SAY NO TO PLASTIC : Little actions leads to bigger changes!

An article specially depicting my changed day-to-day practices which can help our mother earth to re-habilitate. A small step towards nature can lead to a big change. And that step is “say no to plastic”.

Do you know? About 13-15% of plastic waste is sent to India by US and European countries for recycling out of which only a handful quantity is recycled and rest is dumped in landfills. This is because our country is not able to recycle the plastic waste generated in their own territory, so its nearly impossible to do so for other countries. In such a scenario, it is our duty to put an end to single-use plastic/products which is harmful to our ecosystem.

Listing below some sustainable changes which are not so difficult to take over :

#1. Say no to plastic toothbrushes and YES to bamboo toothbrushes:

 Plastic toothbrushes end up getting washed away into the ocean effectively endangering marine life. Please stop using the old ones, be part of the change and start using bamboo toothbrushes. 

Why BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSHES? Every plastic toothbrush you have ever used is still on this planet and will take 1000 years to degrade. So, reducing plastic contamination is necessary. Also, bamboo toothbrushes are fully bio-degradable and the bamboo plants grows really fast, so we cannot run out of them anytime soon. 

I HAVE INITIATED THIS CHANGE, HAVE YOU?

say no to plastic
bamboo toothbrush

#2. Use paper wraps or beeswax wraps instead of plastic wraps:

Plastic wraps what we generally call it as klin-fin wrap may save your food for a longer period, but it is very harmful for the planet. It contributes to the biggest crisis as it is difficult to recycle and is made up of harmful chemicals. 

An alternative to this problem is :- Use paper wraps or beeswax wraps. They are 100% bio-degradable as they are organic. 

Why use BEESWAX WRAPS? 

  • It keeps your food fresh for a longer period.
  • Great replacement to single-use plastic.
  • Can be re-used multiple times, thus leading to a sustainable change in nature.
  • They are economical, as it can be washed and for an year.

I HAVE INITIATED THIS CHANGE, HAVE YOU?

beeswax wrap

#3. Stop using polythene bags and carry your own Cloth/jute bags:

Plastic bags causes harm to the environment right from its manufacturing process and continues to exert its toxic effect even after it is thrown away. It takes centuries to degrade.

People’s casual attitude of throwing it away makes it go into animal’s stomach, block drains, gets stuck in ocean beds etc. So, the best alternative is to carry your own cloth bags to every place you visit, it maybe a grocery store or even a shopping complex. This will surely make a big difference.

Even if a shopkeeper offers you a biodegradable polythene bag, say a big “no” because it is not necessary that they will completely degrade. You can get your cloth bags stitched from scraps/pieces of bedsheets, any other cloth material available in your house. So, its economical as well.

I HAVE INITIATED THIS CHANGE, HAVE YOU?

say no to plastic
cloth bags

#4. Carry your own Eco-friendly cutlery, and stop using plastic cutlery:

There is a lot of plastic cutlery which is being dumped into oceans harming the aquatic life. It is so haunting to see sea animals suffering because of ‘deadly cutlery’. A plastic straw which not even costs us a penny can take life of a turtle or a fish. So, we should become logical, sensible and wise enough to protect our nature and do a bit towards it.

As we tend to grow technologically, we should also become more environment cautious and carry our own pouch consisting of a spoon, folk, a stainless straw and infact even a small mug. Whenever we go for shopping we often land at our favourite chaat stops, so instead of using the single-use plastic spoons or even the plastic cups, we should take a step forward and use our own stuff.

I HAVE INITIATED THIS CHANGE, HAVE YOU?

eco-friendly cutlery
say no to plastic

All about Home-composting!

#What is home-composting ?

Home-composting means the controlled decomposition of organic material such as yard-trimmings, shavings of wood, kitchen waste, paper etc. It is a means of recovery of organic matter into compost which can be used for soil improvement or as an alternative to chemical fertilizers. 

