Restart Waste Reduction

What happens when you start something and cannot follow through ?
Some pressing health emergencies and for almost a month everything else including this Journey couldn’t move ahead.
It felt demotivated and really bad seeing the bins again getting full, peels getting discarded again and plants & compost both in intermission.
Don’t want to debate on right or wrong or ideal approach.
But important is to get back once things settle. So today was that day.
It was good to see compost bin was looking cooked. And finally put the collected egg shells with a stir after a long time.
And from tomorrow starts again the journey to better tomorrow.
Link to previous post: https://preetymundhra.com/2020/08/16/the-story-of-bottle-schools/


The story of “Bottle Schools”

Education and Health are the key foundations of happiness of people. Fortunately there are some countries like Bhutan and Scandinavia who made it their first priority. Others like Guatemala inspire even more seeing the case of how they bridged the infrastructure gap on education with their inspiring Bottle School.

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay 

Yes, school inside a structure made of Bottles filled with plastics. Dealing with their plastic waste on one side and providing a stronger & better structure within which children can come and study.

So all the pet bottles got filled with the plastic sachets of different edible and non-edible items with the help of stick and once full was used in place of bricks to create this structure.

This concept is as old has > 10 years and has been applied in many places including Asia. I was not knowing about it until a month back and other than the limited debate on ecobricks good or bad; the word hasn’t spread much on it.

Can we also help reduce and manage waste and create critical building blocks ?

More information on schools made by ecobricks can be found on website of this NGO which supports this initiative https://hugitforward.org/

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 340

Link to previous Day : https://preetymundhra.com/2020/08/08/garbage-or-bio-enzymes-ok-test/


Garbage or Bio Enzymes : OK Test

So there was a short break in this 365 day journey. The bio-enzyme (BE) I had put under preparation couple of months back was yet to be tested.


Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

Finally got to do it today when I used the BE made from sweetlime peels couple of months back.

I used it for cleaning the stained plastic containers used during compost making. It was also a time to turn the compost and check the making of black gold which is still in process.

I wouldn’t compare the end result with regular cleaners but can confirm that it saved the chemical use and put the food residue to a better use. And the stains were cleaned.

There is lot of online content available on BE which has been in use for more than a decade in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Lot of current users prefer it from citrus. But when it originally started it was also called Garbage Enzymes (GE) and every uncooked fruit or vegetable was used.

Whether you do BE or GE; it’s a good start towards waste reduction. For those interested to know more specifics, below is an interesting and useful post recommended by many waste conscious people:


So are you ready to get started?

Race to -1 : Day 341

Link to previous post : https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/22/do-you-want-to-try-2-minute-effect/


Credit Series- 9/ Related party Value chain

It’s interesting to see how businesses have evolved over the period and share some common trends. Today while evaluating majority of borrowers including an SME; you will see that promoter will have at least two business entities doing similar or different activities .

Single product, single entity and single promoter is rare to see now .

So why do the businesses form different entities:

  • To diversify if getting into new business line via a new entity . ( Thin line between diversify and divert, so understand the reasoning).
  • To take benefit of incentives or arbitrage which may be available on certain constitutions and locations.
  • To prepare for succession planning.

Having multiple entities in itself not a sign of anything. Understanding the value chain between those – in terms of dependence on sales and purchases and true nature of transactions is what is critical; along with obviously how important is the business you are proposing to lend to is in the overall structure.


Image by Jerzy Górecki from Pixabay

Some core steps which helps understand it better :

  • Evaluate the notes to accounts/ other disclosures on related party transactions as a starting point and the overall quantum & trend therein in terms of size of company.
  • One limitation in above is how the related party is being treated and which ones are being treated. So for that understand the different businesses run by the same promoter group. You can look for common directorships or you can look at sources of income in case not a limited company.
  • Understand dynamics behind group company sales and purchases in case they are significant.
  • Understand who are the major customers and suppliers and relate that to the banking transactions.
  • Always take help of google on customers/ suppliers with whom major business is being done if other than known entity.

If you find a missing link in any of the above with what you understand about your borrower; then that’s the area you need to decide whether in the overall pros and cons of the credit proposal you can accept that.

So how do you evaluate the related businesses ?

