• Neeraj Tulsani

It all starts from home: Sustainability lessons from Indian mothers

When was the last time you were at home and your mother was giving you tips on sustainability. I am sure it would have been everyday, but most of you would not have noticed. Ok, let me give you an example. Go back to the time when you entered the washroom and the toothpaste at your home was almost finished. You asked for a new one. Suddenly, your mother comes with a rolling pin a.k.a. Belan in hindi. She said it will be fine for the next 3-4 days and started squeezing the tube from bottom to the top with the help of that belan. At that time you realized that there was actually ample toothpaste in it for the next 3-4 days. In business terms, we define this as efficient use of resources, one of the main principles when we talk about sustainability. This is just one example from thousands, which we encounter in our daily life.

Business now a days is not just about their ability to buy and use many resources but it is about their willingness to reduce, reuse and recycle what they have in an optimum manner. As we live in a world of finite resources, it becomes more important for business to try and minimise the wastage of resources. Sustainability for business is not just limited to their patterns in resource use but also include their obligation towards managing their financial, social and environmental risks. In short, if business is sustainable, it will create a positive impact on society and environment, along with their own growth.

If we talk about sustainability at global level, it means integration of economic, social and environmental well being. Let us come back to our Indian mothers. Indian mothers are the first teachers in every family to preach us our very first lesson on sustainability. From cost cutting to optimum use of different things, from recycling to reusing things, from caring about the environment to caring about others well being, you will find every quality in Indian moms. Remember how our mothers will segregate the kabad, and pick the items which can be of useful purpose and give the remaining to kabadiwala, in exchange for some money. How she used the piece of a cloth which you didn't want, firstly by giving it to your younger sibling who will wear it for sometime and then it will become a pocha. Also how she cared about everyone while cooking, that she will make extra rotis for stray animals. How carefully she planned everything in advance keeping in mind the menial wastage of the things and keeping financial factors in mind.

We have seen multiple instances like these at our homes. These same practices can be applied in business at bigger levels. Today, as time demands most of the businesses are looking for sustainable solutions for them. They are spending heavily on research and development for finding out the best sustainable solutions for their businesses. There are multiple reasons for the business to move towards sustainability. Most important being brand perception and reputation, government norms, and realising more about environmental destruction. Apart from these reasons, it also induces innovation and creativity in these business organisations.

These small lessons are learnings for everyone, specially business organisations. These are the facts and practices on how we can contribute towards sustainable development at ground level. There is a saying that everything starts from home. Now I can say there are many things which an individual can learn from their homes, like these sustainable practices. Also, with the increased destruction of our environment, business organisations should start focusing more on sustainable practices. Who else can provide them perfect lessons apart from our super moms? Today most of the institutes and colleges provide courses on sustainability but I am sure if they consult our super moms, they will benefit much more and rock it !!

PS: Share us more on what type of sustainable practices you invented/discovered along with your super mom!

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