As we gear up to celebrate India's 71st Republic Day, we resonate on all that we have learned from our roots, tradition, and philosophies. It is a proud moment to reflect back and recognize all the good that we have given the world and how a sustainable lifestyle has been a foundation in all our practices.
It is not an uncommon sight in Indian households to reuse items for a variety of purposes. Reusing, reducing and recycling waste are common foundations within the Indian philosophy. Old torn clothes are often used as dusters, newspapers and utensils are sold to scrap dealers to find new use elsewhere.
We bring together some of the common hacks that are eco-friendly and effective.
Sustainability has always been a core component of Indian culture. The traditions that we follow like bucket baths, sun-drying clothes, and hand-washing dishes are some of the widespread sustainable practices.
1. Lemon peel, tamarind and rock salt can be used to clean dishes
Dishwashing soaps and liquids contain chemicals that leave traces on utensils and are also rough on the hands. A combination of tamarind and rock salt makes for an excellent all-natural alternative that can even work on tough stains.
2. Clay and copper dining ware instead of plastic
Plastic bottles used to store water takes 1,000 years to biodegrade and ends up in a large amount of litter. Handmade, reusable and biodegradable, clay bottles are the eco-friendly alternative. In fact, clay pots have been used in India from centuries to store water and keep its temperature low despite scorching heat.
Traditionally, bronze kitchenware was used, they not only look beautiful but also have therapeutic advantages according to Ayurveda.
3. Dhoop, eucalyptus oil, and homemade potpourri
In Indian households, it is common practice to use herbal means to keep their homes mosquito-free. Herbal-based repellents can be made at home and are highly effective. Eucalyptus oil combined with lavender flowers or neem oil makes for a great repellent and is safe for use in households with infants.
Frequent use of dhoop or incense sticks also keeps the home mosquito-free and acts as an aromatic air freshener. Artificial air fresheners have harmful ingredients that are not used frequently.
1. Organic clothing
Organic clothing can be traced back in Indian history to Gandhi promoting the spinning of khadi. Using organic clothes is favorable to the skin and the environment. These are various brands that provide organic clothes, accessories, bags, and footwear. At, Sui, we have always believed to craft clothes in the most sustainable manner, where each step in the process has been consciously thought out. We promote and create awareness of green fashion that is versatile and easily accessible for everyone.
2. Herbal dye
The dyes used in fast fashion have adverse effects on water, soil, and our environment as a whole. It is a major pollutant of the fashion industry. Natural dyes have been used in India for centuries, India is believed to be the oldest center of indigo dyeing. At Sui, we have collaborated with green partners and use only herbal dye in all our products. These are made from natural elements of plants, flowers, and vegetable, and come in beautiful shade s of nature. There is a huge variety of colors to choose from.
The culture seen across India is to upcycle clothes into a variety of uses before discarding them. Clothes in good condition, especially winterwear, are handed down across generations, grandmothers, and aunts are seen repurposing clothes to craft beautiful scarves, caps, mittens and so on, for the younger ones at home. Pieces of fabric are upcycled into unique bags and pouches to hold coins and day-to-day items. These upcycled items are much loved as they are handmade and hold memories.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Rose has been used as a soothing and calming agent in every form with benefits ranging from mood to health. Over the years, the rose plant has been used for various benefits and each part of the plant has its own significance. Rose petals aid in weight loss in a natural way. They have a cogent scent and flavor very similar to that of strawberries. It is used to flavor yogurts and sweets (sandesh in Kolkata). The oil extracted from the plant have antiseptic qualities and it is a natural antibacterial that is commonly used on the skin to treat acne (like rose water).
Artificial hair dyes contain plenty of chemicals that are harmful for the hair. It is a widely accepted practice in India to use henna or Mehendi as hair dye. It is an evergreen plant with natural cooling effects. Some of the health benefits of henna are that it relieves headaches, arthritis pain, treats a variety of skin conditions, promotes healthy hair growth, regulates blood pressure and is a powerful detoxifier.
Tumeric or Haldi is found in every Indian kitchen. This ingredient has a wide range of uses expanding from cooking to medicinal and beauty products. It is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant in nature. Using Tumeric has proven to be good for health, skin, and hair. During winters, many households prepare Tumeric milk that helps to relieve coughs, sore throats, as well as help induce deep periods of sleep.
Throughout the years, our traditions have evolved. Some have forgotten in place of new ones, while some have remained unchanged. This Republic Day, we celebrate Indian traditions that go beyond the basics of sustainability. While always aiming to 'Reduce, Reuse and Recycle', each household also practices 'Repair, Repurpose and Rot'. By rot, we mean compost, which is a great way to practice a sustainable life, helping to reduce waste immensely - mainly food waste. To lead a successful sustainable lifestyle, we should all incorporate this philosophy every day and learn to 'Refuse, Rethink and Reflect' to do better by our environment.
Happy Republic Day, we hope these hacks help you to live a life that's a little greener!