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Tasneem Manjra of Caravan: Five Strategies Our Company Is Using To Tackle Climate Change & Become More Sustainable

Be clear with your children and any children you teach/mentor what the state of our environment is — we are teetering on the edge of climate catastrophe. There is no sugar coating that. I do speak to my Girl Scout Troop about the planet, and integrate planet consciousness into our meetings.

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  1. Teach your children and the children around you that novelty goods and extra stuff is not only not necessary, but requires resources to create, and ultimately ends up in a landfill.. I personally do not have goodie bags for children at my kids’ parties nor do I buy my children one-time or poor quality toys (this also includes clothing or tchotchkes for a single event).
  2. Show kids that consumption must be responsible and conscious. For my children, I don’t constantly buy clothes, toys, and shoes. I consciously buy what we need, and ensure that the quality is such that we can keep passing it on. I communicate with them about this ideology when they ask for things — we discuss needs vs. wants, and the impact our behavior has on the planet. I also tell them they can donate what they would have spent on the thing they wanted to children or families in need; nine out of ten times, they opt to give and not get.
  3. Model good behavior. Show your children that you can make things at home and reduce waste; I avoid food delivery from vendors that use plastic or foam, I try to make food when I can, and I only order absolute necessities from Amazon (no more daily box drops at our home!). We actively comb our home together for things we can give away, and we don’t replace them with more stuff unless we have to.
  4. Set guidelines for the planet. These are rules that you abid by, pretty much, no matter what. In our home; we don’t drive aimlessly, we don’t buy plastic water bottles, we don’t buy individually packaged goods, we recycle, we don’t waste water, and we don’t waste food. My kids are now building on top of these guidelines to make sure we’re even more green.
  • Develop your colleagues. We can be so heads down in our own work that sometimes we miss opportunities to develop our colleagues, especially our juniors. Helping others to thrive and build their skills makes for a better workplace for everyone.
  • You don’t need a mentor. A 1:1 mentor relationship is really valuable for some, but I have personally found that having a small group of trusted individuals you can consult has been really helpful. I found that I was able to get broader expertise and critical sponsorship as a result.
  • There is life outside of work. There’s a huge push behind self-care these days, but that’s not what I’m advocating. Yes, a spa day when you’re on the cusp of burn out is great, but I’m suggesting something a touch different. Develop your skills and interests outside of your job; take a fitness class regularly, invest time in a hobby or just make time to see friends. Ensure that you maintain work-life balance from the start.
  • Define success on your own terms. Success means something different to everyone; the more honest you are with yourself about what success means to you (not to society, your friends, your family, or even your old ideas of success), the easier it is for you to map out your career path and work towards your goals.
  • Reduce emissions and reduce the likelihood of catastrophic environmental events
  • Encourage people to help and inspire one another to achieve a common goal

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