Give us a brief about your background.
I am a social entrepreneur and passionate activist for youth empowerment, conscious living, and sustainable travel. I lead a few projects including Hara World, Sustainable Travel Network, Causeartist, and Curated Consciously. I am a Canadian gal from a mixed raced family and have been living in India for almost 5 years now. I am an adventurous student, always using travel as my platform for experiential learning, which has led me to work on incredible grassroots development projects in Ghana and India.
Tell us about your latest venture Curated Consciously. Do you think it can help people adapt to a sustainable lifestyle in an easier manner?
Absolutely! The purpose of Curated Consciously is to make conscious living education and resources more accessible in every sense of the word—from financially accessible products and resources, to content that breaks down conscious living terms, language, and social justice topics so that diverse communities can access the information they need to start their conscious living journey.
Sustainability starts at home, but if you don’t know where to start or how to access the information you need to get going, it can seem daunting and overwhelming. When the world is pushing inaccessible products, Curated Consciously is helping you understand what you can do on your own even without a big budget, while evoking critical-thought and nurturing individuality.
What made you start your conscious travel journey?
Conscious living has always been a part of my lifestyle. I’ve always been a very resourceful person, especially growing up with a single mom. If I had to give a timeframe of when I really catapulted myself into conscious living, it would be in 9th grade when I began my independent research on the water crises across Asia and Africa. Acknowledging my privilege at a young age and realizing I had the power to take action against social and environmental injustices, I started a nonprofit organization to tackle these issues. Raine for Water was an event and performance-based nonprofit in support of clean water and sanitation issues in Ghana. This is ultimately to where my journey into social entrepreneurship began.
Has conscious travel changed the way people experience new places?
Absolutely! When you think more mindfully about how every action and buying decision you make in a destination can affect the local society, economy, and environment, and how much more meaningful and authentic your experiences are when you choose to take the road less travelled, you can’t imagine doing it any other way. I recently wrote a piece about connecting conscious living to conscious travel on Curated Consciously that’s a great resource on how to get started with conscious travel.
Hara House is India’s first zero waste guesthouse. How does this concept help the
community? Do you think India needs more spaces like these?
Hara House is a zero waste guesthouse that invests 20% of profits into community projects led by youth. It’s under the Hara World umbrella which is an experiential education and travel organization that empowers and connects diverse young people through environmental justice programs. Our organization has provided economic opportunity and experiential learning opportunities to young people in Bikaner and beyond, both onsite at Hara House in Bikaner and across the country (as well as online!). We also provide micro-grants to young entrepreneurs working on projects that support social and environmental justice.
We are hoping to scale up and have multiple spaces post-pandemic but in the meanwhile, we are advocating consistently for India to implement more multi-purpose, youth-friendly safe spaces that foster collaboration, sustainability, and arts and culture.
Through the Impact India Podcast, you interact with startups in the social space. What are some ideas that will shape the near future of India?
Honestly, India is such a hub for innovation. From the work being done to connect artisans and crafts communities to global markets to keep their arts alive, to innovative solutions to waste management, to fashion made from post-production waste, I think young people are on the right path to creating a beautiful future for India. The real work is being done, it’s just often happening silently, which is why I launched the podcast as a way to amplify the voices of changemakers. Now all we need is more investment in the space to help make it happen.
How do you think the post COVID Era is going to change the way people consume?
Localization has definitely been a trending topic during this time. The need to support local business and projects to economically support communities is crucial for building thriving economies, and leads to more conscious consumption choices. The power of local, I believe, won’t just remain a trend but will become a necessity post-COVID as a means of survival and sustainability.
People usually begin their conscious living journey with fashion and their closet. What is your advice to people who would like to live a conscious lifestyle overall?
You don’t need to completely shift your lifestyle in one day. Make small changes everyday that are accessible. Consistency and continuous learning leads to long-term, sustainable solutions.
What would your recommendations be for films and books that give a closer look into the sustainability landscape?
Some of my favorite documentaries and films that uncover the need for sustainability include:
The Recycling Sham episode in Netflix’s BROKEN series
Books/written resources I love:
Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garbage Sale by Adam Minter
Gender Equity and its Impact on Sustainability in Cotton Farming in India by Fashion Revolution India
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (although fictional, an exceptional look at the way humans tend to destroy absolutely everything...)
A green piece of advice you would like to give to people.
How can you be more resourceful? Look around your kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom, office, outdoor space. Sustainability starts at home. How can you nurture people and the planet starting from within your own space? Quarantine is the perfect time to start!