Madhavi “Madhu” is a fellow Bootie (member of BootsnAll.com), a fabulous photographer, inspirational traveller and all around great gal. As I was preparing for this week, I emailed Madhu and asked if she’s interested in being profiled on SpunkyGirl Monologues. As you can see, she said yes!
“I’m an ex-chef by training, a business consultant by profession but at the core a traveller who wants to bring the joys of travelling to the world. Through the lens of my camera, I share what I have seen, my writing testament to travel tales of lands far and near.”
As a traveller, how important is it for you to be green?
It is important as an individual to be green. Travelling is just one more area you can take your shades of green. Its very important for me as now on the road is where I live and work, it’s my home and office.
If you could give one tip for greener travel, what would it be?
Choose closer spots for short-term vacation and leave flying to exotic destinations to when you have more time. That way you cut down your footprint. Slower travel for me equals to greener travel. Instead of jetting from one place to the other spend time to immerse your self in one location.
What kind of green activities do you participate in while travelling?
I try and always carry my own water bottle, drink natural drinks like coconut water, fresh lime water, juices instead of Coke and Pepsi, try to spend my dollars locally, give back to many, spread my money while travelling, try spending money at women run establishments and support local NGO’s.
“At home, I give to KIVA especially to countries where I have travelled.”
In December 2008, Madhu & Stoo (another awesome Bootie) formed a special BootsnAll KIVA group, asking fellow booties to join and help support KIVA projects. It was a fabulous idea, which was quickly embraced by 32 other members.Â The group is still very active on KIVA and to date, they have given 148 loans.
KIVA is a website that empowers individuals to give microloans to entrepreneurs across the globe. It’s a tremendous to promote and support people -many of them being in third world countries, who are unable to secure the finances necessary to start their businesses. KIVA promotes Dignity, Accountability and Transparency and as of November 2009, KIVA has facilitated over $100 million in loans. If you haven’t looked into KIVA, I encourage you to do so. Your loans don’t have to be huge, they can be as small as $25. Every penny counts and with your loan, you can change the lives and future of not just one person, but a community of people.
Photography & Writing
I have followed Madhu’s photography for a few years now, and I never tire of it. She has a great photographic eye and produces photos that are rich in colour, depth and strong composition. In fact, I click through her lFlickr sets when I’m feeling drained and need some inspiration.
Madhu is currently living and travelling in India and has made trips to Bangladesh and other countries in the area since leaving her job in San Francisco in June 2008. Although she doesn’t have a blog at this time, her writing can be found on The India Tube, a website that’s part magazine, part directory, and part media gallery. It’s all India, all the time! When you have some time, I encourage you to sit down with a cup of coffee, sit back and read some (or all) of her articles on The India Tube which can be found here.
Madhu also writes reviews on eco-friendly places to stay for Travel to Care, a website based in India that promotes sustainable and responsible travel. Travel to Care is a great resource for anyone planning a trip to Bangladesh, India or Nepal and wishes to be a “greener” independent traveller.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Madhu and she is a wonderful person who is generous with her time and expertise. Thank-you for agreeing to be a part of #greenweek, Madhu! Perhaps we can grab some chai tea together when I’m in India next year. 🙂