Humans have been at a serious war with Mother Nature for over five decades now. The over consumerist human attitude has led to a grave imbalance in natural resources world wide. Everywhere one can hear environmentalist cry foul over:
- industrial and vehicular pollution,
- global warming,
- melting of icebergs
- Plastic waste in our seas
Yet, governments world over have turned deaf, dumb and blind to these issues and carry on as if natural reserves are endless.
Gurgaon (and other areas of Delhi NCR) becomes gripped in humongous air pollution come October. Its the time when farmers in neighbouring states burn leftover crop stubble to clear fields for next planting. The smoky haze envelopes cities in Delhi NCR region, making it difficult to breathe. Not to mention the burning sensation in eyes, nose and throat. Breathing disorders are at an all time high in this region with hospitals reporting large numbers of cases. Its been getting so bad that families have left this region on medical advice, to move to other cities.
Despite a flourishing Metro rail route in New Delhi with connections to NCR suburbs, the vehicular pollution has not diminished at all. 50+ years old trees have been decimated in Delhi NCR in the name of “development” to widen roads for de-congestion of traffic. Yet no ban on number of cars being held by an individual or a family of four is in place. We should be focusing on counter effective measures instead of giving into the rising demand and exhaust nature.
With such government apathy in place, its no wonder that Citizen efforts into Zero-waste lifestyles, recycling, composting and waste seggregation at source are emerging all over Delhi NCR. I am proud to report to be part of this Uber crowd of green hearts out here in Gurgaon.
Plant a million trees in Gurgaon
It all started for me with the creation of a city forest in Gurgaon by I Am Gurgaon – a local NGO that has been making strident efforts towards preserving green lungs of the city. The Aravali Bio Diversity Park ( ABDP) was crafted out of an abandoned mining site and opened to public in 2010. Its provided much needed relief to Mother nature and created a haven for nature lovers and local flora and fauna. Recently the powers-to-be decided to cut a road through this forest and a huge citizen protest has awarded some respite from it.
The other gem crafted by I Am Gurgaon is the Wazirabad Bund area where a waste water channel has been greened and paved into a walking haven. Its also a boon for the local commuters who no longer have to brave the filth and water stream now to cross over.
You have to watch this Video of how the Bund was restored and how its revitalized a community dependent on it. Please do share it on your social media feed to create awareness about such a brilliant green effort.
Nature nurturers in Suncity
I am blessed to have a very active and passionate group of green hearts here in Suncity. Together, we have a WA group to address issues of water wastage, construction waste, garbage, etc. Last year a group member initiated a drive to collect old linen to be converted into grocery bags. We have been trying to cultivate the habit of carrying our own shopping bag out here. Another member started a Steel Crockery bank from where one can rent out utensils for events. This is helping to cut down usage of disposable plates and cutlery.
A couple of months ago, on my morning walk I discovered huge piles of dried leaves piled up outside of the park. These were all going to be picked up for burning or throwing away into the landfill. My ranting on the group initiated a brilliant response by the group admin. He had experimented with layering his terrace with gunny bags full of dry leaves to bring down temperatures last summers. So it was decided to pool in some money and try and replicate this for the slum dwellers who battle the summer heat with little protection.
We chose the slum where our colony garbage contractor lives in and got bags stitched out of green net. These were then filled with dry leaves. When we went to the slum to layer a sample area, the excitement in the community was palpable. We had a crowd of curious by-standers who eventually understood what we were doing. Two young boys were helped up onto one of the corrugated tin roofs and then bags handed out to them to layer. Multiple instructions from the crowd later, the roof was covered to our satisfaction. Needless to say, the boys were thrilled with all the attention.
Over next few days, the temperatures were recorded with the help of a gauge which group admin had handed over to the contractor. He happily reported a difference of 8 degrees between outside and inside temperatures.
I haven’t gone back to see if this has inspired others to follow suit or not as yet. But the joy of converting my rant into a positive action is something I will cherish for years to come.
Intrigued? Pin it for later
Do you indulge in any Zero waste habits? Please do share the initiatives you are part of as it would be great information to add onto my practice too.
I use soap nuts for washing clothes in the machine which doesnt contaminate the water with chemical residue. I make Bio Enzyme at home and have eradicated the use of harmful chemicals like Harpic, Lizol, Surf, Colin , etc. Check out the easy recipe to make this here