BETTER TOMORROW

Choose any of these 5 steps to start sustainability

Environment, bio diversity, ecological balance; all these have become more important and urgent than ever now. Although an old concept but CIRCULAR ECONOMY is gaining a lot of attention and initiatives. So at the time when the businesses are devising the strategies towards a sustainable supply chain and closing the loop for this value chain as a part of their sustainability development goals/CSR etc; is there something an individual can do ?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 


The answer was a NO till Feb of this year for me. Last 7 months was a great learning experience. Among many things I came across you may find useful to start with :

1. Carry any bag available at home ( no matter if you are reusing a plastic one as well) to avoid using & bringing extra plastics while shopping.
2. Segregate the waste into wet, dry and hazardous at your house itself which will help you move to next step.

3. Put and compress your clean and dry plastics in any discard bottle which will make it compact and easy for either the garbage collectors/ scrap sellers or recyclers. These are called eco bricks which is finding its use in many more ways.

4. Citrus peels residues can be made into cleaner (bio enzyme) which would otherwise be going into your dustbins. 3 portions of peels, 1 portion of jaggery and 10 portions of water in a plastic airtight bottle in a dark place. Open everyday to release the gas formation in the bottle. Ready to use as cleaner by 90th day by what time peels settle down in the bottle. For knowing process and usage visit https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/22/bioenzymes1/

5. Use any old bucket/ paint bucket/ pot with holes in bottom and sides to start composting. After above process of bio enzymes whatever is left from kitchen can be put in this unit with some soil or dry leaves and process can be started. Maintain one layer of kitchen waste and one layer of soil or dry leaves and keep it covered. Add some curd or butter milk as an accelerator for process. Check it after 3 months. For more details https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/07/creating-black-gold-part-1-of-3/

Would the area around where you live look different if every family from decides to take up one of the above step? Are you ready to make the difference ?

Race to -1 : Towards Better Tomorrow


#zerowaste #sustainability #circulareconomy #bioenzymes #wastereduction #composting

BETTER TOMORROW

Composting DIY vs Composter + Powder

I started #composting as a DIY. Its been past the normal period by which compost is expected to be done. But as I had been experimenting it on continuous food additions, using different types of browns and not turning around every week; so my patience continues. Also the fact that its not smelling lets me not loose the faith.

Today I am going to try out the compost bin sold commercially for this very purpose along with use of compost maker. Lets see the difference and figure out which is easier and convenient to get everybody I know to get started on this journey.

Image by Joke vander Leij from Pixabay

Although I was so far not quite inclined to buy something to reduce waste; but if that helps convert waste into something useful for many more; then its worth a try.

For those of you who are new to composting below is a quick bite on that :

  • Composting converts human food waste and discards into food for plants.
  • So instead of all this waste going outside home and getting stored/ dumped on landfills ( unless its going for community composting); you can by way of composting contribute to save land, water and air.

So waiting to see the the results. Revisit after 6 weeks on Nov 17, 2020.

Race to -1

BETTER TOMORROW

CHOICE – yes or no ?

Choice or no choice makes a lot of difference in the way we do and treat things. Even though it applies to multiple things in our daily lives, in this post I write on CHOICES we come across as consumers.

So when we have CHOICE-

  • Choice of cooking less or more makes cook more at times. The extra if not used appropriately becomes a waste. Make use of the option of sharing it with others. #reducefoodwaste #sharewithcommunity
  • Choice of buying less or more makes us buy more at times. And if that is not optimally utilized it gets wasted. #beresponsible #saveresources
  • Choice of buying or not buying tilts in favor of buying but sometimes misses the point on whether its just a mere purchase or need and / or want. #essential #nonessential #luxury

But when we DON’T have the CHOICE-

  • Cooking becomes exact or less. No waste but chances of it lesser than required is there. #Nocookedfoodwaste
  • Buying choices are more clear as exact needs to be bought. Wastage is not tolerated. #Optimalutilization
  • Buying choices are determined by the priorities and essential’s. #Priotize #essential

To rebuild tomorrow we can exercise some choice (s) and change some choices. What do you think ?

Race to ‘-1’

Image by Yi-Hsin Wei from Pixabay
BETTER TOMORROW

Peels Got the new Address

Its heartening to see that so many initiatives are being taken to get back to moderation by reuse and recycle in various forms. Plastic being identified as one of the key areas where a lot of focus and initiatives are trying to make people conscious.

But as they say what we eat makes us what we think and who we become. When I started my journey towards waste reduction; I felt the urge to first start it from food waste. And there were two compelling reasons for that-

  1. I was and still not very sure on different types of plastics and which of them are better and which are not. Although I have started collecting my plastic and sending it for recycling; not very sure on the overall effect. Also the debate on use of plastic, paper and glass in terms of carbon footprint, single or multi use and disposal mechanisms available are still a subject of deep discussion. But yes, one thing which is an easy start and which I started doing is carrying cloth bag.
  2. The effect and impact which you can see when you start reducing your food waste is clearly visible and motivates you to keep continuing as well as find better alternatives. Although I started taking responsibility of my food waste (uncooked or residual) by composting and then moving to dual benefit bio enzymes for select items. However, along with these two on what keeps me motivated is to find new ways and information on the edible portions of food which a lot of us are not using due to lack of awareness. I now use some of the vegetable peels to make Chutney/Sauce. I am compiling a list basis my own experience on trying them out and basis the feedback and experiences of others who have tried them.

This is how I found my motivation to reduce waste from my house. Other than obviously our responsibility to tomorrow, what motivates you to keep it going ?

Race to -1

BETTER TOMORROW

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.

result

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:

http://kaustubam.blogspot.com/2017/02/how-to-make-bio-enzyme-or-garbage.html

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/

BETTER TOMORROW

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 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.

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 intial 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 ?

BETTER TOMORROW

Rewind : Week 2 and 3

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

rewind

 

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/

BETTER TOMORROW

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/

BETTER TOMORROW

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/

BETTER TOMORROW

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.

foodwaste

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/