#Why home-composting ?

  • Composting can divert upto 30% of  household waste from your garbage bins.
  • It is important because when the organic garbage is thrown away in landfills, it breaks down in the absence of oxygen and emits harmful methane gas, increasing the rate of global warming.
  • Home-composting also acts as a replacement to the chemical fertilisers you use in your garden, lawns and plants.
  • It is an important step in following 3R’s.

#Compost Pile : What all things makes the compost healthy and for best use

A healthy compost should have much more carbon than nitrogen i.e. 1/3rd green and 2/3rd of brown materials. 

Carbon-rich matter includes :- stems, dried leaves, peels, bark dust, shredded paper bags, corn stalks, coffee grounds, egg shells, tea grounds, wooden ash etc.

Nitrogen-rich matter includes :- kitchen waste, green leaves, manures, food scraps etc.

home composting

#Things which should'nt be used for composting:

  • Meat, bones, fish scraps as they will lead to pests, also we can use them if you are using a composter specially designed for it. 
  • No pet manures should be used.
  • Banana peels may contain pesticide residues, so it should be first soaked in water for sometime and then can be used.

#Composters:

  • You can DIY a compost bin at your home.
  • You can purchase standard composters – bins/digesters.
  • Food waste digester is also a good option but that is useful when used at a big level.
  • Earthern Pots ( make holes for aeration ).
  • Tumblers.
composter
home composting

#Steps for Home-composting :-

  1. Add dry and moist materials in layers and put them in alternate layers. Dry materials include: leaves, wood ashes, sand etc. Moist materials include: tea bags, food scraps etc.
  2. Activate your manure from time to time i.e. put green manure or yogurt + water mixture so that the process speeds up.
  3. Keep your compost moist by watering it ocasionally.
  4. Keep mixing the compost with a shovel or pitch-fork as it requires oxygen to break down. Also, once the compost starts developing, you can add in new materials.
  5. The compost will be ready by 2-4 months or maybe 6 months depending upon climate and quantity.

#Signs that the compost is ready:-

  • There are no food scraps left in the composter.
  • It should turn grainy/sandy.
  • The bad adour should turn into a nice earthy smell.
3Rs

Note: You can also make your compost in your garden, if you have one. That will take less time for preparation of compost and no composter will be required for the same.

Recycling Plastic – One Step Towards Plastic Free Earth

Why Recycling plastic is so important? Plastic waste is found at almost every place, whether it is at our home, at our office, when we go for shopping and even if we go out for a holiday. About 30 million tons of plastic is disposed off every year. And the worst part of plastic disposal is that it is simply thrown away in landfills, infact we are now running out of landfilll space. Apart from this plastic is also thrown in oceans which harm the eco system. Around 90% of waste floating on the surface of sea is plastic. In all, around 7-9% of plastic waste is recycled annually.

Now the question arises, what we should do with the plastic waste generated at home, offices and different places.

First of all, we should try and minimize the use of single-use plastic. We should think of different alternatives which can replace plastic to the maximum. For example :-  by using paper, cloth bags, using bamboo toothbrushes, carrying your own water bottles everywhere etc. 

3R's

Separate and collect every bit of plastic at your place of work, home. You can make these plastic waste reach different centres. One of the recycling plastic centre in Delhi is located in central market, Lajpat Nagar-2. Here you can deposit your waste and will get a cloth bag for every 1 kg of plastic. 

recycling plastic

If you cannot go to certain centres, you can contact agencies which collect plastic from your doorstep. One such agency is “One Step Greener”. They provide services in more than 13 colonies across Delhi (ncr) which includes vasant vihar, shanti niketan, west-end, Greater kailash 1, Defence colony, Maharani Bagh, Nfc, Sultanpur and many more. They offer monthly pickup of dry waste from homes, offices, restaurants and schools. The collected waste is then sent to certified recyclers and factories for reprocessing and recycling plastic. This eliminates plastic from going into landfill and oceans. Also, You can drop your waste at A-47, VASANT MARG, VASANT VIHAR if they can’t reach your place between 10am-5pm from monday to saturday. 

