Monday, September 30, 2013

Thank You Mom! featured Green Living blog on their website. Thank you momsouq for helping me in spreading awareness and reach more people, mainly moms in UAE!

To find out more, checkout

Monday, July 15, 2013

Green Living Blog supports Buckle Up In The Back!

Hi friends, you must have noticed a new yellow badge of 'Buckle up in the back' on the blog. Green living blog proudly supports this day to day prime important kid's safety initiative, apart from being an environmental and sustainability awareness blog.

When on this blog, we talk about saving our planet for future generations by adapting green way of life, I feel we should also take efforts and make it habit to look into safety of our future generations on day to day basis. As a new mother I am being particular about buckling up my baby in his car seat in the back every time. Actually, I never gave a thought to this topic before becoming a mother, but motherhood opens up many doors (and eyes :-)). Let's all spread the awareness of child safety on-board along with our sustainability awareness.

Never drive with your child without buckling him/her in the back!

For further information, visit

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New Mother's Green Living

After having my baby, my priorities changed. Now I can't think of environment before my baby's wellbeing. But for sure sustainable living is that one thing I will teach my baby from start.

Last few months I am trying to figure out how to live green with a new born and I can't wait to share it with you all.

Diapering- I struggled for three months to find sustainable way of diapering my baby without compromising hygiene and his comfort. I used clothes diapers in first month exclusively, when we were in India. but the amount of water needed to wash these diapers, specially when the water was scarce in summer made it not a very sustainable way. Since we returned to Dubai I am using disposable diapers, but the times when I have to change diaper within few minutes, at the back of my mind I think of carbon footprint of that one diaper and I feel really bad. My experience in first three months forced me conclude that "there is no sustainable way of diapering a baby"
But recently I have settled down with a sustainable, hygienic way of diapering. I put on disposable diapers when my baby Ruhaan is about to sleep. During his waking hours I wear him clothe diapers. and The quick dry sheet saves repeated washing and drying of bedding materials. This way is not just convenient for me but Ruhaan is happier and gives me smile every time when I put on the cloth diaper on him.

Borrowing- I always felt uneasy to borrow something from somebody till now. But the motherhood makes you more practical and may be a little shameless. But most of the experienced mothers will agree with me that borrowing baby accessories is not very bad thing. I am still not comfortable with borrowing certain baby items, I have hygiene issue with them. But borrowing baby accessories and toys is perfectly fine for me. One can wash and disinfect them. You get baby cleansers in market to use for this purpose.
I have borrowed an excellent crib from my friend who has a very cute daughter, now 2 year old and unfortunately she did not like to sleep in crib. Luckily Ruhaan sleeps well in that crib.

This way I could reuse the same crib which was completely useless for my friend. This is not just matter of saving money but if using second hand accessories helps to reduce landfill and saves carbon footprint of brand new accessory. On the top of it if you are a first time mum, you don't even know what is best for your baby in the first go. You have to try things to find out best suited. In this process it doesn't hurt to use second hand items and if your baby doesn't like it, then you know what to buy or still you can go for another second hand item.

In Dubai second-hand baby accessories can be found here,
5. And most important your friends and family.

There is one very important tip I have learnt quickly that when you have baby better not to spend much on baby items or home items just because you like them or your baby might look cute in that. Babies grow fast and many expensive things you buy become useless very soon.

Clothes- I have figured out one important thing about baby clothes, which is not written anywhere in pregnancy- baby sites or books or at least on those which I referred. Better to buy front open clothes instead of those you slip from head. It is lot more easier to put on these front open clothes and you can use them for longer time. Babies outgrow those 'slip from head clothes' within days.
Another thing I learnt and now implementing that better not to buy too many clothes or go on shopping for cute baby clothes when you are pregnant when you are slave of your motherhood hormones. Babies grow fast and you end up using those cute clothes only once or never at all.
I have many cute (and expensive) new born clothes which I never used. But I washed all of them before baby birth and kept ready. So now I can't even gift them to other babies.
These days I use all of the baby clothes on day to day basis, don't keep for any good occasion or outing in the fear that he might outgrow them.
The best thing is to buy larger size clothes. I really appreciate all our friends and family members who gifted Ruhaan bigger clothes. I can use them in future and can keep using for longer time. Most importantly their gift will not be wasted.

Another point in frequent washing of clothes is baby do throw up. So better to use burp clothes, bibs. On the days when Ruhaan throws up more, I keep bibs on him all the time and change those bibs. I not just save water by reducing number of clothes but those repeated clothe changing is a big hassle.
I also use wash clothes to wipe him instead of baby wipes or tissues whenever possible. But I use baby wipes strictly to clean him after dirty nappies. It doesn't make sense to use big amount of water to wash those dirty clothes.

Lastly I would like to share a sustainable way of feeding a baby. I know it will make you laugh, actually me and my husband had hearty laugh after reading it on our pediatrician's file!
While stating importance of breastfeeding point by point, the last point reads,
"Breastfeeding is environment friendly." ... Come to think of it, frequent washing and sterilizing of bottles and accessories, trying different formulas etc.- not required with breast feeding.

Though it is funny, it is true :-). !!!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Morning-tea in Dubai with my flying neighbours

Good Morning Readers! It been few months I couldn't write, it is more challenging than I thought to find time after birth our son Ruhaan :)! After coming back home to Dubai; apart from enjoying motherhood and taking care of baby I hardly do anything else.

