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Going green starts at home

How do you go about making your home eco-friendly? Some simple steps is all it takes, says Hema Vijay


In an era of accelerating urbanisation, perhaps the only way to ward off the looming eco-crisis is to turn cities into green hubs. “We can't keep looking towards the government or the industries. Each home can help save the plan


When we speak of space in a house, we generally think in terms of floor space. But this eco-flat makes optimal use of vertical space. Bamboo reeds (which have natural partitions at regular vertical intervals) make for some classy vertical planters. Carve out holes in the bamboo reeds and use just a couple of handfuls of soil mixture and coir pith (which weighs less) to raise the plants. This way, a single bamboo reed can be used to grow over five plants. Likewise, create a vertical garden space by placing pots atop each other. Then of course, you can unleash your creativity by fashioning planters from discarded stuff bound for the garbage heap, that is going to add up to the garbage pile, such as thermocol packing material or even worn out shoes! That is how this eco-flat manages to create space for an incredible 400 plants to cool the house, absorb sound pollution, release oxygen, act as carbon sinks, and grow food. But of course, you shouldn’t sleep next to a plant at night, as plants give out carbon dioxide during the nighttime. .


Can you generate at home that most precious natural resource, water? Try this: A water filtering unit (consisting of layers of gravel, pebbles, course coarse and smooth sand and other additives materials) has been created inside a can kept beneath the wash basin. The wash basin water outlet is directed into this can. The water percolating out of the filter is clear water, and is used to water the plants. In fact, plants grow greener and faster in this water. Moving over to the loo, and you find a half-a-litre bottle filled with water lying inside the flush tank. So every time you flush, half-a-litre of water is saved. This solution is ideal for homes that have old cisterns which don’t have the ‘mild’ and ‘heavy’ flushing options.



Creating less waste

The trick to eco-living is in not creating more waste than you need to. So, don’t cook more food than required. Use the beautiful terracotta “daily dump” or some such device to compost kitchen garbage and generate manure. Use organic stuff, be it food or detergents. Avoid paper and plastic. And ‘pre-cycle’ yourself. Before buying anything, ask yourself: (1) Do I need it? (2) Can I go without it? and finally, (3) Can I postpone buying it?” says this young team that includes Nisha Thota, Abdul Ghoni, Sabin King, Benjamin Lally, Rajesh Santosham, Manoj, Akthar Syed and Syed Shami. You can reach them at contacted 9941006786/ 9444222786 for help to set up a green home.

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