I’ve always been environmentally inclined, but like many people my ideas haven’t always matched my actions. This blog will chronicle my attempt to not just recycle and buy locally, but to reduce what I consume as much as possible.
In the past year I’ve had the wonderful experience of working with Wasteless, based in Auroville. In addition to the comprehensive waste audit they did of my school, Rishi Valley, they have also inspired me to rethink how I engage with the material world. As a result, in the last year:
♻ I learned how to compost both at school and at home
♻ I started a garden in drought-ridden Andhra Pradesh by collecting water in my house from cleaning because I no longer use harsh, toxic foreign-produced detergents
♻ I figured out how to take my dry waste to a BBMP recycling center in Bengaluru
♻ I switched from using tampons to Ecofemme’s reusable sanitary napkins
♻ I stopped using razors for shaving and shifted to making the Arabic sugar wax to remove unwanted hair:
♻ I no longer use plastic bags and instead use cloth bags stitched from unwanted fabric scraps from tailors
♻ I stopped purchasing items that contain too much packaging (which is a huge problem even with organically, environmentally -minded sellers)
♻ I have reduced my overall consumption, partially inspired by a family chronicled in the documentary Trashed (I managed to go almost six weeks before a small garbage bin was filled)
When I return to school in the fall, I will focus on teaching the fourth standard students the Garbology 101 curriculum to see how possible it is to change the culture of a community to make them, as Wasteless says, “Turn off the tap”.
Until then, I plan to document a few ways in which I’m trying to change in my urban life in Bengaluru where reducing and recycling can be a bit more challenging. My hope is to inspire others to make an effort to do the same here in India or anywhere else in the world.