But this is definitely one of the rare morning for the new mum. Baby Ruhaan is sleeping well in his bed (hope he doesn't wake up and make me run to him before finishing this post). It is a lovely foggy morning, one of my favourite Dubai thing (when I am not driving!) and I am having my relaxed morning tea looking outside our window. This place is my personalized bird watching site in Dubai, I guess many residents in Dubai living in landscaped communities must be enjoying similar personalised bird watching site.

I was glad to see my favourite flying neighbour on lamp-post just below my window, little green bee eater. He is busy catching his breakfast, but this time alone. I don't know where his partner is.

He was missing for a month from this lamp-post, since I came back, where he used to spend almost whole day previously.

After a while this laughing dove tried to claim this lamp-post, but he couldn't change Bee-eater's mind.

Then pair of Bulbul came and sat side by side to Bee-eater. Bee-eater kept moving his head all the time looking out for bees and I found these Bulbuls imitating him, moving their heads (but not that fast).

Bee-eater was completely in peace with Laughing dove and Bulbuls. But finally a fat common maina arrived on the lamp-post this poor Bee eater flied quick and vanished from the scene.
Now I got answer why I couldn't find my favorite neighbour since I came back.

This is a perfect example of how newly introduced species in UAE's environment are threatening the smaller species in UAE (LOL)!!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Living Sustainable in India

Recently I have moved back to my hometown in India from Dubai for few months. Every morning chirping birds living on tree outside my window wake me up and when I take walk around our place every afternoon, I savoir Nature's bounty in the form of greenery, birds, flowers and perfect winter!

Scene from my lovely New Year morning
It been more than 5 years that I never stayed more than 15 days in India and I almost forgotten how sustainable one can live in this land. There are many problems in system, infrastructure and government but apart from that people still live sustainable almost without knowing.

Generally you don't have to use electricity in your home during the day. Though it's apartment or villa, generally every building is built with lot of strategic windows so that day light can pass in abundantly. Thanks to fertile land, landscaping around the buildings and setting up new habitat in case of habitat loss happens almost on it's own. Many people have habit of turning of lights when not in use, in attempt of saving electricity bill, if not for the love of mother nature. So occupancy sensors are not needed at all in at least these homes. There are not recycling stations or no easily available charity pick up points. But anything you don't need doesn't get wasted, you can always pass on these unwanted items including food, clothing, home items etc to less fortunate people you come across every day in the form of domestic help, watchman, cleaners etc. One man's junk is other man's treasure! You can always sell the unwanted papers including newspapers or other paper scrap. The metal scrap pays you more than plastic scrap. But still there is always somebody who buys any form of scrap material from your home and take it to the ultimate recycling point in industries (paper/plastic/metal production etc) to earn their bread and butter.

These very basics of Sustainable living or even Green Buildings are followed by people in India since years and that is the secret of India's very less carbon footprint per capita.
On personal level my carbon footprint has reduced to record figure. I have started to walk more and use transport only when I have to travel far. Very interestingly here in India, once the residential buildings are built, many basic as well as other services start in that area. There is no aid from government in this, the community and the services are set up by people themselves. Where there are new residential areas, people start their small businesses in and around that new area so the walk able community services are formed automatically.
So for me most of my needs are fulfilled in my community and I can walk up to all those necessary services. We save electricity in many ways without taking any extra efforts. You can depend on natural ventilation throughout the year except couple of harsh summer months in Most of India. We don't need clothes dryer during winter or summer, but you can't skip it in rainy season :). When you can get domestic help abundantly here in India, this way you not just save electricity in washing machine, dishwasher or vacuum cleaners but you provide employment too.

Solar hot water system is widely popular and you get to see these units everywhere. Also portable compost units are gaining popularity, where you can deposit bio-waste from home and compost is made in few days, which can be used in you garden. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is well penetrated in Indian culture since years. You get to see many example of reusing items in every household and in every community.

There isn't much pollution around my place, but this is not valid in any crowded road junction in any city of India and metro cities in India are highly polluted. There is a big trouble of noise pollution along with air pollution. I don't understand why people blow horns on any road though it's main roads in city or any small colony road, but it is definitely related to lack of road discipline.

One very serious problem I could see in my Sustainable India is water. Godavari river flows through my city and one of the serene part of river is walk-able from my home. But when you actually start admiring the beauty of river and floating lotuses in it, your attention is attracted by floating garbage near the banks of river.  Here in India there are many natural sweet water sources, I don't think there must be any other country blessed with so many rivers, lakes and ground water table other than India. So one expects that there won't be any problem for drinking water. But because of all sort of waste water including industrial waste and drainage black water is drained to these natural water sources without much process, all natural water available is polluted. Not just that but even after lot of dams are built on many rivers, the fresh water availability is still dependent on yearly rainfall. There isn't anything done much on large scale to harvest rain water. All of the rain falling in city and in the country flows back to these rivers and lakes or on a good note forms ground water table.
In cities you can have 24 hours flowing water taps only if there is ground water table in your building premises. The bore-well to this ground water is the only solution. Otherwise building management or watchman has to do water management by cutting water supply to all apartments during specific times. The local authority supplies drinking water only two times a day, morning and evening. The same water is stored in water tanks in every residential building for all sort of water uses. There is no supply of gray water by local government for flushing toilets or watering plants. The plumbing systems in buildings also do not account for these kind of facilities. Onsite water recycling is also not as popular.

The step for water conservation need to be taken on local level in every town, city and village in India. All I can do at my home is reduce flow rates of taps and reduce flush tank capacity to save water apart from teasing my younger brother first thing in morning if he keeps water tap open while brushing his teeth! :)

Wish you all a Happy and prosperously Green New Year 2013!

Flower from my window garden