Link to Credit Series : https://preetymundhra.com/2019/02/21/credit-series-introduction/



Do you want to try 2 minute effect?

I never checked the contents outside the home cleaning liquids I was using. It’s interesting to note that most of the branded chemical cleaners which we use in house doesn’t specify the quantity of each of the contents on label.

Some brands may be safe and taking safeguards as part of Sustainable Development Goals. That’s great.  For rest, what we buy does it truly reflect the real cost- before and after. Real cost when we buy it but  before we use it-  in terms of the impact it has already had on people and planet  and real cost after – on these chemicals going back in water bodies.

It’s not just about these cleaners but almost everything we consume. I have specifically mentioned cleaners here in context of waste reduction which can be done at individual level. Let me share my experience and help you understand BIO-ENZYME & how it can contribute to reduce waste.

Sizeable portion of the bin includes peels of fruits and vegetables which is processed in our houses to prepare meals. Some peels are not edible and rest we are mostly not used to consuming.

BIO-ENZYMES helps reduce the food waste in terms of the peels esp Citrus Fruits which can be converted to cleaners at home by doing one time simple step and 2 minutes of your time per week post that.

Two use

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Instead of composting, you can put the remains of fruits and vegetables which we don’t consume into one another level of use as bio enzyme before we compost it.

Save those peels going in bin and put them in any plastic container ( including soft drink bottles-reuse plastic waste as well) with water and jaggery in ratio of 3: 10 :1.   Wait for 90 days with initial 30 seconds check everyday by opening the bottle cap to release the gas formation which happens in this mixture.

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 342.

Link to previous day at https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/20/rewind-week-2-and-3/

So do you have 2 minutes in a week to contribute to waste reduction ?


Rewind : Week 2 and 3

Before entering the fourth week of this journey to ‘-1’ , a quick recap of week 2 and week 3 :



Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Day 357 : Different terminologies – common end objective. Which one do you follow-  ZeroWaste | Environment |Sustainable | Minimalism.

Day 356 : First step towards better tomorrow is using resources optimally. Quick survey. In case you would like to share your thoughts the survey is still open https://forms.gle/kBNMyxiaRYXXkwdQ6

Day 355 : Survey results show 18% practice composting and 18% don’t practice zero waste at all.

Day 354: Trying find answer to why only 18% practice composting ?

Day 353: Linkage of Food waste and plastic waste. If the first one is understood, the second one is solved to some extent.

Day 352: Food story and the paradox : Hunger vs Food Waste.

Day 351 : Can we do something for those landfills filled with garbage. Yes its possible.

Day 350 : Landfills are a challenge but some cities in India found solution and made it work.

Day 349 : From Landfill, the leachate can travel to the water bodies; key reason for problem and the solution- segregation not being done and when done.

Day 348 : Different ways how we can manage the food waste and convert it to black gold.

Day 347 : DIY methods of doing composting at home and key composting terms simplified

Day 346 : Waste reduction Simplified tools with companies providing the required items.

Day 345 : Waste Management at society level-some success stories in Mumbai.

Day 344 : Waste Management at society- discussion and learnings.


Recap of week 1: https://preetymundhra.com/2020/06/13/race-to-1-day-358/


Saving tomorrow ( Part 3B of 3)

In my earlier post I had shared a few societies in Mumbai who have made the difference by getting into community composting. Last Sunday I got chance to listen directly from residents of one society  which is actively doing it for almost two years.

This is about #Torino CHS, #Hiranandani Garden, Powai and thanks to NGO #Sahaas & #Kshitija Surve for arranging this awareness session. Sahaas helps societies in their journey to manage waste; this was taken up by them without any such relationship but more to understand how this society had managed it.

So for those who would like to actually implement it in their society, some learnings from that session:

  • It is possible to 100+ families on board even if the mix includes tenants.
  • Volunteering team with mix of different age groups esp Senior members and children is helpful in this journey along with support of housekeeping staff for daily operations and processing.
  • Clear categorization guidance is helpful to avoid mixing and also clarify different view points if any.
  • Different waste bins/ color coding for different type of Garbage.
  • Organic waste put up for composting within premises. No odour issues.
  • Other than biomedical waste, the balance is segregated and sold by housekeeping staff with proceeds allocated to them which ensures better monitoring.
  • Use of prepared compost as brown material for subsequent batches.
  • Process continues in current environment as well as weather.

