The sacred Thread Festival “ Janai Purnima ”

Janai Purnima is one of the important and great festivals for Hindu People. Janai Purnima is also known as Rakshya Bandhan. This festival is about the holy thread which is about bound of purity and security. In this day there is big fair at Khumbeshwor, Lalitpur and many devotees go to the Gosaikunda, which is believed as the mountain lake which is consider as holy sites of Lord Shiva. This Festival is celebrated at the full moon day of 21st August in this year. In Janai Purnima every temple of the Kathmandu valley has got fair. On this special festival Government has confirmed public holiday to the people. According to the legend following the celebration of Janai Purnima is held because Lord Vishnu once punished his proud devotee who is known as Bali. Then Lord Vishnu ties Bali with the scared thread and sent him to Hell. Then the legend say that from that day it was introduced as sacred threads(Janai) which was tied around the wrists or other parts of body by Hindu peoples to get free from their sins. So from that time it has been celebrated in great way.

Janai Purnima

In Janai Purnima the men of Hindu religion change their Janai. Janai means the sacred thread which is provide to the men by doing the long process of religious ceremony which is known as Bratabandha. This janai have to be wear by the man for his whole life after listen the mantra from during the Bartabandhan. Actually the Janai is regarded as the symbol of body, speech and mind and when these three knots are tired and given to wear to the person then is it supposed that it will give complete control over each of them. In Janai Purnima men change their Janai and the married girl and unmarried girl put the scared thread around their wrist.

One day before the Janai Purnima the men will have great experience of the partial fasting that they will have meal one time only but the meal should be vegetarian like no meat, onion, and garlic. The meal must be pure. In the Janai Purnima morning the men usually takes bath by going near river or ponds and dip for three times and break old Janai and wear new janai which is given by the Priest by chanting the mantra. In the same way in the city area the priest come to the residence and the whole family gather together to celebrate the festival. The priest reads the important story from the holy book known as Patro, and the new Janai is given to the men and priest tie the yellow or red color thread to the hand of the women. Then the family members offer Dakshina to him. The people believed that the thread which you has wear today should be removed after the laxmi Puja because people believed that if you will tie the thread to the tail of a cow then after death of people it will help to cross the river known as the Baitarni and the journey of the soul after life. In this special day there is a special food has been made but specially the Kwati. Kwati is delicious souThe sacred Thread Festival “ Janai Purnima ”p made of 9 different beans. In Newari community people celebrate this festival as Kwat purnima.

Janai Purnima is also called as Raksha Bandhan. Where Raksha means protection and Bandhan means bond, this bound will protect against evil. According to the historical relation and legend the Raksha Bandhan ceremony was followed by Lord Yama (Lord of Death) and his sister Yamuna (the river in Northern India). Yamuna tied rakhi to Yama and present immortality. Then the Yama was so moved by the peacefulness of the occasion that he declared that whoever gets a rakhi tied from his sister the brother promised her protection will become immortal. Then till now this ceremony is being celebrated by the Hindu people that symbolized the sister loves and goodwill for their brothers and same way the brothers promised her sister to protect her for lifelong.

In Kathmandu valley, Pashupatinath, Guheswari, Kumbheswar and Bhadrakali have seen large number of devotees gathering since early morning to tie the sacred thread in the hand.

Source: The sacred Thread Festival “ Janai Purnima ”

जनैपूर्णिमा (Janai Purnima)

फोटो : trekkingmart

प्रत्येक वर्ष श्रावण शुक्ल पूर्णिमाका दिनमा मनाइने ऋषितर्पणी, रक्षाबन्धन एवम् जनै पूर्णिमा बिहिबार मनाइँदैछ ।

