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My View – Green hearts beat for Mother Nature in Gurgaon

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.


dry leaves-mother nature-gurgaon - green hearts - suncity

dry leaves-mother nature-gurgaon - green hearts - suncity

dry leaves-gurgaon - green hearts - suncity

dry leave-gurgaon - green hearts - suncity

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.

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dry leaves-mother nature-gurgaon - green hearts - suncity

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

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15 thoughts on “My View – Green hearts beat for Mother Nature in Gurgaon

    1. Yeah me too Sunita- its so heartening to see such efforts by citizens. I remember reading up about the Pune rennovations in a flight magazine some years ago- its brilliant what they have achieved there too!

  1. Wow… You make me feel guilty for not doing my part for the environment. This post is so inspiring and informative at the time. I came to know about pollution caused by burning last year. Before that I wasn’t aware that this is also a reason behind pollution in Delhi. It surprises me that govt hadn’t found a proper solution for that.
    You guys did an amazing job. 8 degrees make a big difference in the summer. I will check out the post for natural enzymes. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Raj and no need to indulge in guilt woman. Each one can do Only about as much. Key is for the awareness and effort to grow in individuals

      Bio enzyme is really a very cool thing- do check it out. I guarantee you will be amazed. And with a newborn now you need to take care of the harmful chemical emissions around him

  2. I loved the idea of nets with dried leaves to bring down temperature. That was so unique. Yes our government and people need to do more when it comes to Mother Nature. Here in Bangalore garbage segregation has been mandatory for years yet there are people who will not do it. We also have a plastic ban which is better implemented than any other city of India. Personally I do composting, segregation, use soap nuts, make bio enzyme and also try to grow some organic food. Every citizen needs to pitch in. It is critical now.

    1. You are one of my Green sweethearts Rachna. Your soapnut post inspired me to start using them for Washing machines

      If most of us would become aware and do even a little bit, then there is hope yet

      Governments have been a disappointment in this sector for many decades and I don’t see them waking up to it even now

  3. This is absolutely inspiring Shalz. We’ve started segregating waste and I’ve become conscious of using plastic – replacing it with jute and cloth. I’ve been toying with the idea of turning organic-waste to fertilizer at home. I hope to get to it once I settle down in my new home.

    1. Hey thats great to hear Tulika- I hope this new house truly sets you on a Green journey that you can pass onto your kids with pride. All the best with it girl and do ping me if you have any queries.

  4. I used to make manure out of my kitchen waste earlier. I so want to get back to it, but then looking after a garden feels like a task to me nowadays. Earlier I had so many plants, and also the enthu to match it all. Now, very less plants and very less enthu!I do try and make sure there is lesser plastic waste from my home.

    1. You can go back to making compost Shilpa- once its done, can just trash it without any guilt or pour over roadside trees or give to neighbors who have plants. I have lost my enthu for plants with the heat though now awaiting rains to start planting some stuff.

  5. That’s incredible you’ve been able to action a cause you’re passionate about. There is so much needed for our environment and yet, across the world, people keep electing governments that don’t give a damn about climate change. I’m trying bit by bit to be more mindful about things I use and do. I know I’m not there yet but I’m small things help too

    1. Thanks Sanch and yes every little bit helps. The governments are of no use as it seems they lack vision for the future and are only concerned for the moment and of course filling their own pockets.

  6. This is amazing. Many of us rant but not a lot want to take action. You took action and inspired. I am careful about what I use and where it comes from. Not a lot but baby steps.
    Keep doing such great work.

    1. I think if each one of us got conscious about even a little bit, it would go a long way in doing things to improve situation. So happy to hear you do your bit too Parul.

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