Thursday, August 28, 2014

Reducing my carbon foot print.

Reducing my carbon foot print. 

This post is a confession of a introspective middle class urban consumer.

It was one of those mad mornings when I was fixing breakfast, packing lunch, catching up on some yoga and  getting ready to work in no particular order.  Gouramma my domestic help arrives about 15 minutes late  from her scheduled time and  I know I am going to get terribly late to my meaningless monday morning management meeting. 
My bloodpressure has shot up to insane levels and I am trying to multitask. I have my dough for Rotis  readied while I get on to the job of peeling the vegetables.
Gouramma watches me  peeling away the chunks in a hurry. She tells me she could do with taking the skin with her to her home and if she may do so.  I ask her what would she do with it?

And that was when she gave me her two cents worth.

She said ‘you people’ waste a lot of wealth.  From where she comes, the skin , the most nutritious part of the vegetable is used for making a chutney, a broth or simply boiled with the Rice starch ( kanji) and had as a drink.  She gave me a dozen home remedies  about how a plethora of health problems like diabetes, obesity, migraine, fever , cold , cough, blood pressure and cataract could be cured by optimally using the benefits of the skin peeled out of most vegetables.

Gouramma could’nt be older than me.  But her rustic upbringing brings with it an ancient wisdom that has been transferred over for generations .  Somewhere, middle class  prosperity,  urban lifestyle and purchasing power  have degraded these values in me that I would have otherwise imbibed,  had I been born at a different time and place. 
I am not complaining about where in the station of life I am currently in, and I certainly do not envy Gouramma’s  station in life.
But her comment  about how ‘we waste so much of wealth’ struck a chord in me. 
I vowed to reduce wastage.  I promised  to gradually reduce my carbon foot print.

Two years hence we now grow some of my vegetables & herbs in my balcony ( Click here to read about  my creepy wild forest) and in my small plot of land adjacent to our apartment compound.

Last year we planted a Chempaka  and a Malavembu in our compound.  The Chempaka  is a slow starter or probably is turning out to be a  retard , but watching the 'Malavembu' sapling grow way above my shoulder  and spread its branches all over the compound wall gives me  immense joy.
That was my two cents of giving back to mother earth for all the deforestation that we have caused inorder to enhance our living conditions.

Four months ago I came across this group that propagates using your kitchen waste to make your own compost.  I invested in a kitchen waste composter ( That money would have otherwise funded a MAC lipstick or a Philips hair straightener) .

For the last four months all my kitchen waste goes into the smartbin , my kitchen waste composter and  the dry waste to  

They buy all our dry garbage. Cardboard boxes, milk covers, old shampoo bottles, harpic plastic bottles,  old steel vessels, CD’s, plastic  bags and every thing that can possibly be recycled from our door step and even better they pay us for all the waste that we dispose.  

Every weekend my plants get a dose of smart brew that is taken out from the kitchen waste composter as their nutrition tonic. 

The results is evident for you to see. 

I do not mean to advertise but please visit their sites ( and to see how you can reduce your contribution into  the huge garbage landfills that we as urban consumers contribute into.
This is my two cents worth to propogate responsible disposal of garbage and to help us live in cleaner cities and recycle every bit of what we can.

This post was written for the Write Tribe WEDNESDAY PROMPT ‘my two cents ...'

P.S : Gouramma  - my domestic help empties and changes our dust bin liner once every month or two months  and not every day. It consists of nothing but dust as it is meant to be.



  1. Very relevant post.
    Garbage is a major cause of concern for governance... Tackling huge piles of garbage in our consumerist society is a challenge.
    Recycling is required.

  2. Thanks for the info you have given on Smartbin. Will consider it. I wanted to do compost using a normal plastic container, but not sure how it will turn out.

    Destination Infinity

  3. this is brilliant. I live in a flat and have been thinking of planting some vegetable in the balconies. Your post is very inspring :)

  4. Due to my hectic schedule I have not been able to plan a proper garden for my own house :( but I guess I am getting inspired seeing the pictures in your post :D


  5. I'm planning to plant some veggies in my balcony...But not getting the time but will try! :)

    Random Thoughts Naba - My Two Cents’ Worth on a Friday Night…...

  6. A wonderful post. You have a wonderful attitide - open to learning from anyone. Glad you didn't dismiss your maid's advice. I've been meaning to plant vegetables in planters for a long long time simply for giving the kids an idea of how much happiness it brings but have been putting it off. thanks for this reminder. Enjoyed being here!

  7. My mom has planted karipatta in an earthern pot in her balcony. I just love the sight and smell of the green karipatta. Have planned to do start a kitchen garden.


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