सत्ययुगमा दानवद्वारा लखेटिएका देवगणलाई गुरु बृहस्पतिले रक्षा विधान तयार गरी जेले गर्दा अत्यन्त बलशाली दानवराज बली बाँधिए, त्यसैले म तिमीलाई बाँध्छु, यसले तिमी सुरक्षित बन, विचलित नहोऊ भनी डोरो बाँधेर जोगाएका थिए भन्ने पौराणिक मान्यताका आधारमा चलेकोे रक्षाबन्धनको परम्परा आज पनि प्रचलित छ ।

यसैकारण रक्षाबन्धन गर्ने बेलामा गुरु पुरोहितहरुले ‘येन बद्धो बलिराजा दानवेन्द्रो महाबल तेन त्वां प्रतिबध्नामी रक्षेमा चलमाचल’ भनी रक्षासूत्र, रक्षाबन्धन अथवा डोरो बाँध्ने वैदिक परम्परा रहको नेपाल पञ्चाङ्ग निर्णायक समितिका अध्यक्ष प्रा डा रामचन्द्र गौतमले बताए ।

मानव रक्षाका लागि जप, तप र पूजा गरी मन्त्रिएको रक्षाबन्धन अर्थात् डोरो वैदिक परम्पराको मन्त्रोच्चारण गर्दै ब्राह्मण पुरोहितहरुले यजमानको नाडीमा बाँधिदिने गरिन्छ ।

आजकै दिन तागाधारीहरुले आफ्नो जनै (यज्ञोपवित) फेर्छन् । यसका लागि बुधबारदेखिनै कपाल मुण्डन गरी एक छाकमात्र खाएर चोखोनीतो गरी बसिन्छ । यसरी व्रत बसेका तागाधारीहरुले आज बिहानै पोखरी, ताल, तलाउ, नदी र कुण्डमा गई गाईको गोबर, खरानी, दत्तिउन र सप्तमृत्तिका लगाएर स्नान गर्दछन् ।

स्नानपछि जौ तिल र कुशद्वारा ऋषिहरुलाई तर्पण गरी वैदिक रुद्राभिषेक पद्धतिबाट मन्त्रिएको नयाँ जनै (यज्ञोपवित) फेरिन्छ । ऋषिलाई तर्पण गर्ने भएकाले आजको दिनलाई ऋषितर्पणी पनि भन्ने गरिएको छ । आजै मन्त्रिएको जनै फेर्ने गरिएकाले नै श्रावण शुक्ल पूर्णिमालाई जनैपूर्णिमा पनि भनिन्छ ।

वैदिक गुरु परम्पराअनुसार यज्ञोपवित अर्थात् जनैलाई ब्रह्मसूत्र अथवा ज्ञानको धागोसमेत भनिन्छ ।

जनैका दुई शिखामध्ये एउटा शिखामा रहने तीन डोरालाई ब्रह्मा, विष्णु र महेश्वरको प्रतीकका रुपमा पुजिन्छ । अर्को डोराको तीनवटा शिखालाई भने कर्म, उपासना र ज्ञानको त्रियोगका रुपमा मानिन्छ ।

यस किसिमको महत्व भएकाले नै आज बिहानै यजमानहरु आफ्ना गुरु पुरोहितकहाँ गई यज्ञोपवित मन्त्रने गर्दछन् । आजकै दिन मन्त्रेको जनै वर्षभरिका धार्मिक कर्ममा प्रयोग गरिनुका साथै फेर्नलाई समेत उपयोग गरिन्छ । कुनै पनि धार्मिक कर्म गर्दा र जुठो, सूतकबाट चोखिँदा आजकै दिन मन्त्रिएको यज्ञोपवित फेरेर शुद्ध भइन्छ भन्ने वैदिक मान्यता छ ।

आजकै दिन शरीर शुद्ध गरी देवता, सप्तऋषि र पितृलाई पनि तर्पण गरिने भएकाले नै ऋषि तर्पणीसमेत भन्ने गरिएको हो । आजको दिन सप्तऋषिहरु काश्यप, अत्रि, भारद्वाज, गौतम, जमदग्नि, वशिष्ठ र विश्वमित्रलाई तर्पण दिने गरिन्छ ।

