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Raising Kids the Eco-Friendly Way: This Mom Hasn’t Used Plastic Bags for a Decade!

Neo, Anamika’s son, was born about four years ago and that was when Anamika started thinking about the environment.

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Every once in a while, in writing these stories, I get to meet people who have such strong convictions that you start believing in their vision. Anamika Sengupta, founder of Almitra Sustainables, is one such lady.

In a conversation with The Better India, she speaks about why she chooses to live ‘naturally’, on raising a child in what would be considered a non-conventional manner and making life choices that are good for the environment.

An idea is born with the birth of her son

Anamika and Neo

Neo, Anamika’s son, was born about four years ago and that was when Anamika started thinking about the environment.

She says, “I must be honest and say that until then, I didn’t particularly look at things the way I do now. After his birth, a lot changed for me.”

Anamika wanted to lead a life as natural as possible. Since his early days, Anamika started using cloth wraps to carry Neo around. She met weavers who made baby wraps for her son, and this gave her the chance to step into an entrepreneurial role.

She shares, “Each morning, the first thing we all put into our mouths is a plastic brush. I started by changing that – bamboo brush was the alternative. Similarly, I started looking at everything that had a negative impact and tried to change it.”

Here are four changes, she suggests that you can make immediately:

1. Carry cloth bags

Every time you step out, carry a bag or two with you, for the vegetables, groceries, or anything else that you may need to bring back home.

The average lifespan of a single-use plastic bag is between 12-20 mins, and we throw away a whopping 1 trillion bags every year. These plastic bags take over hundreds or even thousands of years to break down.

2. Carry reusable bottles

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Did you know that it takes three times the amount of water to produce a plastic bottle than it does to fill it? It takes over 1,000 years for it to decompose and only 20% of the bottles that we buy are recycled, while 80% of them end up in landfills, leaching pollutants into our soil and water.

So pledge never to use any more single-use plastic bottles and instead opt for reusable ones.

3. Reusable Straws

Plastic Straws have become one of the major threats to marine life. The number of plastic straws disposed of each day is estimated to be around 500 million!

These straws are among the top 10 items found in the ocean. They take more than 200 years to break down.

Switching to metal, bamboo or paper straws can be a better alternative for our health, and that of the environment.

4. Switch to a bamboo toothbrush

The Dental Association recommends changing your toothbrush once every three months. So imagine the number of plastic brushes we use in our lifetimes.

In India, we throw away more than 150 million plastic toothbrushes every month. Derived from petroleum-based plastics, these are a plastic soup of chemicals, which take over 400 years to decompose.

This means that all the plastic you would have used till now, not only survives but unknowingly causes serious damage to our environment.

Way forward

Anamika at her office, with Neo

Until recently, Anamika was not aware of the existence of environmentally viable options available in the market.

With the launch of her venture, Almitra Sustainables, she aims to help people make these choices.

She begins by providing them with these options at an attractive price.

“I do hope that more people see the value in making this shift in lifestyle,” she says, as we end our conversation.


Check out some of Almitra’s selections on The Better India Shop!

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(Edited by Shruti Singhal)

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