BETTER TOMORROW

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

NameLinkContent
#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/

BETTER TOMORROW

Have you collected this black gold ?

After you start segregating waste into the three broad categories- wet, dry and hazardous ( some cities and countries do it in multiple types, lets first start with three broad ones), second simple step is handle the wet waste at our homes. Completely under our control either by:

  • DIY methods. ( Lot of online information available. Will share the information and links of top 3 which I found useful). I am not a process or user expert in it but I had one major concern before starting this which was the fear of odour. Let me assure that if you are keeping it covered and follow the right mix of greens ( uncooked fruit and vegetable waste which provide nitrogen) and browns ( dry leaves, paper, cardboard, saw dust, soil etc which provide oxygen) ; then you need not worry on it. In general ratio of 1 of Green and 2-3 of brown is suggested for good composting as well as no odour.
  • Composter providers. (They provide options where you can even process cooked food waste and need not worry about collecting browns. I will list down the names in my next post and relevant links.)

This is what is the end result whichever method we prefer- the #BLACKGOLD, better and  sustainable tomorrow.

compost

Image by Joke vander Leij from Pixabay

Incase the above is not possible due to space constraints or other constraints within the house there are two things:

  • Doing composting at society level (This is start sooner if not home composting , so its time we at least start the process).
  • Try using the app sharewaste ( mostly its users are overseas but it can be used by anyone anywhere).

So are you ready to pick 1 of the 4 ?

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 348

Link to previous day : https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/05/is-there-a-simple-step-which-can-make-a-big-difference/

BETTER TOMORROW

The truth of land and water, Did you know?

Even though rules say every household needs to segregate waste but there are a states where segregation is 0%-99%. The reason could be on account of not being aware or willing. Let me address the first part on awareness.

waste bins

Image by TIm S from Pixabay

 

Key to tackling waste all across is the first simple step of #segregation of waste.  Some cities have mandated & have fines to specifically follow rules (primarily wet waste, dry waste and hazardous waste) and in some citizens took proactive steps and got it done.

It was hard to appreciate the impact of this when it initially started years back in my city. It was quite later that I understood that this makes a lot of difference in #environmental impact and our #health on how each of these is handled.

So when waste is not segregated then this is what happens ?

  • Ground/River water contamination from the leachate discharge at landfills (we actually drink that after filtering)
  • Foul smell for those close to the landfills
  • Unstable weather for all
  • Dumpyard fires for all
  • More diseases for all

And if we segregate it makes handling it easier and along with avoiding above outcomes, waste is converted to resources, livelihood and a #bettertomorrow:

  • Wet waste can be composted which is the alternative for fertilizers.
  • Some cities ( and also individual households) generate biogas from wet waste.
  • Dry waste which includes paper, plastic, glass, metal etc can be recycled.

So is the choice is easy ? Segregate or mix.

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 349

Link to previous day : https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/04/what-different-cities-in-india-did-to-handle-the-waste/

BETTER TOMORROW

What different Cities in India did to handle the waste?

Last post didn’t have images we would want to see. But at the same time the problem on managing the garbage and ever increasing city waste is a problem we all know.

However, there are also some bright spots exhibited by some cities which tells us again that it is difficult but it is possible with collective efforts.

Ambikapur, Indore and Panchgani have after years of efforts has reached 100% waste segregation with Ambikapur being a zero landfill city. Two of these are very small cities to say but then we can begin by focussing on areas we live in.

These cities made this possible with :

  • Waste segregation at household or bulk generator level into three broad categories.
  • Training programs on segregation and composting.
  • Waste collection and disposal through SHG with infrastructure support by way of tippers / other transportation modes with compartments to ensure that segregated waste continues segregated by the time it reaches for processing.
  • User fee collection
  • Instead of waste going to landfills- wet waste used for composting, biogas etc , plastic waste for cement/ road and others segregated and sold to different user segments.
  • Active participation of elected representatives, religious/ non-religious leaders, community based organizations, general public.
  • Perspective of waste changed to everyone’s responsibility and waste to be used as a resource.

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 350

Link to previous day – https://preetymundhra.com/2020/07/02/which-of-below-image-we-want-to-see-again/

 

 

BETTER TOMORROW

Which of below image we want to see again?

Picture 1: What is a landfill everyone must have known and seen. Most look similar to below:

landfill-879437_1920 (1)source : Image by Pasi Mäenpää from Pixabay

Picture 2: How it looks near our homes if we are lucky to be far far away from a landfill :

garbage-4597233_1920 (1)source : Image by zibik from Pixabay

Picture 3: Do you know some simple steps by each of us can make it like below :

sea-162617_1920 (1)source: Image by Max Heckmann from Pixabay

So which one would you continue with and which one should you continue with :

  • Would
  • Should

In case you would like to be have image 3 whether, watch this space for simple steps which you can take to make that happen.

