Random thoughts

Life without regets

Doesn’t everyone want life without regrets? No regrets in life, small or big, no regrets at all…

Let me ask you, does anyone of us have that life? Without regrets?

We know that would be ideal and happiest life but it’s difficult, really difficult. This got me into thinking about the regrets that I feel and how they evolve.

Some regrets last hours. Most of them are generally ‘Why didn’t I say this at that moment?’ Or ‘Why did I say this? Why couldn’t I keep quiet or say something more sensible?’ These regrets die down in a some hours or a couple of days.

The regrets that last for days are mostly related to wasted opportunities. It is rethinking about the activities that I did or did not do. ‘Why did I do or did not do something at that time?’ category. ‘I could have used that time well… made some connections… completed XYZ’ etc.

Thinking about regrets lasting months or years, I don’t have many. These are mostly related to the decisions I took or did not take. I understand everything is a decision, but what we regret for years are the decisions that make lasting impact… These are related to something that matters to us like our friends, family, life, career and relationships.

That got me thinking about Minimalism.

The regret of not buying something that I liked vs regret of buying something impulsively that is lying unused in my house.

The ‘not buying’ regret lasts for hours or maybe days sometimes, because many times there will be an opportunity to buy again, scold someone else for wrong decision 😉 or just do without it.

Whereas ‘buying’ regret is a constant reminder whenever I look at that piece I bought trying to find ways to use it somehow. We fail every time and it adds to the regret one more time. This becomes days-months-years regret depending on how long that thing lies unused.

Then just don’t look at it… okay! Let’s think about it later, not now please! That’s how things end up in attic or in those top or corner shelves piling up clutter.

Isn’t that the case with you as well?

I think ‘buying’ weighs more than ‘not buying’ in most cases.

When thinking about how many times I regretted the trip that I took or some activity that I did vs no. of times I regretted not doing something, missing that experience. Here I think the latter weighs more.

We are social animals looking for some dopamine rush, wanting to feel happy. We can get some easy dopamine by buying something (not easy on pocket though!) or by doing some activity – better with others (this needs some push!).

As the days or years pass by, those activities we did, time we spent with friends and family, those awkward & interesting conversations, those funny moments and life lived then… these give us a gift that stays forever – memories! There would be hardly any regrets!

Why not put those efforts now, Choosing time over things and make sure that we make most of it. What do you think?


Not 100% convinced!

Now we have shifted to our new home and in process of setting it up. Since my husband is permanently working from home, he wants to have a good home office setup. One of the important aspect of working from home is online meetings. If you are going to meet everyone virtually all the time, it’s better to switch on your video during the call, it feels more connected.

With that thought in mind, one of the thing he is looking for is a good video camera so that he can easily switch on video for any meeting. With the whole setup i.e. monitor, keyboard, mouse etc, it’s not easy to use laptop camera. Monitor mounted camera works better. So he started looking for a camera, asked a few recommendations and got into his usual research mode.

With thanksgiving round the corner, Amazon was offering a lot of offers, most of the stuff he wanted was at 60-70% off. That’s a good deal right?

Looking at Amazon prices, first thought that comes to anyone’s mind is to buy it right away. ‘Anyway I need it and I can save money as well. The offer ends today! I will have to pay so much more if I miss this sale. I don’t even know if I will get such offer again! ‘

I saw my husband check the camera specs multiple times in that day. I even told him to buy it. At the end of the day, when I asked him if he ordered the camera, he said ‘No. I am not yet 100% convinced about buying it.’

That was interesting. Knowing the purchase, seeing an easy way to save money, thinking and rethinking about it whole day, he finally decided not to buy it and let go of the great price because –

He wasn’t 100% convinced!

How often do we do that? How often do we think how convinced we are. Most often than not, sale, offer, price influences our decisions. We think we may not get it again.

Once or twice we don’t buy the item instantly and we never get that deal again in future. we take that one experience and think that it may happen every time. This makes us buy things right away with that great offer.

It is one thing to buy with great offer when you are 100% sure and another thing to buy it because you may miss a great deal.

I learnt something that day. That is to always check if I am 100% convinced before I do something and if I am the decision maker, not to do it if I am not 100% convinced!

What do you think?


Intertwined Thoughts

We see many photos… of garbage, plastic, dumps, cluttered roads. We look at the photo for two seconds, feel bad and forget the next moment. What creates a lasting impact is the seeing that garbage in reality with our own two eyes, albeit for two seconds. We also feel it when we feel the pinch of its effects – when foul smell of garbage irritates or when we don’t get to walk on a walkway due to cluttered roads. Those moments… yes exactly those moments when we curse others for not keeping it clean.. Unknowingly, do we introspect our habits?

I am back from a trip to Pondicherry. Taking advantage of a weeklong holiday, I was all set to enjoy the beaches, cool weather and nice food. Just when we reached that quiet town, ‘red alert’ for heavy rains kicked in and the unexpected started happening. I know, whatever can go wrong will go wrong -Murphy’s law. But still, what do you think my first thought would be? Untimely heavy rain – unpredictable weather – climate change.

Like I said, we realise it more when we feel the pinch. How many of us have found it absurd to have untimely rains in many parts of India? How many of us related it to climate-change? now think about how many of us would have thought about effects of climate change couple years back, when the weather was normal & predictable?

I see this as just a peak into the future.

So continuing the trip with rains, I was roaming on serenity beach when these fishing nets caught my eye. Me being me, first thing that I saw was plastic.. a lot of plastic. I know plastic is okay if it’s going to be used for a long time, it is durable and can stay in ocean water longer, it makes fisherman’s job easier etc etc… the thought that bothered me was if these nets break into ocean, will the fisherman bring it back? Will ocean allow them to get things out when they are not tied so strongly? Or will ocean clean it by itself?

