I’ve come up with the idea of this interview series because I realised how people feel so overwhelmed about all the bad news we are flooded with by media outlets. On one hand, the truth is, if we carry on like this, the future will be grim. On the other hand, we also need to read positive and uplifting stories, like this one on going green with kids. By doing so we can see how lots of lots of good people with green hearts are trying to save the planet, and they are succeeding!
However we all have to be part of the change, as I’ve read it lately and totally agree with this statement form the Zero Waste Chef Anne-Marie Bonneau: “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”
Interview with Rosy Atwal, Founder of Maple Organics on “Going Green with Kids”.
What or who inspired you to make changes towards a greener lifestyle?
Arran Stephens, the co-founder of Nature’s Path. He truly pioneered a movement towards compassion in heart, mind and soul. While working for him I learned the power of will. He travelled the world at a young age at a time when such travel wasn’t common. His vision for compassion diets has stayed with me for years.
Do you have any favourite site or person you follow for inspiration?
I follow inspiring influencers like Erin Ireland. I also love to research recipes and experiment with new ingredients. You can usually find me perusing recipes on sites like Food52 and Bon Appetit, as well as Pinterest.
What aspects of being an environmentally friendly family did you tackle so far? (Reducing plastic, planet friendly diet, upcycling things etc…)
I believe one of the best ways to reduce plastic and waste is to grow and cook your own food. We try our best to make our own snacks, dressings, beverages and anything else that might be sold within the grocery aisles. Along with being better for your health, making all your own food has a significant impact on waste. We also try our best to walk everywhere. Our neighbourhood has everything we need within a few blocks walk.
What are the changes that you implemented so far?
We revamped our medicine cabinet, pantry, and household cupboards with products that contain natural ingredients. We tossed anything that had toxic and genetically modified additives. In addition, we actively seek out brands who provide products that are good for both people and the planet.
Did you find it hard to make these changes?
At first it can seem overwhelming to adopt a plant-based, holistic lifestyle, but this type of living has always been ingrained in our family. Whether it was a week-night dinner or a remedy for a cold, I remember my mother in the kitchen, always cooking things from scratch. It can be easy to fall into the trap of buying ready-made packaged foods out of convenience, especially with our busy jam-packed schedules, but I just think of the long term benefits in both our health and wellness, and I know the extra effort is always worth it.
What was the hardest thing to give up or change?
Snack food was hard to give up. The kids like pre-made bars, salty snacks and portable quick food solutions. But if we schedule in the time to prepare, we can eliminate those items.
And what was the easiest thing to give up or change?
Red meat – surprisingly! We used to eat burgers, steaks, teriyaki and all other sorts of red meat dishes during the week. We have become very conscious of meat consumption. I am inspired by vegan home cooks and chefs to transition into a fully vegan family.
Do you feel the changes you achieved so far are encouraging you to do even more?
My skin has seen the visible results of using Maple Organics products, which are free of toxic substances and filled with certified organic ingredients (which is a huge motivator in itself!). My kids are healthy, happy, and full of energy. That’s really all the encouragement I need to continue the healthy habits.
How do you get the children involved?
They bake and cook! My eight year old is in charge of planning, procuring items for and preparing dinner on Wednesdays. He loves it. He also manages the Sunday night baking for the week. Spelt muffins, Almond Flour bars, you name it! He loves creating in the kitchen.
Did you manage to save some money too? Or is this lifestyle change actually proving to be more costly?
I haven’t really worked out the expenses, but I would imagine we are at par. Although meat is expensive, specialty ingredients can be costly also.
How did your family respond to the changes?
Any new change is going to be an adjustment, but once I started getting my kids more involved in the cooking process, it’s been much easier to transition them into a more plant-based, organic, and chemical-free home. As for skincare and health aids, those are obviously made easy thanks to my company! That’s why I created Maple Organics; to give every household an affordable alternative to common drugstore products that are full of chemicals and additives.
Do you have any tips or tricks which really helped you?
Make going green with kids a gradual change. Don’t have unrealistic expectations or try cold-turkey switches. It takes time and is truly a lifestyle change. Work with your family members to ensure they like the food and are on board with the switch.
Find more about going green with kids on Rosies’s page: http://mapleorganics.com/