There is no better time to re-evaluate your connection with nature than now. Do you wish to make a difference but don’t know where to start? The first step is learning to reduce your carbon footprint vis-a-vis your lifestyle, choices in building your house or things you use in daily life or what you put on your plate. You might not know, but there is a quiet revolution underway to heal our planet. Be a part of it. We have lined up a few ways to help you become a more earth-friendly citizen.
Learn To Grow Your Food, Build An Earth-Friendly House And Pick Up Green Fashion
A house is a material extension of the way you live. The components used in building a house are entangled in your day to day life and have a dominant effect on the way you and the environment around you function. Explore the indigenous knowledge of shelter making using naturally occurring materials in their purest forms with Made In Earth. You’d be surprised to learn how there is a place for materials like clay, lime, wood, stone, fly ash, straw, rice rusk, thatch etc. in building houses. When applied with imagination, and in the right context, they come together to create an architecture that is in harmony with nature, similar to a bird building its nest on a tree.. Explore the indigenous knowledge of shelter making using naturally occurring materials in their purest forms with Made In Earth. You’d be surprised to learn how there is a place for materials like clay, lime, wood, stone, fly ash, straw, rice rusk, thatch etc. in building houses. When applied with imagination, and in the right context, they come together to create an architecture that is in harmony with nature, similar to a bird building its nest on a tree.
Bid goodbye to pesticide-ridden, hormone-injected fruits and veggies and say hello to home-grown organic veggies. It’s about time we pay attention to what we put on our plates. If you have been trying to cultivate a green thumb (pun intended), sign up for a course on urban farming by Welthungerhilfe and its partner DRCSC. Familiarise yourself with all the know-how on managing a farm within the boundaries of your apartment. You can plant trees on the roof tops, balcony or terrace producing natural food items that are free from chemicals. You can use faised beds, containers and hanging baskets to create a small farm even in a confined space. There will also be sessions on how to make your own fertilisers, chemical-free pest repellants and irrigating the soil.
Take a trip to Vanvadi, a 64-acre forest farm at the foorhills of the Western Ghats in Maharashtra, to understand and experience ecological living at its best. This place has no electricity, piped water, mobile network, or fancy cottages, simply bamboo huts with mats to sleep on. Its large-scale rainwater harvesting efforts, together with the forest’s dense roots acting as an underground sponge, have ensured efficient groundwater recharge. With an abundance of nutricious and naturally growing vegetables, and medicinal plants, Vanvadi is open to the public for workshops, forest food walks and their Van Utsav (Forest Festival) held every year in October during Dusshera. Go foraging for jungle foods in the forests with the local tribals of the area, learn about uncultivated wild foods and get together for a traditional community meal cookout with the forest foods that you gather.
Now you can pick up tips on how to live ecologically from the Adivasis, thanks to an organisation called - Living Farms. Participate in workshops conducted by them and learn about the concept of LANN- linking agriculture, natural resource management with nutrition. They even organize indigenous festivals, where adivasi women get together to share their agricultural and culinary skills with you. If you wish to volunteer and help these communities fight hunger and malnutrition, check out Living Farms. You can also take up a course or join fellowship/weekend programmes or workshops to learn, share and engage on how to live ecologically.
Learn the technique of eco printing, which uses raw materials from the nature around us without disturbing it. Unlock the colour potential of plants that exist all around you; in the forest, on the roadside, from your garden and even from leftover food scraps in your kitchen. Thaapo is one such homegrown brand in Kolkata that can show you how to find beauty and freshness in fallen leaves and flowers and capture their imprint on the fabric as a way of preserving their essence, color and form. Print your own garment by joining one of the workshops conducted by Thaapo. Where you will learn how to create designs with foraged leaves, flowers, seed pods and bark to print various shapes and colours on fabric and paper using the plant’s own dye, pigments and tannins. Garments made out of this naturally processed fabric also give out a pleasing aroma, which means you can further stay away from more chemicals that make up deodorants and perfumes.
Bare Necessities is a women-run enterprise that is promoting a waste free lifestyle. Started by Sahar Mansoor, this brand offers zero-waste solutions to empower local communities and change people’s mindset on sustainability. Be it personal care or home care, their range of products are made ethically and naturally to give you the maximum benefit without causing Mother Earth any harm. They have compostable bamboo toothbrushes, rose and coconut oil make-up remover (works great as a face cleanser too), terracotta and coffee body scrubs, beeswax lip balm and even a natural, aerosol-free dry shampoo. The home care products are completely devoid of chemicals, using only neem or lemon grass as alternatives. Bare Necessities have also come up with a ‘Zero Waste In 30 Days’ online course to get you started on your mission to save the planet. Know more here.