Change starts at home! Know how Kamana Gautam practices and preaches sustainable parenting


Our survival and well-being depend on the limited resources we have on Planet Earth. Yet, not everyone is mindful of environment-friendly practices in everyday living. Be it about the right waste management techniques, reduction of plastic use, or reuse and recycling of goods – sustainable practices have to be made a part and parcel of our lives for the sake of our environment, climate, and health. Teaching young people can be one way of working towards a healthier and greener future, believes Kamana Gautam, a certified nutritionist and lactation counselor, who is promoting the idea of sustainable parenting.

Known on social media by her moniker @mycocktail_life, Kamana Gautam educates people about sustainability with the hope to inspire others. In this exclusive interview with Health Shots, the nutritionist, lactation consultant and mother of two, shares her journey of introducing sustainable living into her life and the difficulties she faced.

Kids inspired the idea of sustainable living for Kamana Gautam

Kamana Gautam’s social media journey has seen an evolution – from spreading awareness about tandem baby-wearing and breastfeeding to now sharing sustainable solutions for everyday living.  Her kids served as her source of inspiration for living sustainably. 

She says, “When someone asks me why I live in such a sustainable way, I always respond that I am a very selfish person. When I didn’t have kids, I didn’t think much about the world, climate change or global warming. But now that I’m a parent, I worry about my kids’ future. Looking at the air pollution, at how water is being exploited and at how our crops are being loaded with pesticides and chemicals, I am concerned for them. What will they have in the future?”

Practicing sustainabilty at home

Her early efforts to try living sustainably came with making her home environment-friendly by getting rid of all the plastic. She says, “It started from that goal, but now I see that sustainability is a path that makes me feel great about myself. There were times when I condemned those who used plastic. When I first began this mission, I frequently thought—Well, why are other people not doing it while I’m doing it?”

Image courtesy: Kamana Gautam | Instagram

Defining what sustainability means to her, she adds, “Sustainability, for me, ultimately revolves around living a happy life. It entails being content with what you have in life. Our current fast-paced lifestyle, in which we continually seek validation from others and find happiness in materialistic things is wrong.”

What is the toughest part of practicing sustainability for you?

The path of sustainability is not easy if you’re new to this or are trying to switch from your current lifestyle. According to Kamana Gautam, one of the toughest parts of the transition is to make family members accept your chosen route. While it is not impossible, getting others in the house to make those little changes in life, can be challenging.

Kamana says, “Initially, it was challenging since I found that lugging utensils, water bottles and steel water bottles, while travelling with my two young children, really difficult. But with time, we developed a habit of doing it.”

Additionally, when it comes to kids and sustainability, one challenge is peer influence. “Making kids understand why they cannot use plastic-based products such as balloons in their house like other kids, is a little tough, But when we explain why, they understand.”

Basic tips to follow sustainability in life

Here, the influencer has a word of caution to share: “First of all, don’t get overwhelmed by the word sustainability”, and secondly, here are some simple ways that you can follow easily.

1. Segregate your waste

Start segregating waste at home as wet and dry. Also connect with your municipality representatives to find out which vendors are taking plastic and sending it for recycling.

2. Carry a bag

Avoid taking plastic bags or paper bags from vendors. Instead, carry your own cloth bag and keep such extra bags in your car to ensure you don’t have to accept disposable bags while you shop for anything.

3. Carry your own water bottle

Carrying your own water bottle is not a big thing. In fact, doing so can make a big difference in reducing the number of disposable water bottles you may use when you go out. Remember that plastic bottles can take several years to decompose.

4. Use a product to its full potential

Sustainability is not just about living a plastic-free life, but about using our resources to their full potential. So, use the things that you already have and use them to their full potential.

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5. Use secondhand products

Kamana says, “Globalization has increased our purchasing power, but we should be content with what we already have. Even if you’re buying something, you should buy secondhand clothes, and thrift clothes, and should not go behind the trends. Additionally, we should be aware of who has made the product and what kind of living they are living. .”

Kamana Gautam is also trying to change the way people look at breastfeeding!

Apart from promoting the idea of sustainability, Kamana Gautam also educates people about the advantages of nursing or breastfeeding. She wants to normalise how a woman’s body changes throughout pregnancy and the early stages of parenthood.

When she started sharing her journey with people through Instagram, she discovered that many women had the same traumatic experience she did during her first pregnancy. She feels people need to stop making women feel embarrassed about feeding their children in public.

Kamana Gautam
Image courtesy: Kamana Gautam | Instagram

Kamana highlighted that one of the reasons for the breastfeeding rate declining in our country is the shame that we always make women feel uncomfortable and because we are always sexualizing breasts. “That’s when I started uploading my own images about me breastfeeding in public my own child. I was initially labelled an attention-seeker and trolled by men because of the posts. Yet all of this motivated me more to post a photo of my postpartum body to encourage and reassure women that they are not alone and that their postpartum bodies are gorgeous,” says Kamana.

(Kamana Gautam is nominated for the Health Shots She Slays Awards in the Social Cause Champion category.)



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