation has been reached, Earth needs healing. We normally assume that the eco-friendly alternative will be less comfortable and more troublesome. However, in this case at least, this is totally not the case. These pads are more comfortable (not equally), easy to wash, cheaper in the long-run and hygienic. If you want to buy cloth pads for yourself or your friends, here is a link to Eco-Femme's website: www.ecofemme.org If you want to know more about Eco-Femme, here is a link to their Facebook page and YouTube channel: https://www.facebook.com/ecofemmeindia Videos: Masika, Eco Femme product demonstration video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OhD56WXJ38 If you want to collaborate at an organisational level for social welfare: If there is any school, Eco-Femme will do sessions and spread the knowledge about menstrual education. Eco-Femme will give free pads to the adolescence girls. If it is a rural area and when it comes to women who cannot afford for pads Eco-Femme gives pads to them at less rate. If it is an organization Eco-Femme could take session and spread knowledge. Get in touch with Kalvi if you or your organisation is interested in collaborating. Here is her email id: kalvi@ecofemme.org The following is a brief about Eco-Femme from their website How we work We are a social enterprise dedicated to being a scalable project with demonstrable impact that can be an example of how business and social responsibility really can go hand in hand. As menstruation is an experience that transcends culture, class and caste, we see an extraordinary opportunity to advance social transformation and ecological awareness through every step of our work. We seek to create a truly holistic approach to menstruation through integrating ethical business practices, production processes that engage rural women as cloth pad producers and culturally sensitive, life-affirming education about the menstrual experience. Our hybrid business model enables us to channel income from the commercial sale of our cloth pads towards not-for-profit activities, that bring benefit to as many women and girls as possible from all around the world. These not-for-profit activities include: > providing menstrual hygiene education and free cloth washable pads to adolescent girls in India through our Pad for Pad programme > providing access to cross-subsidised cloth washable pads to women who would be otherwise restricted by cost, through our Pads for Sisters programme > training facilitators in how to promote healthy and environmentally sustainable menstrual practices in their community > offering advice and consultancy to organisations around the world concerned with sustainable menstrual practices > advancing research into menstrual hygiene pedagogy > advocating for non-polluting menstrual practices through writing, film making and speaking to groups whenever we can! Please have a look into to Pad for Pad and pads for sisters.
Small steps - making my own toothpaste

Small steps - making my own toothpaste

Our toothpastes are full of chemicals and synthetics. They are not good for our teeth and the environment. Even the "natural" ones have preservatives. Vicco Vajradanti is better of the lot, but still not ideal. So I thought of making my own toothpaste. I figured out that it's fairly easy. All I did was mix the following together 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of coconut oil, 15-20 drops of tea tree oil or any other essential oil (like peppermint oil), And stevia (optional). I also added salt to this mixture. Plus, this is just one of the MANY alternatives. From using only sea-salt to brushing with neem, to making a nice toothpaste with cloves and all the different herbs. There are all sorts of alternatives. One just needs to search. I chose this one purely on the basis of availability of ingredients at home. We generally associate choices with the mainstream. With anything alternative, we assume one standard way out. It's not so, there is a plethora of choices to cater to our needs even when it comes to making healthier choices!
Why I choose to travel by train over plane

Why I choose to travel by train over plane

I am often asked why must one choose to travel from Delhi to Chennai via train when one can afford to travel by air. The first argument is that it's approximately about the same cost as the cost of travel by air (that is if one travels by Rajdhani) However, who said one has to travel by Rajdhani! And who said one has to travel by the AC coach! There are so many other cheaper options, and sleeper class is in a very fundamental way better than the AC class. You can have your head out of the window, as you are traveling to the beautiful green heavens on Earth. Having the breeze hit your face is much better than being closed in an AC compartment. After all, train travels are wonderful opportunities for rejoicing the beauty of the interiors, of the farms, of the moon and the skies! The second argument is that the travel by train is inefficient. It makes you burn two work days when you travel all the way from Delhi to Chennai! That's not true either. When you travel by air, you arrive an hour and a half early and spend your time in security checks. Then you board the flight, in whose take off, the air fills up your ears, making a lot of us feel dizzy. Now you are in the flight for 2 hours, in which you can work, if you so want to, but it hardly happens. Its too short a period to get in the rhythm and get any real work done. (However, you can. Its not like you just cannot.) On the other hand, in a train, you can simply just get in with only a simple security check. Yesterday I reached the station at 3:55 for my train which was at 4pm, and I got in!! And you can actually get real work done in 1.5 days of being on the train. If one does not have internet, then it's the perfect time for reading the book one has been wanting to read for long. But well, one is most likely to have internet (I am on the train and if I did not have internet, I would not be making this post!)... And with jio sim, one can smoothly work on the internet as well. I have been reading The Ideal of Human Unity, replying to emails that were kept on Hold for long, and also plan to write an article, which generally was postponed for there was always something or the other which was more important. Essentially, travelling on the train gives us that extra day in the week which we have been wishing for ever since we were kids. And of course, it's a great opportunity to meet people, if you are kinds who's rather talk than be busy with one's work and books. One and a half day is a long enough time for a lifelong friendship to begin! Not to mention the other benefits such as "not feeling guilty for eating while travelling" that one gets by travelling on the train. On the airplane they charge you 100 bucks for a cup of tea. Either you drink it feeling miserable about it or do the extra hard work of preparing meals to have on the airport! And, and, and (I am not done yet :P), travelling by train is a better choice for the planet. It is true that by my not travelling by air, the flights would not stop. But it is also true that by us choosing trains over the airplane, trends could change, the world could change. Air travel is one of the biggest causes of carbon emissions (2nd after the internet I guess). Anyway, the exact numbers do not matter. The larger point does. And it's not as if we make a blanket mental rule - say no, no to air travel. It has, of course, facilitated connectivity in the world. And it's a welcome invention. But in these times of sustainability crisis, we can choose, whenever we can, to go for the alternatives that are better for the planet. And well, as I tried to present above, it is better for our experience of life, and work productivity too!