Massive beehive built in 8 minutes: A gift on World Environment Day?

IMG_20131026_072702The buzz started at around 2 pm yesterday with a just few bees. In the next couple of minutes, the swarm grew bigger and bigger and the bees started piling up on each other. Eight minutes of manic activity, this massive beehive took the shape of black icicles and then, everything went silent. Continue reading

Sobha Althea-Azalea: Mandur crisis affects us, but just a little

Giving back to where it belongs: All the kitchen waste and garden waste is turned into rich organic manure and given back to where it belongs.

Giving back to where it belongs: All the kitchen waste and garden waste is turned into rich organic manure and given back to where it belongs.

Going by the media reports, the Karnataka government certainly doesn’t have a solution in sight for the Mandur landfill crisis. No government wants to drag a reluctant multitude towards a safe future by roiling up the system and suffer the drubbing during elections. Better safe than sorry, right?

Amidst such a sordid state of affairs, I feel immensely proud to congratulate the residents of Sobha Althea-Azalea, Yelahanka, for achieving multiple milestones in just two years. Continue reading

Mandur landfill crisis revisits: Luxury of peacetime over, let’s stop being deliberately callous

The reality in Mandur. (Pic: The Hindu)

The reality in Mandur. (Pic: The Hindu)

Recently, I made an early-morning trip to some nurseries around Lalbagh with a friend to buy plants for our apartment garden. By forenoon, we had done most of our work but couldn’t resist the desire to step into yet another large nursery studded with beautiful succulents. As we went around enjoying the fragrance of those green little beauties, especially gardenias, the nursery staff got busy loading the green ‘waste’ into a BBMP vehicle. Some 4-5 workers went on feeding the truck for at least an hour.

When we asked, they said it was headed to Mandur landfill. Continue reading

Illac Diaz: Lighting up lives, literally

There is no dearth of human brilliance. But looks like it takes something more to invent something as amazing as this one.

While we were busy losing our sense of judgment over many brands of smart phones, someone somewhere was racking his brain over how to dispel darkness that invaded shacks in Manila slums not only at nights, but during daytime too.

Illac Diaz (meaning, God of Light!), a social entrepreneur, came up with this ingenious, highly sustainable idea that works like a 60-Watt bulb.

If compassion leads to inventions, this is it. Continue reading

Your mother could be your own homespun eco-champion!

When my mother, 67, sat down to hem in the frayed ends of a handloom blanket, it took almost two hours for her arthritic fingers to cut off the extra threads gently and hem the ends in with near-perfect stitches. As she folded the blanket and placed it back in the cupboard, she said: “Handloom blankets are more comfortable than those useless (synthetic) ones. Why do you waste thousand of rupees for those you can’t even wash and reuse for long?”

This is a woman, much like those of her and older generations, who grew up without using a single chemical (barring soaps) in her entire home. While baking soda and gram flour erased tough oily stains with ease, ash and rice husk washed dishes. She poured out soap water used for soaking clothes to wash courtyards and bathrooms. She took out her cloth bags whenever she went out shopping. She did not use fridge or water heaters. The only few plastic bags that she carefully preserved were meant to serve one precious purpose: waterproofing cloth bags during rains. Such has been the sanctity of her everyday routine that the waste her household generated hardly needed segregation. She recycled paper, utensils; found ingenious ways to reuse clothes by turning them into quilts, blankets and unknowingly let the local quilt-makers’ families survive on such local economy. Continue reading

Vegetarian? Call yourself “eco-warrior”!

Despite my eco-sensibilities, I am not sure if my carbon footprint is so low that I can brag about it. Until I opt for public transport regularly, stop using the geyser for heating water, and grow my own food, I will remain a major source of carbon emission on the face of this earth. That’s for sure.

However, Continue reading