आजका दिन एघारथरिका गेडागुडी मिसाई भिजाएर टुसा उमारेर क्वाँटी बनाई खाइन्छ । यसरी क्वाँटी बनाई खानाले शरीरमा रोग नलाग्ने, पेट सफा हुने र वर्षायामभर खेतीपातीको काम गर्दा शरीरमा लागेको चिसो निकाली भित्रदेखि नै तापको सञ्चार गर्छ भन्ने मान्यता छ ।

नेपालको तराई क्षेत्रमा भने आजकै दिन दिदीबहिनीले दाजुभाइलाई राखी बाँधेर मनाइन्छ । यसबाट दिदीबहिनी र दाजुभाइका बीचमा प्रेम सम्बन्ध बढ्छ भन्ने सामाजिक मान्यता छ ।

आजको दिन काठमाडाँैको पशुपति र मणिचूड, रसुवाको गोसाइँकुण्ड, ललितपुरको कुम्भेश्वर, सिन्धुपाल्चोकको पाँचपोखरी, धनुषाको जनकपुरधाम, धनुषसागर र गङ्गासागर, जुम्लाको दानसाधु एवम् नवलपरासीको त्रिवेणीधामलगायतका ताल, पोखरी र कुण्डमा मेला लाग्छ ।

नेवारी समुदायले भने श्रावण शुक्ल पूर्णिमालाई गुँपुन्ही भनी मनाउने गर्दछन् । विशेषगरी क्वाँटी खाने परम्परा नेवारी समुदायको यसै पर्वबाट आएको हो भन्ने तर्क पनि एकथरि संस्कृतिविद्को छ । आजका दिन नेवारी समुदायका मानिसले घण्टाकर्ण राक्षसलाई समाप्त पार्न योगदान गरी मानवीयतालाई बचाउन सहयोग गरेको विश्वासमा भ्यागुतालाई पूजा गर्छन् ।

बौद्ध दर्शनलाई अँगाल्ने बौद्ध धर्मावलम्बीले भने आजको दिनलाई भगवान् गौतमबुद्धले कामशक्तिमाथि विजय प्राप्त गरेको सम्झनाको दिनका रुपमा मनाउने गर्दछन् । बौद्ध धर्मग्रन्थ ललितविस्तरमा यससम्बन्धी विस्तृत रुपमा व्याख्या गरिएको छ । यसैका कारण आज स्वयम्भूमा पनि विशेष मेला लाग्ने गर्दछ । रासस

Source: आज जनैपूर्णिमा, यसरी सुरु भयो रक्षाबन्धनको परम्परा

Live Sustainably Everyday- Make Everyday an Environment Day

World Environment Day is just around the corner. While different organisations, educational institutions and community groups are undertaking various activities to mark this day, why don’t we take this as an opportunity to reflect upon our own lifestyles and see the impact of our actions to the environment as well as our well-being.

Waste is one of the biggest problems the world is facing at the moment and there has never been a better time to think and rethink about our consumption pattern and disposal
behaviour. According to the World Bank’s report What a Waste: A Global Review of Solid Waste Management ,globally we are producing1.3 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste every year and are expected to increase to approximately 2.2 billion tonnes per year by 2025. Similarly according to a recent report by UNEP and the World Resources Institute (WRI), about one-third of all food produced worldwide, worth around US$1 trillion, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems.

Australians are the second biggest producer of waste and needless to say hundreds of tonnes of waste are dumped into landfill sites every year. In addition, most people these days think that landfill is the ultimate destination for most of the waste we produce, where as it should only be taken as a last resort.

