Bindi Chouhan who is a Love Food Hate Waste workshop leader and a yoga/meditation instructor was recently featured in Stuff.co.nz for her unique sustainable lifestyle.
Bindi lives with her immediate and extended family consisting of seven members in Titirangi, Auckland.
Her family generate less than five rubbish bins worth of waste per year,.
Bindi is a fourth generation Indian-Zimbabwean who moved to New Zealand in 2003.
“THERE WERE A LOT OF ADJUSTMENTS WE NEEDED TO MAKE FROM LIVING IN A LARGE FAMILY OF MORE THAN TWENTY TO BEING JUST FOUR OF US. MY MUM USED TO COOK MOST OF THE MEALS BACK IN AFRICA, AND THE BIGGEST THING SHE NEEDED TO READJUST WAS THE MEAL SIZE.WE WOULD BE EATING LEFTOVERS FOR DAYS”
In Zimbabwe, she grew up in a micro village of extended family members of about 25 people who ate a plant-based diet.
“My parents, grandparents, uncles, aunties and cousins were always making use of everything. Nothing was ever just thrown out.”
In New Zealand, Bindi and her husband share a small cottage that they built themselves.
Bindi started work as a sustainability travel coordinator, acting on behalf of Auckland Transport within school communities, then became a yoga/breath-work teacher.
Bindi’s first goal was that her household needs to reduce their kerbside rubbish bin.
The initial plan was to go from fortnightly to just once a month.
“The pace of life has changed for everyone. Immediate convenience feels better, but then once you take the steps to reduce your waste, you realise that taking on one challenge at a time and putting some effort into it makes a difference.”
Soon, the family has restarted growing their own food, herbs and the vegetables.
Now, Bindi estimates that their weekly spend is about $100 which is for lentils, grains, flour, and cheese.