About Me

Someone who fell in love with the natural world early on and has been smitten ever since. A blade of grass, a mighty mountain, a tiny raindrop, a roaring waterfall, all fill me with awe and wonder. Nature feels home, filled with warmth and love. It pains my heart to see this home being ravaged. This blog is an effort to find tweaks in modern living to preserve the sanctity of this home. I sincerely hope that you join me in this green karmic journey.

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Locked Down? Green Up!!

So we've all been grounded for a while. 

As the planet gets time to heal, the lockdown period can be used such that when the ordeal gets over, we can look back and say - "We did good!"

Turn A New Leaf This Earth Day. Pic courtesy: Pixabay
Here's a collection of ideas to get you started. Do let me know how many of these could you implement.  

1. Start Composting-

Composting takes care of almost all your organic kitchen waste single-handedly and leaves your garbage bag light and less icky. 

It keeps organic waste away from landfills. This is the top reason I started composting. I feel so happy that my contribution to landfills has been cut by more than half! Yay!!

 A Compost Pile. Pic courtesy: Pixabay

Get this straight once and for all - organic waste doesn't decompose in landfills. Period.

Even if you choose a biodegradable trash bag, neither the bag, nor the organic matter, gets decomposed. 

Landfilled organic waste just emits methane which warms up the atmosphere 50 or 100 times more (depends on how it's calculated) than carbon-di-oxide. 

The best thing about composting is that you just can't go wrong and you don't need any investment, if you so wish. 

Once you start, you're bound to learn and tweak and get there in time. 

Composting Raw Material in Buckets in an Apartment Balcony.
I'll be doing a separate blog post on how to compost. Keep reading!

2. Install Health Faucets or Bidets-

Toilet paper madness, seriously? I had read that future wars might be fought over water. Hardly did I know that they could be fought over toilet paper!

No, I'm not telling you about where you can lay your hands on some fresh stock. I'm dispensing some wisdom on how to get off the toilet paper madness altogether.  

These alternate systems in your bathrooms are easy to install, are eco-friendly and will leave you with better hygiene. 

Instead of standing in a queue for toilet paper, get one of these.  There are two popular types of these systems:

I. Bidet Attachment -

A toilet seat bidet system sprays a jet of water to clean you-know-what and where. You don't need a toilet paper to wipe yourself. The water jet will clean you up instead. And it will do a better job.

A bidet is very easy to install and turns out to be economical in the long term.Bidets are available in different varieties. They also come with temperature settings. 

You can learn more about a bidet and its installation from this video.

II. Hand Held Bidet Sprayer -

This sprayer does the same job. The only difference is that you can hold the sprayer. 

Comparing it in terms of a shower head, think of this sprayer as a hand held shower while the bidet is like an overhead shower. The first can be moved around and the other is fixed.

Do watch the following video to know how to install one: 

Bidet attachments (starting at 50$) and bidet hand sprayers (starting at 30$) are available in any hardware store - Lowe's, Home Depot, Costco and of course Amazon. 

Remember, giving up, or even reducing the use of toilet paper means saving trees. You'll save money and environment. It's a win-win! 

3. Install Water-Saving Aerators in Taps- 

An aerator is a mesh like device that can be installed in a water faucet. 

It reduces water usage by introducing air into the water stream. Water gets atomized or divided into multiple streams, without compromising on the water pressure. 

This leads to a huge reduction in water usage. The savings depend upon the current faucet you have, and the type of aerator you choose. The starting price of aerators is 5$. Fixing aerators in old faucets can lead upto 80% water savings. 

Saving water means saving money. Educate yourself on the kind of faucets you have and the kind of aerators suitable for them and just do the needful!

4. Install A Drinking Water Filtration System-

Bottled water is not necessarily better than tap water. Many companies sell tap water in bottles. 

Enough has been written about the negative impacts of bottled water on environment, so I'll not touch that aspect.

Take this time to evaluate your reasons for buying bottled water. Read your county's water report. Then think about installing an appropriate water filtration system. From water filter pitchers to tap filtration systems to RO, there's a lot of choice. You've enough time to figure out a system that suits your taste and budget.

Reusable Bottles Come In All Shapes And Sizes. Pic courtesy: Pixabay
If you use bottled water to carry to gym or outdoors, buy a good steel or glass water bottle for each member of the family. Fill it up at home and carry around.

Again, you'll save both money and the environment. 

5. Line Drying- 

This is another easy to install system. Just buy a rack or put up a line in your yard. 

It works better if you have the laundry room close to your line or rack. Even if it's not, the work involved in hanging and collecting the laundry can be counted as a part of your workout:)

Line Drying Uses Solar And Wind Energy Without A Solar Panel Or A Windmill :)Pic courtesy: Pixabay
Did you know that the sun naturally disinfects your clothes? It also helps to whiten them. Bonus reasons to sun-dry your laundry!

Line drying eventually leads to energy savings and you guessed it - money savings!!

6. Repair and Repurpose Stuff- 

One of the best ways to keep waste out of landfills is to keep using it. 

Now that you've time, take stock of your clothes, accessories, kid's toys, gadgets, whatever-you-have! 

Take out that tool box and sewing kit.

A Stitch In Time Saves Nine! Pic courtesy: Pixabay

Mend those stockings. Fix that leak. Repair that toy. Glue that shoe. If you can, involve your kids in these activities so that they learn these tricks early on.  

A Tool Box Is A Good Investment. Pic courtesy: Pixabay
7. Activism- 

This is the most important need of the hour. 

Think, speak out and take action-before it's too late. 

Know your national, state and local representatives. Get acquainted with town halls and agendas. See how you can best participate. Many cities have sustainability councils. Attend those meetings.

If there's an issue that's on your mind, engage in a conversation. Participate. Ask questions. 

Pic courtesy: Pixabay
It's imperative that you bring relevant topics to the forefront of discussion and agendas. You've elected those representatives. Now make them work. 

And yeah, don't forget to go out and vote!

Write to companies about the things that concern you. For e.g. excess packaging, environmental accountability etc. 

Use social media to take representatives and corporates to task. 

Last but not the least, if you figure out a green practice, encourage your friends to adopt it. Help them set the system up. Lend your hand and ear. 

We all share the planet. Let's share the responsibility  for it too. 

Do let me know what your plans are to mark the Earth Day. What green practice are you going to start today? 

Happy 50th Earth Day!!