The modern lifestyle and technological advancement is leading to not only increase in volume of waste we produce but also producing different composition of waste which is making the waste issue more big and challenging than ever. Disposal of different types of waste ranging from green waste, hazardous waste, e- waste and other household waste in the landfill is not only taking up bigger chunk of our valuable land which could have alternatively been used for other productive causes, but it is also causing severe and irreversible impacts in the environment, socio-economy and health. Wastes dumped in the landfill accounts for air pollution, water pollution and land quality at the same time methane gas produced during the decomposition of organic waste is one of the potent green house gas which is 23 times stronger than carbon dioxide.

If we really want to make our impact in reducing the waste or managing it, we need to reduce the production of waste at source. One of the successful and practical mantra that we have been hearing and to some extent practicing is 3 R Principle- Reduce Reuse and Re cycle.

Reduce mean avoiding the production of waste at source. Avoid the things that we can do without. Reuse is about using items over and over for a longer period.
Recycling is re-processing the item into a new raw material so that
it can be used in a new product–for example grinding up plastic bottles to make fibre. While recycling is helping us in a great way by keeping our waste from going to landfill; a huge quantity of waste could be reduced and reused before it goes to recycling.

What are the benefits of reducing and reusing waste?

1. Keeps materials out of landfill.
2. Helps to preserve the “embodied energy” that was originally used to manufacture
an item.
3. Reduces the pressure on raw material, energy and water.
4. Creates less air and water pollution than making a new item or recycling one.
5. Reduces overall production of waste.
6. Reuse often creates an affordability of goods that are often of better quality .

So what can we do to reduce waste going to landfill?

Here are 10 different ways that will help to reduce and reuse waste:
1. Change consumption pattern: Ask your self do you need or want that product. Only buy what you need
2. Buy quality products what would last long
3. Burrow thing from neighbours, friends and family
4. Rent it rather than buying if you are using for a short term
5. Covert your food waste into rich fertiliser though composting or wormfarming
6. Donate your unwanted items to charity organisation or give away to your friend and family
7. Buy and sell second-hand at flea markets and garage sales.
8. Maintain your goods, it will last longer
9. Repair the items such as electronics or furniture
10.Upcycle the items you don’t want and expand the life of your preloved goods

These simple actions can easily be incorporated in our everyday life at a no or vey low cost. All we need is a little bit of passion and commitment to change ourselves and create change. Every single action multiplied by thousands will certainly make a difference. So why don’t we start from ourselves and from today. And make every day an environment day.

A very happy environment day 2016 to all of you!

Microfiber for Green Cleaning

Source: Microfiber for Green Cleaning

Natural-Cleaning-Mini-Challenge-Giveaway-win-some-free-microfiber-products

 

 

I write a lot about improving nutrition and health from the inside, but today we switch gears and start making sure we are avoiding toxins from the outside, too!

Everyday we are exposed to hundreds of chemicals in the air, water and our environment, and many more through products we use in our homes and beauty care. Cleaning products tend to be the worst offenders and are some of the most dangerous to have around the house with kids.

Most cleaning products contain harsh solvents, detergents and fragrances as well as harmful chemicals like bleaches, ammonia, sulfates, and parabens. If you’ve ever read the back of a bottle of cleaning spray or bleach, about the damage those chemicals can cause to skin, the respiratory track, eyes, lungs, etc, plus the warning “Can be fatal if swallowed.” Not particularly things you want under your sink with kids around!

As with many things, green cleaning by making your own can save you a lot of money on cleaning products and is much healthier. Microfiber has also helped me save a lot of money and clean naturally over the years.

What Is Microfiber?

Generally speaking, the microfiber used in cleaning cloths is made from a combination of two synthetic polymers–polyester and polyamide (which is nylon). In the highest quality microfiber cloths, these fibers are approximately 1/100 of a human hair in diameter. This makes the fibers barely visible to the naked eye. The fibers are bundled together and spun into thread which is then woven into cloth.

When examined under magnification, an individual microfiber has a split or spoke-like appearance. The area between the spokes creates a larger surface on the fiber itself. When the individual fibers are joined together into thread, and then woven into cloth, the result is a product that has an amazing ability to pick up and trap dirt coupled with superior absorbency and scrubbing power.