Along with the bigger impact which each society can create with this on waste management, sustainability and environment; it also has small perk of rebate on property tax after meeting some waste reduction parameters.

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 344

Link to previous day : https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/11/creating-black-gold-in-your-society-and-saving-tomorrow-part-3-of-3/


Creating Black Gold in your society and saving tomorrow (Part 3 of 3)

At times it is not possible to do composting at home due to space constraint or other reasons. Or some contribute at society level if that is more effective. Some housing societies have successfully reduced the wet waste going out of society in last few years. They did it either on their own or by using help of waste management companies.

garbage carry

Image by Mike Pinkerton from Pixabay

These are few names I came across in Mumbai. Feel free to add more and expand this list so that others can benefit from the learning here:

  Location Some details
Kanchan Nalanda CHS Ltd Malad 2016 onwards- biocompost pit in society managed by external agency and separate bins to household.
Vijay Nagar Housing Society Andheri 2015 onwards- Separate dustbins for dry, wet and other waste, and six compost pits set up with wet and dry waste managed by NGO’s. Manure produced is retailed under Harit Vasundhara Brand.
Whispering Palms-6 Lokhandwala, Kandivali (E) 2018 onwards- automatic composting machine.
Matoshree Pearl Mahim 2018 onwards- Bio composter used to facilitate the natural process of composting.
Malhar Co-operative Housing Society Goregaon

(Source : TOI, DNA, Betterindia)

Does you also do something similar at society level? Do share your experience.

Race to ‘-1’: Day 345

Link to previous Day :  https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/10/creating-black-gold-and-saving-tomorrow-part-2-of-3/


Creating Black Gold and saving tomorrow (Part 2 of 3)

Composting is made easier by readily available containers with required holes as well as add on ingredients to accelerate composting or managing airflow & mix to keep odour away.

Buying a new composter is one time carbon footprint of getting additional resource but will go a long way in reducing methane emissions, help waste reduction and better environment conditions  for people who are involved in disposal of waste at landfills.

There are multiple providers available on amazon and betterindia shoppe. I am a DIY user as of now and haven’t bought any composting products. But came across found the information on  below ones interesting which you can explore as a starter if that makes it easier for you.

  • Dailydump provides stacked composting container popularly called khamba. It was started in in 2006 by Ms. Poonam Bir Kasturi and is currently supplying in India and Dubai. Initiative and vision as well as practice on waste reduction for 14 years is quite commendable effort & help for helping the waste reduction journey.
  • Smartbin and Ecobin are like a composting cum kitchen bin which makes it convenient to keep it inside kitchen and avoid hassle of putting the bin outside.

So by either DIY as provided in previous post or ready options like above or any other you can convert the below into a black gold and save tomorrow.


Image by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay

Race to ‘-1’: Day 346

Link to previous day : https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/07/creating-black-gold-part-1-of-3/


Creating Black Gold ( Part 1 of 3)

Yes, it can be done in an apartment without disturbing your neighbours. There are many online tutorials, blogs and videos available on this. Below are my top 3 choices which I found useful. In case you have been planning for a long time and do it by yourself, so this is where you can get started with

#Gardenuphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw3rtPDwAIYProcess as well as some common FAQ and troubleshooting.
#Vani Murthyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VrS12R1_vYProcess and ingredients clearly defined, by the compost queen.
#UrbanGardeninghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDIVpJgjoXQAlong with composting process it shows progress/ changes over the timeline.
get started small

Image by M. Maggs from Pixabay

Also listing down common terms which you may hear :

Greens: This is what we are trying to convert into the black gold and avoid going out of our house in garbage. These are all the fruit/vegetable peels and cores including any uncooked rotten fruit/vegetable. As a beginner cooked food is generally avoided to be added in the process to avoid odour and attracting ants or other pests.

Browns: This is mostly dry leaves or little soil which you can get from any garden or from below trees around you. Cardboard and paper in shredded or small pieces can also be added, but its better to recycle them for some other uses.

Accelerator:  These can be things available in your home like curd,  butter milk  or jaggery or one which can be procured by searching for composting accelerator on amazon.in.

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 347

Link to previous day : https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/06/have-you-collected-this-black-gold/