Consuming less to create
VIKRAM SOOD, 32 Co-founder of a branding and marketing firm
Over the past year, Vikram Sood has gradually changed the way he eats, shops, travels and decorates. Every purchase, he says, is now based on a simple question: Is that object a need or a want? For instance, he buys clothes and shoes only as replacements. They are no longer branded; instead, he often gets local tailors and cobblers to make them. The number of times he eats out has dropped from about two a week to two a month. Instead, he now cooks at home, using seasonal produce. Sood also makes his own furniture and light fittings, using recycled materials. WHY: “In order to have more time to create than consume,” says Sood. “And in order to spend my free time doing better things than eating, drinking and shopping.” THE IMPACT: Sood says he is now more relaxed and content. He spends two or three hours every day giving back — using his skills to advise charitable organisations on how to become economically sustainable — and yet finds that he has more free time than before because he no longer spends hours on useless banter at pubs and bars. He spends this free time on engaging and creative hobbies such as writing and working with wood. Finally, says Sood, he is now fitter because he is eating healthy, homecooked meals.