In comparison, a traditional fiber, such as a cotton fiber, is larger and smooth. Cloths made from these fibers require a cleaning agent (detergents, soaps and other chemical cleaners) to dissolve the dirt, which is then absorbed into the cloth in order to be removed from the surface. If dirt isn’t easily dissolved, it isn’t easily picked up and can be left behind. While the split fibers of the microfiber cloths are able to pick up and hold dirt, traditional fibers tend to push dirt and moisture around a surface. So essentially, if you want a cleaner surface, choose microfiber!

Why Choose Microfiber?

The use of microfiber in cleaning is growing in popularity. Microfibers are completely changing the way people clean their homes, wash their cars, mop their floors, and even cleanse their bodies. Microfiber enables people to eliminate many of the household cleaners they would typically use. Whether a person has been using commercially produced cleaning products or making their own at home, many are making the switch to a cleaning method which uses only water and a these reusable cloths. In an effort to reduce chemical exposure, eliminate waste, save time and money, and simplify their lives, microfiber is becoming an obvious choice for many.

So what does this mean for you?

It means microfiber can make you into a lean, mean, green cleaning machine! Armed with only water and a microfiber cloth, you are going to have a greater impact than when you employed conventional cleaning methods. We all know why that’s good; cleaning with water is going keep nasty chemicals out of your home and out of our air and water systems.

In time, this reduction in chemical use and waste will translate into an improved quality of life for you, your family, your community and our world. Beyond this, cleaning only with water means no dirt or chemical residue will be left behind on your surfaces, which actually means you’re achieving a “cleaner” clean. Cleaning with microfiber can also save you money as you eliminate, or drastically reduce, the number of cleaning products you buy or make. The cloths I use in my home have been tested for up to 500 washes and carry a 2 year warranty.

Surprisingly, many people have found these cloths last well past both their laundering life expectancy and warranty period. The thought of investing once, reducing the products I use for cleaning from many to few, and reusing my cloths has been quite appealing to my minimalist sensibilities. Just as you simplify and save your product usage, you are going to save in time and effort. Your microfiber cleaning products become a housekeeping ally. Less effort impacts the amount of time spent on household tasks.

Using microfibers to clean has easily reduced my cleaning time by 50%. Normal cleaning surfaces like bathrooms, walls, kitchen counters and floors are much easier to maintain and more thoroughly cleaned when using a microfiber. As an added bonus, special cleaning projects and domestic nemeses have lost their sting. Window washing, polishing the stainless steel appliances and keeping the glass top cooking range clean are tasks I have struggled with in the past, but now no longer dread. Making cleaning truly easy and actually fun is a tall order.

Don’t get me wrong, it is still work, but I’ve found microfiber has removed some of the “labor” from the more laborious job. With three kids, a home business and the joy of homeschooling, I still struggle to find the time to clean. But now, when I do find a chunk of cleaning time, I can get a whole lot more accomplished!

Where to Use Microfiber Cloths

For the record, my thoughts and opinions on microfiber are based mainly on my experience with two different brands of cloths. I started with the jumbo pack of microfiber cloths from Costco and later graduated to Norwex Enviro Cloths. In terms of quality, these cloths are on different ends of the spectrum. While the cloths from Costco were a drastic improvement over the traditional cloths I had been using, the Norwex Enviro cloths have far out performed those I purchased at Costco.

The following thoughts and examples of microfiber usage are based mostly on my experiences with Norwex. As with any category of product, performance varies from company to company and experimentation is required to determine how well different cloths can handle specific tasks.

I’d like to offer a few of my favorite microfiber uses in order to get you thinking about ways in which you might incorporate microfiber into your own home and cleaning routine.

