Motherhood is so powerful. It defines every strong woman who nurtures another beautiful life. I’m sure we can all agree that being a mother isn’t an easy role, but is definitely the most purposeful and compassionate avatar of any being. We got a chance to chat with one such incredible mother who isn’t just an admirable mother but also a fabulous teacher and a sustainability champion. Just like The Good Tee, she too believes in doing good for the planet and is taking steps everyday to make a positive impact on the environment while introducing the same values in her two lovely daughters and all of her students.
Meet Meera Jain aka The Green Mum, a superwoman donning the role of an eco-blogger, a teacher, and a mother every single day. We asked her the secret to her sustainable mantra of living an eco life, read on to hear what she had to say.1. How did your eco-friendly journey and The Green Mum start?
I have always been an environmentally conscious person. I was that friend that chewed out her pals for throwing gum on the sidewalk and have been driving a hybrid for a few years now. Through some good friends, I was introduced to both the blogging world and the low waste world. It was a game changer. After that, I sat down to watch A Plastic Ocean on Netflix and I was sold. This was a lifestyle that completely jived with my beliefs and I wanted to be a part of it as much as possible. Being an eco-conscious person has completely infiltrated my roles of mother and teacher in a positive way. I am raising my two little girls to be advocates for our planet and teaching my students many of my values as well as practical information on how to take care of the planet.
2. You support and advocate a conscious lifestyle and sustainable habits. What have you learned in the process? Why is it so important to you?
The most important discovery I have made through adopting a sustainable lifestyle is that it brings me so much peace. Now what I believe and how I live my life actually correspond to each other (most of the time, at least)! It was also a pleasant surprise to me to see how much happiness my family and I can have with relatively little. I rarely buy clothes for myself, the kids get mostly second hand toys, and we try to live as minimally as possible - and we feel so fortunate every day!
It’s so important to slow down and think about the things that truly matter. Money? Fame? Prestige? How about health, safety, future generations? I do what I do mostly for my children, but also for all children in our world. They deserve a life at least as good as ours and I view it as my job to facilitate this as best as possible.
3. How hard is it to make eco choices as a mother? How do you instill sustainable habits in your kids?
It can be tricky to opt for what is best for the environment all of the time, especially as a mother. Instead of forcing my beliefs down my kids’ throats, I try to model my values. I have to allow my daughters to make decisions for themselves, or else they will grow to resent me through time. So if we get a balloon as a parting gift from a party, I gently remind them that it is made of plastic which is not great for the earth, and let them make their decision from there. If they choose to take the balloon, no problem! There is always another opportunity to demonstrate what sustainability looks like and I feel confident knowing that my children will grow up cherishing our world as much as I do.
4. You’re a teacher by profession and have also been educating people about sustainable living for quite a while, what has been your biggest challenge in this journey?
My biggest challenge by far has been having time and energy to wear all of the different hats that I do. I am a full-time elementary school teacher, a full-time mother of two, an eco-blogger, and an environmentalist. All of these things take time in their own right. I try to focus on my family, my job, and maintaining a green lifestyle, and have had to slow down on blogging for the time being. As soon as summer rolls around, I hope to be back in full force because I really do love it!
5. What advice would you give to mothers who are trying to switch to conscious habits? How can they start living a more eco-friendly lifestyle?
I think that the best place to start is the easiest place to start. Whatever you think you can consistently change is the best option. Are you able to make coffee at home instead of using a paper/plastic cup? Can you feasibly switch to reusable diapers for your little ones? How about making your own granola bars to save on packaging? Pick one or two feasible changes, and stick with those for a couple of weeks. Once they feel like part of your routine, you can try and tackle something else!
6. You share a lot of healthy vegan recipes too. Where do you get your cooking inspiration from? Were you always into healthy cooking?
I have been a vegetarian my entire life, it is how I was raised. About two years ago, I decided to switch to veganism in efforts to lower my carbon footprint. I enjoy sharing recipes that work for me, because I know it can be challenging finding something delicious, vegan, and quick to make. I’m not sure if I have always been into healthy cooking as much as making things that taste good using things around the house. Luckily, most home-cooked meals, especially if they are vegan, tend to be high in veggie content and therefore relatively healthy!
7. What are your thoughts on inclusivity in the sustainability realm? You talk about Environmental Racism, could you tell us a bit more about it?
There are a lot of barriers within the sustainability realm. Firstly, you have to have time and some money. It takes time to source sustainable clothes and toys, it takes money to purchase some of these things. It takes time to make your own bread, your own meals, your own snacks. It takes money to buy organic, or local, or to support eco-minded companies.
In addition to these barriers, there is the problem of environmental racism in Canada. Several BIPOC communities have been disproportionately exposed to high levels of toxins from factory runoff and the like. For the longest time, no one said anything or did anything about it despite strong protests from the communities. It makes me ashamed to learn about it but, of course, it is the first step in learning how to help.
8. What are your plans for The Green Mum in 2021 and beyond?
As mentioned above, I just want to be more active in the community. The lifestyle is there, though I am always trying to learn new things and grow. I think we are all anxiously waiting for this pandemic to be over, and perhaps then we can start dreaming and planning again!
Isn’t it phenomenal what this super mum has set out to do? Meera is definitely an inspiration, a woman who is making sure that the future generation learns to love our planet as much as we do. Sustainability is a lifestyle that anyone can choose to adopt. It’s all about making small changes and starting with little conscious steps. Wondering where to start? Ask us anything in the comments below, let’s help each other keep our planet safe and happy.
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