Veena Krishnan, a mum with varied interests shares with Mums and Stories her decision to embark on a green journey in life. Talking about the early childhood memories, she shares, “I had a very happy childhood, mostly due to the stable family environment that my parents and brother gave me. My parents rarely fought and had very good understanding between them. Like most other families, the family budget was tight and therefore apart from basic necessities there were very few luxuries that we were given. New clothes were restricted only to my birthday and Diwali.
I used to travel by bus and bicycle and travel by car or auto was unheard of. I think I have been able to adapt to a sustainable way of life without craving for too many luxuries mainly because of the middle class upbringing that I had during my childhood.
(The multi-tasking mum insists she goes after one goal at a time).
Life and time flew with career goals, marriage and motherhood, but then I had a health situation about 10 years ago which made me re-evaluate life and the goals I wished to achieve. Perhaps the most valuable lesson I learnt was that life is finite and each day is a gift from God.
My priority therefore was to try and make the world a better place. This was the main impetus for going green. I had just moved into my own apartment and decided to start with keeping my neighbourhood clean. I met a neighbour, Devishree Murthy who also shared this passion and together we implemented a waste segregation and recycling system in our apartment complex. We decided to take this message further and therefore founded an organization called Green Footprint whose main objectives are to propagate the message of sustainable living particularly in the areas of waste and litter management.
Veena also manages her role at an initiative called Beautiful Bengaluru. She says, “ Green Footprint is an associate of Beautiful Bengaluru, which is a collective of committed citizens aiming to spread the message of sustainability, particularly in the areas of zero litter, awareness on plastic pollution and water conservation. Beautiful Bengaluru leads by example with its members leading a sustainable life and also spreads awareness on sustainability.
Being a practicing lawyer, mum and taking the time to go green and encouraging others to think and implement on saving the planet, she shares, “I manage to prioritize my work and do the things that matter to me by treating time as a finite resource to be utilized carefully.
I try and avoid multitasking and focus only on one task at a time and trying to do it well. My time on social media is spent purposefully.
I also try to avoid spending too much time on tools like whatsapp which helps me focus on meaningful work I need to get done through the day.
(Veena Krishnan with her family)
I do not spend time comparing myself with others or thinking about their paths in life.
For moms my suggestion would be to take on something that interests them without worrying too much about monetary returns. If you do something you are passionate about, money and success will automatically follow.
(Veena and Devi with team of Green Footprint).
Regarding basic mistakes that I find most residents consciously or unconsciously do in waste segregation is that being unaware and not implementing even if they are aware on segregation of waste into dry, wet and medical streams. Secondly many do not take the initiative to compost their green waste and waiting for the government to provide them with composting options.
Lastly we find many let their consumption patterns spin out of control instead of only buying things which are most essential for day to day life.
(Waste management implemented at a space where Veena volunteers).
Veena also talks on menstrual management and encourages others to switch over to more eco- friendly options. Talking about it further she shares with Mums and Stories, “ Moms should get their girl children to use cloth pads during their monthly cycles. Also the teachers should be involved in this entire process and parents should collectively prevail upon the school to give girls sufficient breaks and opportunities to ensure that they are able to use cloth pads comfortably.
As a final note to other mums Veena mentions, that it is essential to stop comparing yourself to others and remember that your journey is unique.
Secondly one must not forget that life is not forever and is too short to be spent judging and criticizing people. Thirdly one practical tip is to keep your lifestyle simple. Carry out fewer tasks a day and ensure that you do them well. Spend your time only on tasks that you are passionate about.
One thing to always remember is to avoid perfection and take life as it comes.
Also as a mother I most definitely want to say that one must try and avoid guilt tripping yourself about your child’s progress. Your duty is to educate the child, feed and clothe him/her.
Remember that the child has a separate path in life and do not link your child’s successes and failures to your parenting.”