Hello! Marhaba! Bonzour! My name is Nandini.

I’ve been living in Qatar for the past decade with my husband, Guillaume, and our two, now teenage, sons.

We live as eco-friendly as we can and I hope our experiences – big and small, good and sometimes bad! – inspire you on your eco journey too.

Being green is easier than you might think, more convenient than you might have ever imagined and, as you’ll see, is fun and rewarding too!

As I begin writing my first blog, my thoughts turn to the beginnings of my relationship with Mother Earth.

My first experience of being environmentally-friendly was when I was a child – watching my mum and helping her with household chores on a tropical island – Mauritius – which many refer to as Paradise.

American writer Mark Twain once said, “Mauritius was made first, and then heaven; and heaven was copied after Mauritius.”

Coat of Arms of Mauritius
View from Nandini's home of the Corps de Garde mountain in Mauritius
View from Nandini's home of the Corps de Garde mountain in Mauritius

I grew up on the island of Mauritius, also known as the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean, in the 1980s – long before the global awareness of the detrimental effects of plastic on the environment.

Yet my mum would wash with soap and water, every plastic bag that got dirty and hang them to dry on the clothes line. She reused these bags for all sorts of things.

I never questioned what she did and she never explained either. Saving the planet wasn’t a way of life in those days. But reusing resources was. Single-use household items were rather uncommon.

I saw my mum reuse pretty much everything. I remember her routine around fruit and vegetables. Having soaked and washed them in water in kitchen bowls, she would tip the water onto the plants in the garden.

During break at school, I would eagerly look forward to munching on the sandwich that mum had packed in a cloth wrap, which she also washed and reused.

At the time, I took my mum’s ways for granted. But, three decades on, I am so appreciative of her behaviour and what it has taught me.

Nowadays, her methods and resourcefulness resonate in ecological conversations and initiatives around the globe and I am thankful for having been raised by such a great role model.

My mum continues to inspire my own creative use and reuse of our planet’s resources.

Stay tuned for my next blog and discover simple ways to reuse plastic!

Nandini Alinier has been living in Qatar since 2011. She was born in Mauritius and has lived in India, the UK and USA. She now lives on The Pearl with her husband Guillaume and sons Guillanam, 15 and Prillanam, 13.

Nandini Alinier

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