So many pictures that we see – of the turtles being caught in fishing nets, of the fishes full of plastic in their stomach, of plastic nets floating around in deep sea – Why is that happening? How can we prevent it? Moreover, if someone wants to clean these nets from the sea, is it humanly possible?

I love sea, I love everything about it. We all know how huge it is, we all know that sea decides whether to drag something deep down inside or to throw something out on the shores, we have no control over it. I can clean the sea-shore but will I be able to get those pieces of fishing nets from that enormous belly of the sea?


Epiphany by eggs

Today while coming back home, I realised I was supposed to make eggs for dinner as per my weekly plan. Generally I buy eggs in advance and always carry my egg carton to get the eggs in it. My forgetful brain had decided to vanish this reminder from my memory and I did not have any eggs in the house.

Being a zero-waste enthusiast, I resented the idea of getting into nearby store on my way back and buy eggs. In my experience you need to get either a carton of 6 eggs or shopkeeper will pack some eggs in single use plastic carry-bag. I hated both options, but I did not have anything else to cook for dinner so reluctantly I entered into the store.

We all know such times, when we suddenly remember to buy some grocery and realise that we don’t have a bag to carry it. Zero-waster in me hates me for taking single use plastic & minimalist hates me for having to buy a carry-bag unnecessarily. It was one of those days.

Upon entering the store, I saw these small packets kept alongside eggs. Yay! Now the eggs can be bought in loose & can be carried in the REUSED packets. I obviously knew that he has not taken that step to reduce plastic waste, rather it was born out of two things: customer convenience & cost saving for him (based on my many past interactions). Nonetheless, I liked the idea, it did solve my problem & I can see that the shopkeeper has increased life of that packet.

Empty chocolate packets beside the eggs

I conveyed my appreciation to the store owner. He said, he just tried to use what was a waste anyway.

Sometimes, we start despising plastic way too much while applying zero waste lifestyle. So much so that seeing an empty plastic packet gets on our nerves.

Sometimes, we become too critical of ourselves and of others. We think of idealistic lifestyle & blame ourselves for not following it rigorously.

Sometimes, such small changes we can’t appreciate because those are not the ideal ones.

Sometimes, we fail to realise that ‘Jugaad’ can also take us an inch towards zero waste lifestyle.

And many times, we fail to convey our appreciation to anyone taking that small effort to reuse, recycle or revive used items.

This incident made me realise that there can be other options too. We need to keep an open mind and welcome non-ideal options as well.

This incident served as a reminder to make it a habit to appreciate little changes anyone does, which directly/indirectly help mumma earth.

Because, appreciation & gratitude always has ripple effect.

sustainable menstruation

Sustainable Menstruation:

Hello and welcome to ecodhara!
Today, let’s talk about a topic that’s near and dear to me i.e. sustainable menstruation. Everyone knows what’s menstruation. Almost all of us know the menstrual products that are used during menstrual cycle but how many of us know the environmental ill-effects of these products?

A high percentage of menstruating women use disposable sanitary pads in India and some maybe using tampons. These sanitary pads have multiple problems w.r.t. people health and environmental health:

  1. They are full of plastic and not-so-good chemicals. This slide from greenthered foundation shows which harmful chemicals are used.
  2. ‎These pads are grow 30 times of their original size. So if not disposed off properly, they end up clogging the drains.
  3. If collected properly, menstrual products are burnt in incinerators. If these incinerators are not used at optimum capacity and setting, they generate harmful gases into the environment. We lack strict regulatory measures in this space.
  4. ‎Disposable products take 500-800 years to decompose. Need I say more? Definitely not good for Environment.

Need I say more? Definitely not good for environment and our health as well.

Then what’s the alternative? The alternative is sustainable menstrual products.

A product is sustainable if it can be used for long time, does not harm environment and can be adapted to normal routine.

The good news is, we have more than one alternative available. Three that I know of, two out of those I have used for years and one I am absolutely in love with. 🙂 Let’s talk about all of them one by one.

Reusable cloth pad with menstrual cup
  1. Menstrual cup:
    This is the product that I swear by. I am not an absolute master of using menstrual cup but surely above average! Enough bragging, lets understand what it is.
    This is a cup shaped menstrual product made up of medical grade silicon which is inserted into the vagina. Cup creates a suction seal and collects the blood flow. Once filled, it can be easily removed, cleaned with water and re-inserted for further use. Detailed videos about menstrual cup here:
  1. Reusable pads:
    Reusable pads are almost equivalent to disposable pads in terms of use. These are made up of cotton/hemp i.e. organic material and to be placed inside panty to collect the menstrual blood. Most cotton pads have similar capacity as disposable pad and you get similar variety in size as well.
    Reusable pads come in two types-
    These ones you can buckle up on outer side of panty and it stays in place. These other ones come as a pack of one liner and multiple inserts save from leaking outside and once the cotton cloth is fully wet you and remove one and reinsert other within same liner. More details in YouTube video here:
This is how old cloth pads look like (after 3 years)

Period panties:
I won’t talk much about these because I have zero practical experience. I have heard and read that these are super-comfortable, no problem of leaking as they run from end-to-end and easily washable. These also solve the problem of pads not staying in place and ending up in a leak.
There are two types in these as well – one where panty comes with a liner and inserts through which pad can be removed and re-inserted and in other type panty itself acts as a blood collector and can be used, cleaned and used again.
Another positive point of period panties is that even if you wear super tight pants, no outline will be visible. This can be positive point for cup as well I guess.. 😛

So that’s all here guys! let me know how you liked it.