Race to -1 : Day 351

Link to previous day : https://preetymundhra.com/2020/06/25/does-food-require-so-much-thought/

 

 

BETTER TOMORROW

Does food require so much thought?

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 352

Ramya came to city to meet her friend.

In the city she saw how easy it was to order any food delivered online and it was delivered at home- be it cooked or uncooked.

At the same time she saw that it was a normal for people to leave the food half finished in their plates. Ramya wondered unless the bad was not edible, what could be the reason that when so many children had to suffer malnutrition and many people hunger; how was it so convenient for people to just throw the cooked edible food.

She asked her friend who said it’s okay, there’s plenty. But will this plenty continue forever. And are we realizing the real cost of air, water and land contamination which we are taking for granted.

Hard work and the effort of the entire community which brings it to us the growers ( facing the risk of both drought and floods) to all in supply chain.

And finally where does all this waste end up in – dustbin>>> Garbage Collection >> Either composting or Landfill or lost & mixed in transit.

If there is so much at stake then how can we think about wasting any cooked food.

What should Ramya tell her friend ?

Hunger    I    Malnutrition I Health

Drought   I    Flood

Agricommunity  I Supply chain

Wastage   I Resources   I  Water    I   Landfills

BETTER TOMORROW

Why Food waste is priority vs Plastics ?

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 353

Most types of plastic are a serious environmental challenge. Then why focusing on kitchen and food waste ?

Answer : Relationship which food has with each of us is rooted deeper. Even if that is true, thats is not the answer you would want to listen.

So lets put it this way- Lot of plastic journey is very closely linked to the food journey. All the packaging we get from fruits and vegetables to all packed stuff.

For me, it all started with concern on

  • How to manage with limited resources for long time in lockdown ?
  • What if garbage with food waste being 50% of that is not collected?
  • Even if collected, it is not treated/ disposed in the appropriate manner ?
  • The hazards of disposing it and effects thereof.
  • At the same time the need to know what are the other uses which can help optimally utilize the resources and create minimal waste.

The supply chain thankfully kept running after initial hiccups in lockdown for most of us but this was a great learning for appreciating the entire food value chain to leftover treatment value chain.

It is quite interesting to learn that so much can be done on this:

  • Food usage itself- All peels are not to be thrown.
  • Leftovers as cleaners – Got introduced to #bioenzymes.
  • Remaining as food for FOOD we eat- making #compost.

Contd..

Link to previous day 354 : https://preetymundhra.com/2020/06/21/why-only-18-practice-composting/

BETTER TOMORROW

Why only 18% practice composting?

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 354

  • Is the #composting process complicated and time consuming?
  • Is there lack of information available on composting?
  • Is it practically not possible to practice in cities with limited space?

The answer is NO. It’s all in mind till we get started on it.

Do I really need do it at individual level ? Does it make a difference ?

The answer to both of this is YES

Is there a better way to do it at larger society levels where it can be looked at ?

The answer is YES to this also but considering the level of #waste which ends in #landfills, it needs to start from self.

Link to previous Day- 355 : https://preetymundhra.com/2020/06/18/which-18-you-want-to-be/

BETTER TOMORROW

Which 18% you want to be?

Race to -1 : Day 355 ( Link to previous Day- https://preetymundhra.com/2020/06/16/race-to-1-day-356-first-step/)

Small survey on “zero waste” done brings the below insights:

  • 86% respondents felt strongly on adopting #zerowaste.
  • Ranked it 8 or higher on a scale of 1-10.
  • Paper- reduced use & recycling came as common form of #wastereduction practiced followed by no to plastic.
  • 60% know about #composting, 18% practice.
  • 13% respondents actively involved in practicing #zerowaste, 50% doing it in some or other way and another 18% know about it but do not practice currently.

In some way if you too believe in being part of Better Tomorrow series, please do contribute by participating in another survey and  share your thoughts on the subject. Below is the link, takes less than a minute.  

https://forms.gle/zBnaZWcqwGnwut2W9

BETTER TOMORROW

Race to ‘-1’ : Day 356 -FIRST STEP

Do we really care about a Better Tomorrow? 

Most of us would say yes but then do nothing about it.

We are so much engrossed in daily living that we hardly give any thought in making this world a better place.
Isn’t it ironic, that we expect all the comforts and convenience in future but are not willing to do our bit for this.


That’s something to really think about.  The lockdown provided me some time to introspect on my role to make a better tomorrow.


When I really thought about it , I took my first step towards “Better Tomorrow”.

I focussed on how to use each resource optimally so that waste is reduced.

The more I started reading, understanding and implementing; I realized that every single step makes a lot of difference.

As a start. A small survey was conducted to understand on practices and priority placed on the concept of “zero waste” across few friends and acquaintances. I will share the key insights tomorrow.

In some way if you too believe in being part of Better Tomorrow series, please do contribute by participating in another survey and  share your thoughts on the subject 

Below is the link, takes less than a minute.  

https://forms.gle/zBnaZWcqwGnwut2W9