>> Friday, 2 March 2012
Very thgt provoking..what seems like a fad today was the way to live...where did we go wrong :(
Checking out at the supermarket recently, the young cashier suggested I should bring my own bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. I apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days“.
The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations“.
She was right about one thing–our generation didn’t have the green thing in “Our” day. So what did we have back then? After some reflection and soul-searching on “Our” day, here’s what I remembered we did have….
Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles repeatedly. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby’s nappies because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 240 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right. We didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of Wales. In the kitchen, we blended & stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right. We didn’t have the green thing back then.
We drank from a water fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?
>> Saturday, 11 February 2012
This amazing picture is a view of the swimming pool at Bhakti Par in Mumbai, India. The eye-catching
swimming pool has been built to raise awareness about the threat of sea level rises as a result of global warming. It was constructed by attaching a giant aerial photograph of the New York City skyline to the floor of the pool.
Conceived by: Ogilvy & Mather
Commissioned by: HSBC to promote its £50million project tackling climate change.
How they did it
O&G team used an aerial shot of a city to the base of a swimming pool.The pool gives a shocking view of a city submerged in water. A sunken city view was to drive home the impact of global warming, and how it could destroy our world someday soon.
What better way to create awareness about rising sea levels and the imapct of global warming. Melting glaciers and north pole issues are not only a threat to polar bears but will take us down too
>> Thursday, 19 January 2012
Going to the grocery store with my DH means getting home atleast one pack of cookies/biscuits. Frequency has reduced over the years, however I intend to put a complete stop to it. Being a no kids home - its easy for us. And we dont need all that high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, colours, processed sugar and maida/all purpose flour either. I bake a lot so the solution - bake whenever he wants to buy a pack.
Apart from dietary no-nos, what troubles me is all the packaging it brings along.
note to self!:
- I need to follow Beth Terry's idea to write more frequently to companies and totally give up on buying them
- bake my whole wheat eggless versions at home
Please share your thgts on this..would love to hear if you ever think of this, and if you did, your solutions
>> Monday, 16 January 2012
I am glad I met Anu Gummaraju on the blogosphere. A genuinely warm lady who blogs over at scatter the batter and A fleeting Glimpse. Her blogs being one of the reasons for my admiration, another is her initiative in Banglore - An initiative called Second to None. (I had the privilege of doing one of the initial posts for the blog :). India has very few flea markets worth mention. More about the initiative and the flea market in Anu's own words :)
Armchair enviornment-activism is all very good, but there comes a time in all our lives, I presume, when it just isn't enough. We may be thinking constantly of how much plastic the world is generating and consuming and discarding in dangerous ways, we see signs to keep our city clean and think yes! I will do it, we know we have to conserve water and electricity and do a little bit in that direction in our homes. But is that all?
This became a big, big question for me around mid last year. It wasn't enough. Could there be some way of first, practicing and then nudging the change on a broader scale? Prodded by this, I was looking for avenues in Bangalore by which reuse and recycling could be promoted.There were a few fora for giving away unused goods, but they were voluntary and not very wide spread. Craig's list was just too anonymous and scam-ridden too, at times. There was no physical space for such activity, apart from the really old Bangalore markets which are very congested today!
Flea markets have always been a favourite concept of mine, and the idea of a local market in Bangalore, which could serve as a promoter of recycling and conservation and at the same time, provide a fun atmosphere for people to congregate and exchange ideas and learn about going green, suddenly appealed big time.
Speaking to friends and fellow passionate green-people, Reena Chengappa and Shilpa Kamath, about the idea, their enthusiasm and willingness to be a part of this movement sealed it. And Second to None was kicked off in June 2011.
We started first with an online group (an online flea market of sorts), on Facebook, to provide a platform for people in the city to interact and exchange reuse ideas and to buy and sell used goods online. A group with people who either knew each other or were added by friends seemed to be a reliable platform. The online group took off, with members selling anything from curtains to post and pans, to furniture, and exchanging reuse ideas. At the same time, we were also planning the first physical flea market, and scouting for an ideal location, a space which would support and nurture such an initiative and Jaaga (which means Space in Kannada) lent itself brilliantly to the cause. Read about Jaaga here (http://www.jaaga.in/).
