Some of the Environment enthusiasts of YFS Chennai have been meeting regularly to brain storm, discuss and come out with a new approach to solve the ever increasing problem of Waste management in the city and its ill consequences in our daily life!
We met up with the officials of the Solid Waste Management from the Corporation of Chennai to get their understanding on this issue and how we as an organisation could help address it. Our aim was to get segregation of waste done at source and offer simple, practical and doable solutions to the common people with the kitchen, paper & plastic waste.
We realised that before we embark upon a new initiative, we must talk to and get sufficient hands-on knowledge of the solutions we intend to offer to others for practice. We learnt about many success stories and one of them was about Mr Indra Kumar of Home Exnora who has been practicing Zero Waste Management in his home for a very long time. A simple down-to-earth person who is always willing to share his wealth of knowledge to anyone with interest to keep the environment clean and green. But all that he expects from us is to be Punctual as he feels time must not be taken for granted! A good lesson learnt by all of us and esp those who turned up late!!
Our volunteer Vishesh Jain has shared his experience after the visit to Mr Indra Kumar’s home on 19th Nov.
We visited the residence of the internationally renowned creator of Home Exnora, Mr. Indrakumar,at Shankar Nagar, Pammal, as a part of our Environment-Solid waste disposal management programme, where we will work with the Government in educating the residents of Chennai on the importance of waste segregation (into wet and dry) and coming up with a plan to recycle/dispose the different kinds of waste in an appropriate manner.
His home is a zero-waste home, where everything from solid kitchen waste to wastewater is put to good use. The visit was an eye-opener, to say the least, where we learnt much more than came to.
When he realized that tannery effluents were polluting his groundwater, this ingenious environmentalist created a freshwater table around his house, which takes in all the flooded rainwater from the street, and acts as a natural filter to the tannery wastewater.
What struck me in all his methods was the simplicity. Controlling mosquitoes just involved having earthworms in your garden soil, as earthworms (besides providing agricultural benefits) will eat the mosquito eggs. Used coconut shells can be embedded in the soil, to help it retain moisture, in a method called mulching, which can be used to grow trees or plants in deserts.
Colacasia plants break down the soap in the soap-containing wastewater (which has a separate outlet). Garden waste is mixed with cowdung slurry and the earthworms do the rest, giving you valuable manure after a few weeks. A handful of powdered cowdung in a bucketful of kitchen waste converts it into manure. Toilet wastewater is treated with a bacterium that breaks down human excreta to give urea-water which is excellent for gardening.
The great thing is that he has developed simple, efficient, easy-to-work-with models for all the above which can be directly implemented in homes or apartment complexes.
It was a wonderful experience where we learnt many new things and gained valuable knowledge. I could never imagine that LEDs would be a much better light source than even CFLs. An LED tubelight (as installed in his home) consumes only 15 watts and CFLs, we learnt, emit the pollutant sulphur dioxide and contain poisonous mercury. That South India is one of the most beautiful places to live. A seed of ‘thetran kottai’ is enough to clean 30 kg of water of all chemical pollutants, a copper plate takes care of biological ones.
To top it all the rooftop garden, ‘sky farming’ (plants growing from a hollow pillar stuffed with soil), the natural air-conditioning system, the innovative uses for even fish and other non-vegetarian waste (although he is a vegetarian) make his home a must-visit, as a Times Of India article said.
Apart from all this, he has solutions for the world’s climate and food problems. What less can be expected from a person, who uses the term “Resource Utilization” instead of “Waste Recycling”, or, better still, refers to his waste, as , ‘Lakshmi’ !!
P.S – He believes even in zero time-waste, as shown by his reactions to the latecomers.
View the pictures here:
Contact Mr Indra Kumar for a session at 9941007057.
For more information about YFS initiatives in Chennai , please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
YFS Chennai Team