We often receive emails from our readers, asking doubts about their experiments with sustainable living. So, here’s a section dedicated to you – TBI’s ‘Green Influencers’ where we reach out to influencers and ask them about their sustainable journey.
Aakash Ranison, a 24-year-old from Indore, is among the many influencers around on Instagram. What sets this young man apart from the rest is the fact that he is not your everyday influencer, but a ‘green influencer’— his pictures and stories revolve around making our planet a better home for all living beings.
From veganism to minimalism, sustainability to climate activism, there’s nothing under the sun that Ranison hasn’t adopted to do his bit for Mother Earth.
But of course, like all good things, perfection comes with a lot of trial and error.
“We have to stop thinking of sustainability as a destination. There are no checkboxes to be ticked. It’s a journey, and a beautiful one at that, because you’ve decided to do something positive. So don’t beat yourself up if you can’t make the transition from an unsustainable lifestyle to green living overnight,” he states.
Make reason the building block of sustainable living
Ranison’s journey to a more sustainable way of living began three years ago, with—oddly enough—a pair of shoes!
“I had 16 pairs of shoes with me, and would end up using only 4 pairs mostly. So, instead of throwing out the rest and purchasing more, I gave them away to people in need, and this inspired me to cut the clutter in other areas as well, and only purchase/keep what was necessary,” he mentions.
Another interesting anecdote that he shares (and this is something that all of us can learn from) is that when he wanted to step into the world of sustainability, he didn’t throw out all the plastic items around him right away.
“For example, until then, I was only using plastic toothbrushes. But, I didn’t throw it immediately. I used it to its last breath, and then moved to a bamboo toothbrush. Going step by step is essential; we cannot let sentiment block reason!”
Not losing perspective on the road to a sustainable lifestyle is what Ranison is all about.
Follow people who are pioneers in the path you want to take
But has he ever made a mistake on his journey?
After giving it some thought, Ranison said he could have made mistakes, but following fellow green influencers on the internet helped him navigate smoothly. Keeping himself well-informed is what has worked in his favour uptil now.
Ranison proudly declares that both of them are his real-life friends. In fact, at the time of the interview he mentioned that he was excited about meeting Nath at one of India’s biggest vegan festivals happening in Mumbai, and learning something new–both from the festival as well as the people attending it.
The aviation industry contributes majorly to our carbon footprint
Another lifestyle change that Ranison adopted to align with his ideology of green living is that he doesn’t take the flight unless necessary.
“In the last three years, I’ve taken only two flights. And I travel pretty regularly. I’m trying to make a world record of travelling the greatest distance by public transport such as trains and buses.”
The reason why flights are best avoided if you’re planning to go green is that around the world, the aviation industry emits close to 860 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is roughly about 2 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Which, in turn, contributes significantly to the climate crisis.
Learn from your mistakes and grow sustainable
Ranison ends the conversation by saying that if you commit a mistake unknowingly on your path to sustainability, don’t let it upset you. Learn from it and move on. Each of us can do better than the previous day. Keeping at it is what will ultimately bring you closer to your goal.
For those who stand inspired, here’s a gorgeous zero-waste traveller cutlery set that can majorly cut down your waste of single-use plastics, and an eco-friendly travel pouch for storing all your travel essentials.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)