In The Kitchen: This is where I use my microfiber the most. I use it for cleaning counter tops, cabinets, floors, stovetops and stainless steel appliances. The tiny microfibers do an awesome job clearing away dirt and food residues as well as tackling greasy films and messes.

In the Bathroom: You can use a microfiber in the bathroom to easily remove dirt and residues from all surfaces. I especially like it on my shower walls!
On Surfaces with a Shine: Windows, mirrors, chrome fixtures, granite and other shiny surfaces clean and shine easily with a cleaning cloth and specially designed polishing cloth. You’ll be thrilled by how easy it is to get a streak free shine! I’m not sure how readily available microfiber polishing cloths are, but I use the Norwex Window Cloth.

For Dusting: Using microfiber to dust is wonderful! The cloth picks up and traps the dust rather than sending it airborne. Because you’re not using a traditional product when you dust, there is no chemical residue left behind to attract more dust. You will find you have to dust less often!

On Your Floors: Whether you’re the kind of person who cleans floors on their hands and knees or with a mop, microfiber is going to thrill you. The first time I stood up and walked barefooted on my tile floor after washing it with a microfiber cloth, I was amazed. I couldn’t see the difference but I could feel it as I walked over the floor. I had no idea my old product was leaving such a significant residue. If you prefer to use a mop to clean your floors, you will find some companies make specially designed microfiber mop heads which you can dampen and use to wash your floors. The same microfiber principles apply.

On Your Body: In our home we don’t use soap when we bathe. Instead, we use a microfiber body cloth to cleanse our bodies. I wash my face and remove my makeup with a microfiber facial cloth. I love it! I’ve never felt so clean! It can take a little pep talk to convince people to ditch the soap, but once they do, they rarely go back!

For Stain Removal: In the same way microfiber works to pick up dirt from the surfaces in your home, like counter tops and bath tubs, it is also very effective in less obvious areas. Microfiber is wonderful for stain removal. Using only water, I have successfully cleaned upholstery, gotten long standing stains out of carpeting, removed marks and drawings from the walls, countertops and furniture, and removed stains from clothing. I keep a small cloth in my purse for use when I’m out and spill something on myself. We’ve seen microfiber remove blood, wine, green smoothie, waterproof ink, coffee, permanent marker, fingernail polish, grease, rust, vomit, ketchup, and many others.

Bear in mind, when using microfiber cloths the general rule of thumb is to use wet for cleaning and dry for dusting. When using wet, wring out as much water as possible before cleaning. This increases absorbency as well as the fiber’s ability to pick up dirt and residue.

If you are not already using microfibers, you may now be considering adding a few cloths to your home. As you shop for microfiber, bear in mind microfiber cloths are not created equal. Factors such as manufacturing, fiber quality and diameter, in addition to weave and design, can impact the quality of the cloth and thus it’s ability to perform.

Some cloths on the market today take advantage of the natural antibacterial properties of silver to give the cloth the ability to self purify. In these cases you will want to evaluate whether micro or nano silver is being used and whether the silver is added as a coating on the cloth or is embedded in the cloth. All of these factors matter, so do your research. Talk with friends and make sure you’re investing in quality microfiber products that will do a great job and last a long time.

What I Use

Personally, since I discovered Microfiber for cleaning, I don’t use anything else! A product that cleans naturally with only water… I was sold! (Tip: you can also add a couple drops of lemon essential oil for a fresh scent while you clean!)

If you haven’t tried microfiber, the basic idea is that the microscopic fibers in the cloth pick up much more dirt, bacteria and germs than regular cloth. I’ve even seen microfiber alone take off a huge streak of butter on a window (don’t ask….)

My favorite microfiber products that basically clean my entire house are:

The Antibac Envirocloth– a Heavy duty microfiber cloth with silver fibers embedded in it to kill bacteria and germs. It cleans everything from my cabinets to counters to stainless steel appliances. I also use it to clean my bathroom and can literally clean the bathroom from top to bottom with it. I now keep one microfiber cloth in each room for fast cleaning.