With Jaaga booked for July of 2011, we were all set to kick off the flea market experiment over two days of a weekend. The only publicity we had at the this time was the Facebook group network and two local news dailies who figured this was new enough in Bangalore to be talked about. And what a fun weekend that was! The two days of the market came quite abuzz with activity, where like minded folk came together to buy and sell used goods from their homes, gardens, and more. We had resourceful members well versed in waste management, composting at home, effort-free drip gardening, and so on talking to visitors and helping them start similar ventures on their own. We had sellers exhibiting papier mache lamps, paper bead jewellery, recycled paper products, knick knacks from homes, decor, books, movies and more. And everyone wanted more.
So the flea markets have become a regular event now, we had one more market in Nov 2011, and the 3rd market is happening in Feb 2012. Between markets, the Facebook group has grown to 1260+ members and everyone is sharing and talking about how we can make simple changes in our daily lives, which can cumulatively make a big impact.
The idea of a local market, which happens regularly, is what I think appeals to people and encourages thinking and participation. It has provided a fillip for people to come participate and be a very physical part of the reuse concept, making us believe that local groups, events and happenings is the way to go to spread the word and get people involved. And the involvement here isn't just with the facilitators (us and Jaaga). It is everyone who comes in to sell or buy.
The sellers make the space what it is, it is they who can make an event exciting and spread the word. When each one of them gives away, sells or makes new things out of old stuff, they are sending out a message. A message that says old does not mean useless, that we can use objects for more than their perceived shelf lives, that the more we reuse the less garbage we burden the earth with. Such a place is also a great place for bargains.
Let us face it, everyone is aspirational and there will always be people who want to own the next best thing, even in plastic, if they have not had it before. And what better than to get it at a good price? So the market has seen some barely used and vintage stuff going at incredible prices, which makes both buyer and seller happy.
Second to None began with a core principal of consuming less and reusing more, and making healthy choices for ourselves and for the planet. But we did not start with a blueprint, we have grown and learnt and accommodated new ideas along the way. We support home kitchens making organic food, and NGOs who empower people with training to earn a lving. Their products get exhibited and sold at the markets.
What is most exciting for us is that people from across the cHide allountry have joined the group and have started similar ventures in their own cities, citing Second to None as their inspiration. We are so happy about that! There is Reduse in Hyderabad, by Ipshita Roychowdhury and Rashmi, The Best and The Rest in Ahmedabad by Saurabh Pacheriwala and Anushree Poddar (https://www.facebook.com/groups/225422360867287/), BombayB by Joanna Lobo and Yoshita Sengupta (https://www.facebook.com/groups/BombayB/).
As we set up the 3rd market in Feb 2012, we are seeing so much enthusiasm and sincerity in people who really want to make an effort in reusing and recycling. Everything under the sun that has a use and a purpose is being sold online and at the markets today, and here are just some of the repurpose ideas shared by the group:
Painting, decorating used bulbs as decor items or plant hangers.
Bags from denim pants.
Fashioning anything from bangle stands to soft boards with salvaged wood pieces.
Runners, table cloths and more from wasted pieces of fabric from tailors.
Candle holders with used bulbs.
Waste toilet seats refashioned into mirror frames, pieces of art.
Etching and art on used wine bottles.
Jewellery and accessories with used buttons.
Old photographs, prints from magazines into wall art.
Decoupage old boxes and containers with used newspaper, other prints.
Bags, pouches and more made from tetra pack paper, jute rice bags, etc.
Side tables with cable spools.
The list is quite long and growing every day! Check into the FB page or blog to stay updated on all the cool ideas that are out there!
Thank you Sudha, for asking me to write in A Green Crusader @ Work. Many of your posts on the environment and green choices are inspirational!
Thank you Anu...people like you give me hope and will to continue what I do :)
>> Wednesday, 11 January 2012
>> Thursday, 5 January 2012
Wishing everyone a very happy new year and more greener choices for 2012...This post is long overdue...bad health dint let me post it earlier..I have something exciting to share...
My hubby bought us a pair of all steel and bamboo Klean Kanteen water bottles for our bdays :). I had Klean Kanteen on the list, but the cost made me look for other options.After a long and disappointing search for all steel and no plastic water bottle, we decided to buy Klean Kanteen bottles
But then the bag says 100% compsotable..I really hope it is!!