On our Ketchup Talks Live, we spoke to Instagram duo AbhiandNiyu about sustainable living in the times of self-isolation and otherwise.

Abhiraj Rajadhyaksha and Niyati Mavinkurve, famously known as Team Following Love, the duo is known for their incredibly popular series #100ReasonsToLoveIndia. They have also produced strikingly impressive content pieces revolving around India’s rich history and issues that surround the subcontinent now.

After making impactful videos across 200 days talking about everything they love about India, the couple has been creating videos to create awareness regarding various problems we encounter in the nation that needs attention and has been active in promoting sustainable living.

We had the opportunity to interact with this duo as they went live on our Instagram account talking about their self-isolation phase and how to implement sustainable living.

What are you doing in the self-isolation phase? How do you keep occupied during quarantine?

“Well watching Money Heist. Besides that, there are lot of websites that offer courses, we are figuring out which is the course that we can do because everybody should keep updating their skills and right now we have a lot of time in our hands, we can’t go out that means we are by default we are saving 3-4 hours of travel, we are watching a lot of YouTube as well, watching videos by other creators. We are also doing ghar ka kaam, jhaadu pocha, cleaning cupboards etc. 

We keep reading, we are still working on our videos, we are researching it. Listening to audiobooks on Scribed, Abhi is doing a course on Edx. Plus we are doing workouts.” 

What is the value or importance of sustainable living for you?

“It’s very important for us since both of us are very committed and concerned about the environment. So now that we are at home, there are a lot of steps that people can take, we are trying to slowly integrate and make people think about their daily life so a few things they can do, the starting point of sustainable living is to think about your impact on the whole world at large. So you can imagine that if I am using a product or a soap to wash my hands that water is ultimately going into a drain and then it goes into seas, rivers or water bodies. So that’s the first thought. 

Being sustainable means co-existing with nature. It doesn’t mean you have to be eco-friendly or you have to be extreme in that but it’s just thinking a little bit more.

If you are throwing garbage, think how it will be disposed of. It’s going to the landfill, some rack-picker has to pick it, they have to touch it with their hand, so give a little bit of extra thought to everything you do. That’s how you start with sustainable living and then keep working towards it.”

How to start sustainable living at home?

We all know the water cycle, the water on earth is limited, there is no new water that is generated. Consider the water that you have is the only water you have, so the best thing is to reuse it. Use that same water again and again for different purposes. 

To simplify, just figure out how many times you can use the same water before it goes into the drain. What Niyati does at home is she collects the water that comes out of the washing machine and then she uses it for flushing.

You can keep a big tub or container and collect the water from washing your hands or washing vegetables. The water you use for washing utensils can be collected and used for flushing, because a lot of water gets wasted for flushing purposes in our western toilets.

You can use the bio-enzyme made at home to clean your house, which will reduce chemicals in the water used for cleaning purposes and same can be then used for flushing.

In some toilets you can open the flushing system, so if you open the flush and put a filled water bottle inside it then by default you will trick the flush that the tank is full and then when you flush you won’t waste that much water.”

What motivates you to have a green life? 

“Our future. People need to know about permafrost. Right now everyone is worried about Coronavirus, and why we are worried about it is because our immune system is not evolved in such a way that it can fight this virus, not let me scare you even further, there is something called permafrost. There is so much ice towards the north and south pole throughout the year. But because of global warming that ice is melting and the bacterias and viruses trapped in these ice are now coming out. So because of climate change when these viruses will come out, the human immune system will not be prepared for that because these viruses are frozen for millions of years. 

It is all linked. So how are we behaving with the environment right now, how careless we are will affect the world. That is why we need to live a greener life. So if one virus can do this in a matter of three months, all our other things, our economy, our other ventures mean nothing if the earth is not there to support us. That is why everybody needs to adopt a greener lifestyle.”

 In what areas of life can one practice sustainable living? 

A lot of things, if you can think of your actions, then you will automatically find better alternatives for it to the extent possible. 

We have already spoken about water conservation. The other thing we do is to avoid chemicals. We don’t use shampoos on our hair or apply beauty creams on skin. Being sustainable also means choosing the right sort of product that is in-line with what is happening in the world and nature today. 

Once you start looking at everything you do, what food I am consuming – am I consuming a lot of junk? Junk food as palm oil in it and palm oil is not sustainable. While traveling you should travel by train, avoid traveling by flights, that way you can reduce your carbon footprint, while traveling try carrying your own water bottle rather than buying a new bottle every time and refill it whenever required. So in Ladakh, there are almost 10000 plus bottles that are dumped every single day during tourist season, and that plastic is not created by the people out there.”

How to implement sustainable living in clothing? 

“Reuse your clothes as much as possible. Buy lesser clothes. The values we all grew up with are coming back with more fashionable tags. When we were kids, I used to get clothes of my cousin sisters in a usable condition, then I used to pass them on to my sister, then we used it for holi, then a dusting cloth. So the more you use the cloth and the more forms you use, the better it is.

For anything in life if you want to be sustainable, reuse it as much as possible, so that there is less of production.”

We hope these tips help you implement new habits in your life and move towards sustainable living.