The Polishing Cloth– I use this on windows for a natural streak free shine with no chemicals. I use one half wet and one half dry and just wipe down with the damp and dry with the dry side. This also works great for polishing mirrors, appliances and electronics.

The Dusting Mitt Actually picks up dust, even the dust that collects on top of fans (unless perhaps you dust those more often that I do and don’t have dust on top of your fans…). The kids love using this one too and I don’t mind because no chemicals are involved.

The Telescopic Mop– Hands down my favorite because it lets me mop my entire house without chemicals in 10-15 minutes! It uses a heavy duty microfiber pad that can be machine washed and no bucket or chemicals are required! They even make a kids version of all of the above and my kids love to use them!

 

Happy International Composting Awareness Week 2016!

Half of the waste we put in our rubbish bin consists of food or garden waste. These organic waste get dumped into landfill where they decompose in the absence of oxygen producing potent greenhouse gas such as methane. The leachate produced by these organic waste also results in depletion of ground water quality.   By composting our food scraps we are not only diverting the huge amount of waste going to the landfill but also reducing carbon pollution.

Composting is a natural process by which the organic waste get decomposed into nutrition rich compost by the action of bacteria. In order to work effectively, composting requires the right blend of air, moisture and carbon & nitrogen balanced materials. Little bit of extra TLC (Tender. Love and Care) will work wonders.

Alternatively we can also get our food waste converted into the top quality compost by through worm farming. Worms munch on organic waste and produce casting which are high quality compost . Worm farming is the best way to manage organic waste within the small space and with no smell.

Here is a simple and easy step by step guide on worm farming and composting:

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Happy composting and do share your experiences🙂

 

 

Happy Green New Year 2016

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First of all let me wish you all a very happy 2016. With New Year come new hopes, a new beginning and a desire to achieve something substantial. My recipe for this year is nothing new but to continue what I am doing, but with additional dose of enthusiasm, commitment and passion. And I’m hopeful that this will enrich my year with additional contentment, satisfaction and gratification. As my previous years this year too, one of my main focus would be to continue my sustainability journey and extend my commitment to environmental stewardship; at the same time Educate, Inspire and Empower (EIE) people to do the same. While saying that, I’m also so looking forward to unleash loads of energy and love in raising and nurturing my two little kids and spending more quality time with my family (hubby, our parents and siblings). With my heart full of love, compassion and empathy, I am all set to go on an exciting ride to make my home (my little world) as green and sustainable as possible. I whole heartedly would also like help you achieve the same for your home if you allow me to do so through this very platform of blogosphere. Collective efforts, be it small or big always matters.

So, let’s get started with few simple and easy actions that you can do to live a healthy and ethical lifestyle. Please be assured that sustainability is achievable without compromising your comfortless and spending lots of money. All you need to do is make little modification in your daily lifestyle. Here are 8 little things that you can start straight away from today that will not only help you live a healthy and ethical life but also make you feel great for being able to contribute for the betterment of the mother earth.

Identify the difference between need and want. Think twice before buying anything and ask yourself if you really need that item or you just want to add one more thing to your collection. Do not waste your money and generate additional waste buying unnecessary things; It will eventually end up in the landfill. Instead invest on your needs and buy durable products.