recycling plastic

It is our responsibility to recycle even a bottle of coke we buy while shopping. For this NDMC has installed smart vending machines at Connaught place and India gate. 4 machines have been installed across CP (2 in Pallika Bazaar) and 1 in India gate. The machine gives monetary rewards to those who dispose waste like glass bottles, plastic, paper. Anyone who disposes glass bottles, plastic bottles and paper will get Rs 2, Re 1 and Re 1 respectively. For plastic bags they will get Re 1 and for bigger bottles Rs 3. While disposing off, the person needs to register with their e-wallet which hardly takes two minutes and the money will be transferred to it. They have additional features like people can buy movie tickets, DTC bus tickets, Recharge sim cards, pay bills using the amount in their e-wallets. 

plastic vending machine

3Rs : How to apply it in our daily lives!

3Rs - Reuse.Reduce.Recycle.

Why 3Rs? The declining resources of earth has forced us to live a life where there is no wastage, where we reuse almost everything and recycle every bit of paper and plastic. Not just as our duty, but we should adopt certain practices so that we can contribute just a little to our mother earth

What starts at home, paves a path to a wide road. Thus, we should first carry out these very-easy and simple methods at our houses and then spread the same to the community. The 3Rs save land and money which communities often use to dispose off waste in landfills.

3Rs

#Reducewaste, instead prepare your own compost.

Composting can divert upto 30% of  household waste from your garbage bins. It is important because when the organic garbage is thrown away in landfills, it breaks down in the absence of oxygen and emits harmful methane gas, increasing the rate of global warming.

Home-composting also acts as a replacement to the chemical fertilisers you use in your garden, lawns and plants. It is an important step in following 3R’s.

What all you can use for compost :-  tea leaves, dried flowers, leaves, fruit and vegetable peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, chicken manure, dry sand and all the organic waste from your kitchen. 

You can either use earthen pots or enclosed bins as a composter. You need to activate your compost by putting some water + Yogurt mixture from time to time. In about 4-6 months when your compost will turn grainy/sandy, it will be ready.

home composting
3Rs

#Reuse mango seeds to grow plants.

In summers the most loved fruit is “mango”. Everyone of us love mangoes and we can show our affection towards it by re-using the mango seeds to grow indoor mango plants and replanting it outdoors after it begins to sprout. Also, it is the best time to grow a mango tree and is a major step in following 3Rs.

What you have to do :- Just after you eat a mango, wash the seed and keep it in a dry place. Let it dry for sometime and then sow it in a pot or re-used tin half-covered with sand. Pour some water time to time, whenever you see that sand is dry. However, mangoes don’t require lots of water. Just within few weeks you will see sprouts coming over. Re-plant it when it grows strong enough or what you can do is directly sow the seed in a garden and keep a watch over it. 

mango seed in a pot

#Recycle every bit of plastic waste.

Only 20% of plastic waste gets recycled and the other 80% either gets discarded or incinerated. 

The discarded plastic goes into ocean, landfills, drains and harms the animal and even us in many ways. You know what? You’re drinking plastic, I am drinking plastic, We all are drinking plastic. So, we should try our best and prevent plastic from entering oceans and landfills. 