  1. Reduce your food waste. Think before buying. Cook the correct portion size and preserve the food well so that it doesn’t get wasted. Fruits and vegetable scrapes could easily be converted to compost through composting or worm farming.
  2. Commit to the 3 R’s. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is the best mantra to minimise the consumption and production of overall waste. Consider practising this at home and at work.
  3. Buy local. Locally made/ grown products generally have lower transportation cost and associated pollution. Promoting the local product will also help local economy and community.
  4. Make green and healthy choices. Make the habit of buying environment friendly products and avoid purchasing or using toxic products. Watch out for the labels saying Poison, Toxic, Hazardous, Warning and Explosive. If you can’t avoid using them for any reason, store them in the safe place and keep it away from children.
  5. Be energy efficient. You can save a considerable amount of energy by practicing various energy saving behaviors at home and work, and by using electrical appliances effectively and efficiently. This will also help you save lots of money in the long term.
  6. Be water wise. A lot of water and money could be saved adhering to simple water saving techniques at your home and work. A significant amount of water can also be saved by installing water saving devices.
  7. Grow your own food. Growing food in your backyard or balcony will not only give you healthy and organic food but getting yourself involved in gardening activities is also proved to be good for your physical and mental wellbeing. You can also be a part of community garden initiatives in your community if you do not have space to grow your own food.

Have you made any quick green New Year’s commitment for 2016? Please feel free to share them in the comments.

 

 

 

5 Permaculture Principles To Help You Start A Garden

Did you know Permaculture was theoretically developed by two Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren during the 1970s?

It’s one of Australia’s intellectual exports with a global network of practitioners and teachers.

Haven’t heard of Permaculture?

Permaculture is a set of principles that result in designing sustainable and productive systems. Systems for living, architecture, food production, land management and community.

Permaculture mimics patterns that occur in nature, to make these systems energy efficient, low cost and with high yielding results.

Recently, I joined a 2-day intensive course to learn about how to grow backyard veggies with Michael Hewins from Milkwood.

Michael’s methods of food cultivation are deeply based on Permaculture principles.

I got in touch with Milkwood to find out more on how Permaculture principles can help you start a garden, sustainably and harmoniously with nature.

If you don’t have a backyard space for a garden, you can even start a courtyard or balcony garden, which can still be productive while helping you to maintain your connection to nature. Another gardening option is taking part in a community garden, getting your own plot, and doing your gardening there.

Here are 5 Permaculture principles to help you start a garden

1. Catch and Store Energy – “Make hay while the sun shines”

By developing systems that collect resources when they are abundant, we can use them in times of need.

Try this: Planting for your site – figure out where the sun falls and doesn’t, and when. The sunnier spots are always the best place for veggies to reach their peak of flavour and nutrition.

2. Produce No Waste – “Waste not, want not”

By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.

Try this: Nutrient cycling, which means employing methods that help you close the loop and feed your garden at the same time. Ideas include worms, bokashi buckets, compost e.t.c.

3. Integrate Rather Than Segregate – “Many hands make light work”

By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.

Try this: Companion planting is a technique that can be used to stimulate plant growth and productivity, increase resilience to pests and diseases, hide your plants from pests or mask their scent to make them harder for pests to find, and attract beneficial insects which act as pollinators, such as bees, or attract beneficial predatory insects that will eat pest insects, such as ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies.

4. Use Small and Slow Solutions – “Slow and steady wins the race”

Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and produce more sustainable outcomes.

Try this: Propagating your own seedlings! Not only will it save you money but you become self-reliant when you grow your own seeds for food.

5. Use Edges and Value the Marginal – “Don’t think you are on the right track just because it’s a well-beaten path”

The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.

Try this: If you wanted to emphasise the Edge Effect Principle, you would perhaps lean toward curved edge garden beds, mandala design garden beds, or just use a large number of smaller rectangular beds.

These 5 principles are originally based from David Holmgren’s 12 principles of permaculture design.

Why is growing your own food important?

Growing your own instills a true sense of the value of food. It’s also a great way to reduce carbon pollution emissions that occur in the food supply chain, areas including transport, processing and food waste.

You can maximise the use of home-produced compost & ‘worm juice’ from your worm farm as fertiliser, rather using than artificial ones, and chemicals such as insecticides and herbicides.

Growing your own also makes a surprisingly powerful statement about reducing our reliance on others for basic sustenance.

So are you ready to start growing seriously great vegetables in your backyard?

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below🙂

Source: http://www.1m5 permaculture principles help you start garden

By: Bronte Hogarth