What you can do :-  Collect every bit of plastic waste at your home and separate it. We can give this waste for recycling at different “plastic collection centres” like one in Lajpat Nagar, Central Market. Here you even get a cloth bag for every one kg of plastic. Also, you can contact different agencies which collect plastic waste from your doorstep. One of them is “One Step Greener” in vasant kunj. One step greener is continuously trying to make people follow 3Rs.  Also, E-vending machines have been installed in certain areas like India gate and connaught place, where you can dump plastic bottles, cans, paper and people will get money and vouchers worth Rs1 to Rs 100 depending upon your weight of plastic waste.

plastic waste
3R's
plastic vending machine

Morning walks in Delhi – Top 5 places to hit

Morning walks? Delhi faces low temperature in mornings and thus this is the best time for people to walk amidst the natural beauty. The mornings are foggy unlike the risen temperature during the daytime. If you are a morning person who can wake up at 6:00 a.m., you can surely enjoy the atmosphere. Morning walks leads to peaceful mind and starts your day afresh

1. LODHI GARDEN

From my personal experience, I have never seen a better place for morning walks in Delhi than lodhi garden. Everyday hundreds of people come here for jogging, walking, doing yoga, etc. Here you can find great spots for photography. The architecture, tombs, variety of trees attract the visitors. 

After a healthy walk you can head to various food spots to satisfy your belly. Some nearby food spots are Sarvana bhawan in connaught place, Kent’s in defence colony and many more. These favourable facilities makes it a good morning walk place in Delhi.

LOCATION : lodhi road, lodhi garden

TIMINGS : 5am – 8pm (april to september) 

                   6am – 8pm (october to march)

SPECIALITY : Open gym, nursery, ducks dwelling in lake  

morning walks

2. GARDEN OF FIVE SENSES

This garden stands over rocky terrain and is full of lush trees and water lillies. If you are tired of walking around, you can rest on one of the many benches in the garden. You can relax and listen to the cheerful chirping of the birds. The rocks makes it a perfect spot for early morning picnics. 

LOCATION : said-ul-ajaib, mehrauli, badarpur road

TIMINGS :  9am – 7pm (april to september) 

                    9am – 6pm (october to march) 

SPECIALITY : Mughal garden, solar park, bamboo court and herb garden.

morning walks

3. BONTA PARK - KAMLA NEHRU RIDGE

Also known as Kamla Nehru forest, It is the heart of north delhi. You will find youngsters strolling around, professors jogging and kids lurking around. It is shelter for 400+ monkeys, so don’t forget to carry bananas if you visit there. It is known for beautiful flowers, vegetation and more than 70 species of birds. If you are in north delhi this park is a must visit. After a healthy walk you can visit chache di hatti for great breakfast. 

LOCATION : Magazine road, kamla nehru ridge, civil lines 

TIMINGS : 4am – 6pm

SPECIALITY : Church, flagstaff tower, sarpakaai jheel, khooni khan jheel and Chaubhurja.

morning walks in delhi

4. DEER PARK

Also referred to as “lungs of delhi”, It is one of the best places for morning walks. The park got its name as “deer park” from an enclosed section for deers, which remains undisturbed. Sometimes we can witness a herd of deers there. Its soothing environment and cool breeze refreshes the mind. You can visit Hauz khas village for having a tummy filling breakfast at social , chaayos. 

LOCATION : Africa avenue, hauz khas

TIMINGS : 5am – 8pm (summers)

                   5:30am – 7pm (winters)

SPECIALITY: Rose garden, fountain park, District park and hauz khas fort. 

deer park

5. SUNDER NURSERY

It is Delhi’s finest heritage park. A massive garden aligned with humayun’s tomb in south and purana qila in north. After the new developments, it is a must visit spot for delhihites for morning walks. It is known for a wide range of butterflies, birds and trees. In winters, you can enjoy at the organic market named “The earth collective” which opens from 10 am. You can also have a healthy breakfast here after your morning walk. Also, you can buy plants of different variety from the nursery. It is peaceful place and a must visit.

ENTRANCE FEES : Indians – Rs. 35, Children & senior citizens above 60 years – Rs. 15. Foreign tourist – Rs. 100/head

LOCATION : Hazrat, Nizamudin

TIMIMGS : 6;30 am – 6 pm

SPECIALITY : Mughal’s tomb, sundarwala mahal, sunder burj and lakharwala burj

walk